Rangers blame HMRC for their downfall

by Rachael Singh

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14 Feb 2012

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HM REVENUE & CUSTOMS is being blamed for the expected collapse of Rangers FC.

The Scottish club announced on 13 February that directors had lodged papers in Edinburgh's court stating their intention to enter administration.

The management have said HMRC is likely to keep it tied up in court over a tax tribunal for years which would affect Rangers' ability to continue to trade.

Duff & Phelps insolvency partners Paul Clark, David Grier and David Whitehouse, all partners at Duff & Phelps, have been drafted in to assist with negotiations.

Rangers FC and the taxman are battling out a compensation case over the club's use of Employee Benefit Trusts (EBTs).

HMRC claims to be owed £24m in unpaid PAYE tax due to the club using EBTs which provide employees with non-repayable interest free loans.

However, in a question and answers section of the Rangers' website, management said: "Even if Rangers wins the tribunal, HMRC has made it plain that they will ‘appeal, appeal and appeal' the decision,"

"The practical effect of this will be to plunge the club into years of ongoing uncertainty. It would also mean the club having to pay immediately a range of liabilities to HMRC."

Chairman Craig Whyte said he was keen to "rid" the club of its tax case in an interview to fans on the club's website.

"If we can get rid of the tax case which has been hanging over us for the past two years like a dark cloud then we can move forward with confidence," he said. 

Rangers has about two weeks to reach an agreement with the taxman before it enters administration.

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