HMRC wins £240k from RFC 2012 plc after ‘Big Tax Case’ victory

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HMRC has won court costs of £240,000 from the company that owned Rangers, after the Supreme Court ruled in the taxman’s favour over the club’s use of Employee Benefit Trusts (EBTs) to pay players and backroom staff.

HMRC had been chasing BDO - the liquidators of the oldco RFC 2012 plc - for around £320,000 following the “Big Tax Case” ruling that EBTs should be classed as earnings, and were therefore taxable.

HMRC secured a six figure sum from the company that owned Rangers. File picture: SNS Group

HMRC secured a six figure sum from the company that owned Rangers. File picture: SNS Group

But the Herald reports that, after talks took place, the sum was reduced.

The taxman is not thought to have received any of the £72 million in unpaid tax and interest believed to be owed to HMRC by the liquidated company.

Payment totalling £1.3 million have beem made to creditors but HMRC is still to receive a penny some 12 months after the landmark legal case was heard.

BDO struck a deal towards the end of last year that would see them pay an interim dividend of close to 4p for every pound of debt to unsecured creditors. This would have seen HMRC recoup between £3.6 million and £3.7 million.

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But BDO are understood to be reviewing the total demand and remain locked in talks with the taxman over the extent of the claim, which could have an impact on the interim dividend.

Rangers players, managers and directors were paid more than £47 million through the EBT scheme that was implemented by the Murray Group, majority shareholder of the club between 2001 and 2010.

Two tribunals, in 2012 and in 2014, had initially backed the club’s view that the payments were in fact loans and thus not taxable, but in 2015 the Court of Session found in favour of HMRC after an appeal.

BDO launched their own appeal to the Supreme Court in London and in July 2017, the taxman successfully argued that the payments should have been classed as taxable earnings.

The outcome means that RFC 2012’s creditors will receive less money from the amount gathered by BDO, as HMRC is now due a greater amount.

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