HMRC confirmed this week it will seek to appeal against the tribunal decision in which Rangers Football Club won a partial decision on its appeals against the department's stance on employment benefits trusts (EBTs) for some of its playing staff.
Last month, the old Rangers organisation, which went into administration owing unsecured creditors including HMRC up to £134m, won its appeal in principle over the use of employment benefit trusts (EBTs) from 2001-2010. The club claimed that loan payments amounting to around £49m were not wages and accordingly not subject to tax.
One of the tribunal judges dissented from the decision, but the tribunal allowed the Rangers appeal in principle, declaring that assessments by HMRC be “reduced substantially.” Two of three judges decided only some of the payments were taxable; many of the others could, as the club argued, be described as loans
Under Tribunal rules, HMRC has now begun the process of seeking leave to appeal the decision.
Former club chairman chairman Alastair Johnston claimed the club would not have gone out of business if the verdict of the tribunal had been known earlier.
Now in the Scottish Third Division club, the Glasgow club was purchased this year by Charles Green and relaunched as Rangers International Football Club plc. Green is now planning to float the company on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM)
The club claims to have pledges of £17m from business investors, and hopes to attract another £10m from supporters through a “Buy Rangers” community share initiative run through the Rangers Supporters Trust. The fund raising efforts should bring the total club value up to £50m.
Shares will be available at a fixed price of £125, with the maximum amount fans can invest being £20,000. Once the fans' investments are collected, the Rangers Supporters Trust will then buy a block of shares on behalf of all investors when the AIM listing is completed.
Rangers was under the control of Sir David Murray when it began using EBTs. He sold the club to Craig Whyte in 2011 for £1 while the tax liability was in dispute.