THE TAXMAN has won court costs of £240,000 from the liquidated company that owned Rangers FC after the Supreme Court ruled in its favour over the club's use of Employee Benefit Trusts to pay players and staff.

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HMRC had originally sought £320,000 from BDO, the liquidators of oldco RFC 2012 plc in the wake of the so-called Big Tax Case decision in which the court ruled that EBTs should be seen as earnings and therefore taxable.

But it is understood that after a series of negotiations this was reduced.

Evening Times:

It is also understood HMRC has not received any of the £72 million in unpaid tax and interest believed to be owed by the liquidated company. While £1.3 million in payments have been made to creditors, no money has yet been paid into the bank accounts of HMRC – a year on from the landmark legal victory over the Ibrox club’s use of loans to pay staff in a tax avoidance scheme.

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BDO had agreed in November to pay an interim dividend of nearly 4p for every pound of debt to unsecured creditors, which would have given the taxman nearly £3.7 million towards their outstanding bill.

But it is understood that BDO are still reviewing the £74 million demand and remain in discussion with HMRC over the extent of the claim - which would have a bearing on its interim dividend.

More than £47 million was paid to Rangers players, managers and directors in the EBT scheme administered by the Murray Group, then majority shareholder of the Ibrox club, between 2001 and 2010 by way of tax-free loans.

Two tribunals in 2012 and 2014 had previously supported the Rangers argument that the EBT payments were loans and therefore not taxable, but the Court of Session found in favour of HMRC after an appeal in 2015.

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Liquidators BDO were then allowed to appeal to the Supreme Court in London and in July, last year, HMRC successfully argued that the payments were earnings and should be taxable.

The result would mean that the creditors of RFC 2012 would receive less money from the pot collected by liquidators BDO, as HMRC will now be owed even more money.

Rangers, then run by Craig Whyte, went into administration in February 2012 over a separate tax debt and the tax authority rejected a creditors agreement in June of that year.

Evening Times:

Liquidators had previously indicated that £72m of the £94.4m owed to HRMC relied on the taxman’s claim that Rangers Oldco was liable for its use of EBTs.

BDO has previously noted nearly half of the HMRC claim relates to interest and penalties accrued over the years.

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The collapse of the Rangers business left thousands of unsecured creditors out of pocket including more than 6000 loyal fans who bought £7.7m worth of debenture seats at Ibrox.

Creditors ranged from giants such as Coca-Cola to a picture framer in Bearsden and a lady called Susan Thomson who runs a face-painting business and was owed £40.

BDO were approached for comment.