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HMRC appealing Rangers tax defeat

HM Revenue and Customs has asked for time to appeal a ruling made over a benefits trust used by Glasgow Rangers to remunerate both staff and players.

HMRC was beaten last month in a tax tribunal, where the decision was made not to overturn a conclusion that the commercial entity, which used to house the Scottish club, had made use of the scheme legitimately from 2001 to 2010 in order to pay £47.65 million to staff and players in loans, tax-free.

HMRC challenged the arrangement, labelling it illegal. Rangers fought the bill with the tribunal, deciding that any payments were in the form of loans and able to be repaid – therefore, they were not considered taxable.

A spokesman for HMRC said:

“HMRC continues to believe that schemes using employee benefit trusts to avoid tax do not work. We have applied for permission to appeal the case to the Court of Session.”

Unlike past hearings that occurred in Edinburgh, additional hearings will be held in London. The next round will be at the Court of Session, if HMRC is permitted to appeal.

Whatever the outcome of the move, businesses based and operating in England would be naïve to think that HMRC is taking an eye off the ball when it comes to assessing companies’ tax returns. The role of an accountant in the Wirral and other areas of the North West is as important as ever, and so is the relationship between accountants and their clients.

Posted by Mark
August 27, 2014
HMRC

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