Rangers tax case to go to Court of Session

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has been granted permission for another appeal against a ruling in the Rangers tax case.

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The tax man suffered defeat last month when a judge largely upheld a first-tier tribunal's ruling that substantially reduced a historic tax liability relating to 'oldco' Rangers. But the case will now go to another court.

An HMRC statement said: "We are pleased that the Upper Tribunal has given HMRC leave to appeal to the Court of Session.

"We continue to believe that schemes using Employee Benefit Trusts to avoid income tax and national insurance contributions do not work."

The initial ruling decreed that a £46.2 million tax demand on Sir David Murray's Murray International Holdings company, most of which related to its tenure of Rangers, be substantially reduced as most of the payments could be construed as loans.

The disputed payments, made from 2001 to 2010, had left Rangers facing a tax bill that undermined Murray's final years as Ibrox owner.

The club went into liquidation in June 2012, a year after Murray sold his shares to Craig Whyte. Whyte's tenure ended with the club unable to pay separate tax debts totalling £21m.

HMRC announced earlier this month that it had applied for permission to appeal against the tax ruling.

The tax authority said at the time: "We tackle avoidance wherever we see it and litigate where necessary to ensure schemes are defeated and the tax due is paid.

"This case represents an important principle."

The tax case has no impact on the current Rangers owners.

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