DCSIMG

Tax laws should apply to everyone

My old mum always said I wasn’t cut out for business, but despite that prediction I formed and ran my own company successfully for 25 years, and wound it up without owing anyone a penny.

Though there were times when it would have been easier to fold the firm and start again I simply soldiered on and didn’t follow the example of Charles Green (Alan Pattullo, 30 July) who boasted that by liquidating [oldco] Rangers, 
leaving all the toxic stuff behind and starting anew – with the same Rangers name and premises – he would be debt-free and have this 
luxury: “On the last day of the season I will really enjoy [the findings of] a clever financial analyst who looks at the 
balance sheets, and the debt to equity ratios of every club in Scotland.”

I was more inept as a businessman than even my old mum could have imagined as it appears that following the report of the tribunal on the, now liquidated, [oldco] Rangers, First-tie Tribunal appeal (big tax case) it has been adjudged perfectly acceptable to pay employees half their wages as taxable remuneration and the other half through non-taxable “loans” (non-repayable!) via an 
offshore trust. So I could have given my employees much more take-home “pay” and had a considerable saving on employer’s National Insurance contribution, while giving myself a huge Employment Benefit Trust (EBT) under the same tax-free terms. Why didn’t I think of this myself and, more to the point, why didn’t my highly paid accountants keep me up to speed on this sort of 
wizard wheeze?

Tom Minogue

Victoria Terrace

Dunfermline

The court deciding the Rangers’ EBT Trust payments case has ruled that the payments were not gifts or wages, but “loans”, and therefore not taxable.

Might we be permitted to ask about the details of the agreed repayment schedules, which are part and parcel of any “loan” arrangement I’ve ever heard of?

Walter J Allan

Colinton Mains Drive

Edinburgh

Not everyone working for an employer can enjoy the legal “tax efficient advantage” of Employee Benefit Trusts). Seemingly beneficial schemes like this and private service companies are only open to the highly paid. Isn’t this, from a moral point of view, unfair and discriminatory against the majority of people? Of course, were these schemes open to everybody a drastic shortfall in tax revenue would harm the “common good”.

Perhaps as a society we no longer want to provide public services for everyone like health, welfare, education or even defence. Isn’t it the duty of government to promote the common good by ensuring tax laws apply fairly to everyone?

Ellis Thorpe

Old Chapel Walk

Inverurie

 

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