Interesting article on tax avoidance schemes ( Rangers mentioned)

dt17

Well-Known Member
#7
Were we the first case they fully went after?

I'd love to know how many other clubs used similar schemes and why they've not been pursued the way we were...
 

mkgers

Well-Known Member
#8

frankfurterbear1

Well-Known Member
#10
My whole thing is how when it comes to tax they can change the rules, how about if they say there are too many bumps between 60 and 70mph so we are reducing the speed limit to 60mph and anyone since 1970 speeding over 60mph will be penalised.

Or changing he drink drive limit down to p.25 so anyone stopped previously and recorded higher will be prosecuted, nonsense for us nonsense for the future
 
#13

Le Big Bear Bum

Well-Known Member
#16
My whole thing is how when it comes to tax they can change the rules, how about if they say there are too many bumps between 60 and 70mph so we are reducing the speed limit to 60mph and anyone since 1970 speeding over 60mph will be penalised.

Or changing he drink drive limit down to p.25 so anyone stopped previously and recorded higher will be prosecuted, nonsense for us nonsense for the future
Never understood this either.

Is there any other example any other retrospective punishments due to rule change, for anything else, anywhere, ever?
 

RabSpackman

Well-Known Member
#18
The idea that you can retrospectively be found guilty of doing something that was legal at the time but is no longer legal is just ludicrous.

That Murray went all in with EBTs and used it as the mechanism for paying so many people so much money was utter stupidity though. A loophole will eventually be closed, you don’t set yourself up to be dependent upon it.


On the HMRC offers to settle... I thought Rangers made an offer and HMRC refused it & the prospect of any future offers and whoever directs their activities then set all resources at Rangers.
 
#19
This is my big question. Why us?

Every other club who ran the same scheme was able to pay it off. Some of those clubs where probably in it for a lot more than us I would guess being down south too.

So why us...this will come out eventually I hope.
 

DavyMcK

Well-Known Member
Official Ticketer
#20
The retrospective changes in the law are simply wrong, even where people think "well you knew it was dodgy" like many do with tax schemes. It's either legal or not. Best analargy I have is where we need to "drive to the road conditions" so the government decide that when it's been raining the 70 mph limit really should have been 60 or in a 30 it should have been 20 so retrospectively fine everyone doing over 60 in their multitude of cameras. They broke no laws but are now being punished.
 

jimbear

Well-Known Member
#21
The idea that you can retrospectively be found guilty of doing something that was legal at the time but is no longer legal is just ludicrous.

That Murray went all in with EBTs and used it as the mechanism for paying so many people so much money was utter stupidity though. A loophole will eventually be closed, you don’t set yourself up to be dependent upon it.


On the HMRC offers to settle... I thought Rangers made an offer and HMRC refused it & the prospect of any future offers and whoever directs their activities then set all resources at Rangers.
I think that Murray did offer to settle for the actual amount of tax that would have been due. (£20 million was the sum I remember being quoted at the time). HMRC refused as they wanted to use us as a test case and demanded that we pay all penalty charges that went with delayed payments over the years when the EBTs were being used. Like other posters in this thread I strongly suspect that some wealthy people or institutions down south are now going to be pursued by HMRC and the parliamentarians are starting to react. My message to them is that if they felt it right to come after our club they are now duty bound to apply the same rules everywhere else.
 

Walters80

Well-Known Member
#22
We’ve been hearing for years now about how HMRC we’re using Rangers as a test case to go after other clubs and yet nothing has happened in the year and a half since the Supreme Court ruled on this?

We were also told HMRC don’t do deals with football clubs apart from Hearts (6 winding up orders postponed) , Arsenal (EBT’s) Newcastle (image rights) Aston Villa (unpaid tax) West Ham (image rights) etc etc.

We are also the only club in the UK to have private information leaked to websites.

We were absolutely stitched up when you consider Arsenal reached a deal with HMRC over EBTs a year before we went into administration.
 
