Scottish football: The tax tribunal that heard Rangers’ appeal over their bill for the use of employee benefit trusts delivered a majority verdict today that has “allowed the appeal in principle.”
The tribunal stated that the “controversial monies received by the employees were not paid to them as their absolute entitlement.”
Rangers had argued that the payments, thought to be close to £49 million, had been loans rather than wages and not subject to tax.
No verdict on any sum that the oldco Rangers were liable for was included in the findings, but David Murray’s company welcomed the verdict as vindication of their stance.
Oldco Rangers had previously stated that they could be liable for up to £75m.
However the tribunal ruled that Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs assessment should be “reduced substantially,” with only some payments subject to tax.
A statement from the tribunal said: “It was conceded that advances in favour of certain players are taxable and liable to NIC (National Insurance contributions), and we have found that, in certain other limited instances, there may be a similar liability.
“To that extent the assessments should stand. In these circumstances we expect that it is sufficient that we allow the appeal in principle.
“Parties can no doubt settle the sums due for the limited number of cases mentioned without further reference to the tribunal.”
Murray International Holdings, who were majority shareholders of the oldco club until Craig Whyte’s takeover in May 2011, said in a statement: “We are pleased with the judgement which leaves minimal tax liability and overwhelmingly supports the views collectively and consistently held by our advisers, legal counsel and MIH itself.”