Hearts given extra time to settle tax bill

HEART OF MIDLOTHIAN FC has been granted extra time to settle a £450,000 tax bill with HM Revenue & Customs.

The Edinburgh club’s very existence had been threatened by the liability, but it made assurances to the taxman that future payments would be made in a “timeous manner”. As a result, the Scottish FA Cup holders now have until 3 December to settle the debt, to be paid in two installments, providing tax for November and December is paid on time.

Hearts was initially served with a winding-up order last Wednesday, and given eight days to pay what it owed.

A number of senior first-team members, who were due to be paid on Friday, have deferred their November salaries in order to help ease the club’s cashflow problems.

Fans had also been asked to raise funds for the club.

The agreement means that this weekend’s match with St Mirren will not be the club’s final outing and eases doubts over future home fixtures at Tynecastle, including games against Celtic on 28 November and Aberdeen on 8 December.

Club director Sergejus Fedotovas told the club’s website: “Make no mistake, the fans and players have been instrumental in achieving this extension with HMRC.

“The supporters’ efforts have been quite phenomenal. However, it is essential that they continue all their work to assist us in meeting financial targets at the club.

“It is imperative that they continue with this level of backing in the weeks ahead until the Share Issue closes on December 19.”

The Scottish government released a statement welcoming the agreement.

“We are pleased that an agreement has been reached between Hearts FC and HMRC which allows the club to continue in business while also meeting its obligations to the tax authorities,” it read.

“[The] news will come as a relief to all fans of Hearts, but there clearly remain ongoing financial issues across Scottish football and the Scottish government remains ready to assist wherever it can in promoting initiatives such as open book accounting and more supporter involvement in the running of clubs.”

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