#23
HMRC offered clubs the chance of agreeing a settlement. Almost all, including Arsenal, I believe, agreed to settle. We didn't so they took us on.
Sorry but thats just bullshit, we never had any chance to settle.

There was a £24M heavily disputed liability which we offered to settle at £10M and this was refused by HMRC despite Arsenal et al all cutting deals.
 
#24
HMRC offered clubs the chance of agreeing a settlement. Almost all, including Arsenal, I believe, agreed to settle. We didn't so they took us on.
Not sure that’s correct.

I still remain extremely bitter by what HMRC did to us. They were wrong, yet set off a chain reaction that led to our demise.

And still hundreds here vote Labour, who sat by and let this happen to us.
 

douzpwa

Well-Known Member
#26
They have now went nuclear and are chasing self employed people who used similar schemes that were at the time legal. Lots of self employed going to get caught out by retrospective legislation. Doesn't seem right.
It is not right and even our case should have been dropped instead they moved the goalposts to suit their agenda against us meanwhile writing off billions owed from vodafone alone never mind your amazons and starbucks of this world!

What changed? Was it the banking crisis and the govt needed money from somewhere to bail em out so bent the rules back to make these things unacceptable? Who knows? What we cannot comprehend and understandably is accepting it back then and changing it years after?
 

RabSpackman

Well-Known Member
#27
Why us? Because the Establishment is Fenian and we’re a soft target
My flabber is ghasted that some folk still need this pointed out to them.

Look at the underlying political move towards Republicanism and the thread of Catholicism throughout what is regarded as “Establishment”.

That rabble in the East End of Glasgow is the thin edge of the wedge.
 

Peekaboo

Well-Known Member
#29
They have now went nuclear and are chasing self employed people who used similar schemes that were at the time legal. Lots of self employed going to get caught out by retrospective legislation. Doesn't seem right.
The problem was these schemes relied on a certain interpretation of the legislation which HMRC don’t agree with. Despite our case as a precedent there are so many varieties that they will always struggle to take them all to court so the easiest way is imposing new rules. It is not retrospective. Anybody taking out these schemes left in place a structure (a loan that would never be repaid) that could be attacked.

I have some sympathy because of the way they were sold by advisers a lot of whom pocketed large fees and have disappeared.
 

Earl of Leven

Well-Known Member
Official Ticketer
#30
We offered them more than they will ever get now.

As for the wider picture I have no idea how we as a society allow or ever allowed retrospective law making. It is against democracy, and decency.
 

JCDarcheville

Well-Known Member
#31
Anti-avoidance legislation which allows for retrospective enforcement is a disgrace.

We have the most mentally complex tax system, which is therefore open to schemes to reduce tax. As much as it is unfair, I have never met anyone who wants to pay more tax or who wouldn't make a couple of minor changes to how they receive their income to minimise their liability.

The whole taxation system needs ripped up and replaced with something which isn't open to avoidance.
 
#33
Not sure that’s correct.

I still remain extremely bitter by what HMRC did to us. They were wrong, yet set off a chain reaction that led to our demise.

And still hundreds here vote Labour, who sat by and let this happen to us.
Voting Labour has got absolutely nothing to do with this. There has been a Tory Government since 2010 and SNP in the micky mouse holyrood parliament. :rolleyes:

Venting your anger at Alex Salmond would be more appropriate I would've thought considering he intervened on Hearts behalf and not ours!
 
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#34
So why didn't HMRC challenge Rangers away back in 2001 if they thought it was wrong,why wait till nealy a decade later to decide to take action, things not and never have added up with this.
Sorry but thats just bullshit, we never had any chance to settle.

