sport

HMRC appeal over Rangers case

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have appealed over a tax tribunal's ruling of oldco Rangers' use of Employee Benefit Trusts (EBTs).

Rangers effectively won its "big tax case" in November, following a First Tier Tax Tribunal which heard the club's appeal over a bill relating to the use of EBTs.

A majority verdict was delivered that allowed the appeal in principle and declared that the assessments of HMRC be "reduced substantially".

Two of the three judges decreed that only some of the payments made to players through EBTs were taxable but that many of them could be described as loans, as the club had argued.

In a statement, two tribunal judges agreed with the club's outline case.

They stated: "The majority view reflects the argument that the controversial monies received by the employees were not paid to them as their absolute entitlement.

"Thus the payments are loans, not earnings."

HMRC said at the time it was "disappointed" with the decision, and a spokesman said on Monday: "We have lodged our appeal on the Rangers EBT case."

Rangers was under the control of Sir David Murray when it began using EBTs. He sold the club for 1 to Craig Whyte in 2011, while the tax liability was in dispute. The old club went into administration in February last year, owing up to 134 million to unsecured creditors.

The decision came too late to save oldco Rangers from being wound up and does not directly affect the current Ibrox regime.

The club was relaunched as a new corporate entity in June when the original company was consigned to liquidation.