Rangers And The Tax Man

All of a sudden EBTs are big news, isn’t it strange how law changes are made that affect huge swaithes of the population and nobody bats an eyelid, yet when something impacts on a football club the whole UK goes into mental breakdown about it? What people have to remember is that it wasn’t the fact that Rangers used Employee Benefit Trusts to pay their staff (footballers) that was a problem, it was in the detail of how they operated their EBT scheme.

Many of the largest companies in the UK have used Employee Benefit Trusts for many years without any problems and not just for the “mega million” employees that Joe Public seems to invisage. These are companies that hire experts whenever any sort of financial or legal liability is a possibility and you can be sure that company EBTs would never have got off the ground if there was such a risk associated with them. For many years EBTs were legitimate business tools. There have been several cases in the past where the specific use of an EBT has been disputed by HMRC but it wasn’t until last year that legislation was put in place to stop people miss-using them. What exactly Rangers allegedly did wrong in their use of EBTs hasn’t been made clear yet and it will be very interesting to see how this finally pans out although with such media coverage it’s hard to see how this decision is going to come down to black and white law. This superb post gives some insight into what Rangers were doing.

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