There was a £24M heavily disputed liability which we offered to settle at £10M and this was refused by HMRC despite Arsenal et al all cutting deals.
The legislation was passed in 2010 and all companies with EBTs had the chance to settle by 31 December 2011 under the EBTSO Scheme, extended later to 2015. Over 700 companies settled £800m including, I believe, Arsenal. I've often heard talk of Murray's £10m offer but have never seen the detail and the devil is in the detail. The fact that a settlement couldn't be agreed doesn't mean that "we never had a chance to settle" and disagreeing with you certainly doesn't qualify as "bullshit".
 
#35
The legislation was passed in 2010 and all companies with EBTs had the chance to settle by 31 December 2011 under the EBTSO Scheme, extended later to 2015. Over 700 companies settled £800m including, I believe, Arsenal. I've often heard talk of Murray's £10m offer but have never seen the detail and the devil is in the detail. The fact that a settlement couldn't be agreed doesn't mean that "we never had a chance to settle" and disagreeing with you certainly doesn't qualify as "bullshit".
By "settle" did you mean pay the full amount because neither Arsenal nor anybody else done that?

I like many other Bears followed our case very closely and I have absolutely zero recollection of any offers to deal from HMRC. I do however recall them repeating time and time again that they don't do deals, well certainly not with Rangers anyway.
 
#36
None of that changes the fact that many companies chose to settle EBT liabilities under the EBTSO process. Following the Rangers case, settlements rose to £1.7 billion from over 1,500 companies . All sorts of claims have been made about who offered what to settle. I have yet to see any reliable evidence to support them. HMRC rarely publicises how settlements are reached. That was also my experience with them when I worked.

In any event, the argument that players were paid to play football but not pay tax because the payments were only “loans” always struck me as perverse and unfair to everyone else who does pay tax on what they earn from their jobs. HMRC took Aberdeen Asset Managers to court several years before Rangers and won because of their abuse of EBTs. AAM wouldn’t settle either. And that was before the 2010 legislation clarified the legal position.

I agree with those that say it was unfair to make the legislation retrospective. But in all honesty I can’t disagree with the principle that footballers, or any other employee for that matter, should pay tax on what they earn. So I also agree that HMRC were right to tax and penalise those who made untaxed income out of artificial film rights schemes - including many from the east end.
 
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RabSpackman

Well-Known Member
#38
None of that changes the fact that many companies chose to settle EBT liabilities under the EBTSO process. Following the Rangers case, settlements rose to £1.7 billion from over 1,500 companies . All sorts of claims have been made about who offered what to settle. I have yet to see any reliable evidence to support them. HMRC rarely publicises how settlements are reached. That was also my experience with them when I worked.

In any event, the argument that players were paid to play football but not pay tax because the payments were only “loans” always struck me as perverse and unfair to everyone else who does pay tax on what they earn from their jobs. HMRC took Aberdeen Asset Managers to court several years before Rangers and won because of their abuse of EBTs. AAM wouldn’t settle either. And that was before the 2010 legislation clarified the legal position.

I agree with those that say it was unfair to make the legislation retrospective. But in all honesty I can’t disagree with the principle that footballers, or any other employee for that matter, should pay tax on what they earn. So I also agree that HMRC were right to tax and penalise those who made untaxed income out of artificial film rights schemes - including many from the east end.
The principle of people “optimising” their tax payments is a tricky one - there is an entire industry, a very respected industry at that, built around helping people legally avoid paying more tax than is absolutely necessary.

The irony being that the more you earn to start with, the better the advice available to you is and the less tax you end up paying.
Footballers being paid tens of thousands of pounds per week will always be given this advice; independent contractors make use of having companies in their wife/husband/children’s names to exploit tax allowances and the market of cash payments is rife in tax avoidance.

I know of several Celtic supporters who have personally gained from their employers participating in tax avoidance/optimisation schemes and who were glad to receive that advice and the outcome of playing less tax.
Needless to say, they wanted Rangers scorched from the earth for doing the same.

