After a year and a half of speculation, a decision was made by the First Tier Tax Tribunal that the Rangers FC tax planning arrangements, which had been created by Baxendale Walker, were valid and legal, and resulted in no tax having to be paid by the club.
Glasgow, UK -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/11/2012 -- Baxendale Walker had recommended that an EBT (Employee Benefit Trust) be set up by the Murray Group by the management company. Several other sub-trusts and trusts were also set up. Loans from these newly-established trusts were then made to players on the Rangers team, as well as a number of other executives.
A ruling was made by the Tax Tribunal that these loans could not be named as earnings and were therefore not taxable. An appeal by the HMRC is not expected, as it was conceded by them that the EBY was legally valid. Despite the Tribunal asking them to argue whether the EBT was not a ‘sham’, the HMRC did not content that the loans from the trusts were not real, as they were payable from the estate of the borrower.
And so no income tax was payable by Rangers players; there are no PAYE or NICS bills for them, in relation to the money which has been placed in their trusts. Paul Baxendale Walker expressed his delight at the ruling, and congratulated both the team and Andrew Thornhill QC. The ruling, Baxendale Walker added, was very similar in its conclusion to the points made in Baxendale’s 2012 Edition, ‘The Law and Taxation of Remuneration Trusts’.
Baxendale Walker also stated that the decision was likely to have a dramatic effect on the commercial and sporting area of the SFA. This type of tax planning is something which everyone, regardless of their income level, can use. He finished by saying that the HMRC will be facing some difficult questions now; namely, why they chose to pursue such a futile case against one of Scotland’s national institutions, and whether the HMRC is to accept personal executive responsibility for this.
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