From the outside, the world of tax and tax advice is a bit of a game of cat & mouse where loopholes are identified, vehicles to legally export these created and used and then HMRC get wise to it and round to closing them.
The trick would be to not get yourself in up to your neck in any particular scheme; it’s about risk management if you are an employer using these schemes.
The Risk Management at Ibrox was an utter shambles and appears to have ignored that the EBTSO process was in place and should be a signal to stop and find another means.
 
#39
The principle of people “optimising” their tax payments is a tricky one - there is an entire industry, a very respected industry at that, built around helping people legally avoid paying more tax than is absolutely necessary.

The irony being that the more you earn to start with, the better the advice available to you is and the less tax you end up paying.
Footballers being paid tens of thousands of pounds per week will always be given this advice; independent contractors make use of having companies in their wife/husband/children’s names to exploit tax allowances and the market of cash payments is rife in tax avoidance.

I know of several Celtic supporters who have personally gained from their employers participating in tax avoidance/optimisation schemes and who were glad to receive that advice and the outcome of playing less tax.
Needless to say, they wanted Rangers scorched from the earth for doing the same.

From the outside, the world of tax and tax advice is a bit of a game of cat & mouse where loopholes are identified, vehicles to legally export these created and used and then HMRC get wise to it and round to closing them.
The trick would be to not get yourself in up to your neck in any particular scheme; it’s about risk management if you are an employer using these schemes.
The Risk Management at Ibrox was an utter shambles and appears to have ignored that the EBTSO process was in place and should be a signal to stop and find another means.
Agree with pretty much all of that. As a retired FD of a Europe-wide company, I have had occasion to negotiate with HMRC! I suspect the main reason HMRC played hardball with Rangers was because we stretched it way too far. The last figures I saw was 1,500 settlements at £1.7billion. That’s an average of £1.1 million. We were 20 times that level before penalties. The Aberdeen Asset decision sounded a big alarm which Murray ignored. Big mistake, I think.
 
#42
The idea that you can retrospectively be found guilty of doing something that was legal at the time but is no longer legal is just ludicrous.

That Murray went all in with EBTs and used it as the mechanism for paying so many people so much money was utter stupidity though. A loophole will eventually be closed, you don’t set yourself up to be dependent upon it.


On the HMRC offers to settle... I thought Rangers made an offer and HMRC refused it & the prospect of any future offers and whoever directs their activities then set all resources at Rangers.
Mate just a wee point there is nothing illegal or legal about ebts the question has always been are they liable for taxation.MIM group were advised they were not liable for tax but after several court cases,the first 2 found in favour of MIM, but the last court case,which I believe was the supreme court found in favour of HMRC.
 

Virgil Hilts

Well-Known Member
#44
By "settle" did you mean pay the full amount because neither Arsenal nor anybody else done that?

I like many other Bears followed our case very closely and I have absolutely zero recollection of any offers to deal from HMRC. I do however recall them repeating time and time again that they don't do deals, well certainly not with Rangers anyway.
Pity moonbeams couldn’t have got Dave Hartnett out for a Vodafone lunch
 
#45
In the context of what we were talking about it is.

I was curious as to why the other clubs had not been pursued, it was explained that they settled with HMRC. We didn't.
I think the only other club in Scotland was Celtic. There was one EBT with Juninho which they sorted out. Pity that so many Celtic players and a couple of directors got caught out with an artificial film rights tax arrangement. :p
 
#46
Mate just a wee point there is nothing illegal or legal about ebts the question has always been are they liable for taxation.MIM group were advised they were not liable for tax but after several court cases,the first 2 found in favour of MIM, but the last court case,which I believe was the supreme court found in favour of HMRC.
Yep you’re right. Moreover EBTs are still in use and very effective when used sensibly. What changed wasn’t so much the law, although it did, but the interpretation of the courts. They started to ignore the legal structure, a loan, which was not taxable, but started to look at what was actually happening. Unfortunately for us they decided that lending money to a footballer for playing football was the same as paying him for playing football and should be taxed. At the risk of whatever, I am very sympathetic to that view. Many who pay tax probably agree.
 
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