Exclusive: HMRC Rangers scandal – the truth behind the headlines revealed

Exclusive: HMRC Rangers scandal – the truth behind the headlines revealed

This morning it has been widely reported that HMRC made a substantial error when estimating our tax liability for our use of the infamous EBT bonus scheme. If reports are to be believed, the overestimation is to the tune of £50m – a monumental error!

What does this actually mean In the context of 2012 though? Well, at the time of the administration process, Rangers were obviously insolvent; however one could argue that this state of insolvency was the result of years of events which started with the announcement of the ‘big tax case’ liability. 
Back 2008/2009 when the bank debt was building, and David Murray was looking to sell off the club, it became clear that HMRC would be chasing us for unpaid taxes relating to the use of the aforementioned EBT scheme. 
There were headlines suggesting we owed upwards of £50m to the tax authorities, a figure which was only ever mentioned without any backup. The accuracy of the liability is now in question, however what is not in question is the fact that the announcement of such liability would discourage investment into our club. 
Move forward to 2012 and the CVA is taking place, and it is HMRC who voted this down, using the excuse that they wanted to set a precedent against football clubs using these types of schemes. This is effectively now a false precedent, one which has arisen out of us being forced into a situation by HMRC making a ‘calculation error’. Given the severity of an average member of the public making an error in their own tax return, it is difficult to ascertain just how HMRC can make a £50m error when determining what RFC owed them.
It is not night and day as to what would have happened if the estimation was more accurate (circa £20m according to The Times, which could have been settled over 10 years); howeverit is certain that it was the beginning of the collapse which led to the torrid times over the last few years.
It is fair to say that events since 2012 will not be reversed, but if all of this is true then shareholders of the old company should be able to gain some sort of compensation. That will not help fix what happened to our club though, nothing will change that. A full investigation needs to be carried out.

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  1. Is it my imagination that the other clubs and the support of other clubs who condemned us are now very quiet????. THEY KNOW WHO THEY ARE. So do we. WATP

  2. Surely any tax assessment of this magnitude and sensitivity would have been checked and double checked by more than one person. Is it just me or could there have been ulterior motives at work?

  3. Hey , sorry to burst the bubble but the story in the times is factual wrong. What HMRC were chasing up for plus the fines/penalties award came to £90 odd million. This has been reduced to £68 million because HMRC have dropped the fines/penalties part of the claim. So the amount they are still claiming is £68 million.
    If the we never got liquidated, HMRC would still be looking for their fines/penalties.
    As this is the sector I work in , I have followed this from the start.
    At every turn Murray and the directors of both RFC and Murray international Holdings lied and misled HMRC.
    If Murray had cleared the £18m bank debt, instead of selling to Craig Whyte, maybe the club would have got through it. The blame for me will always lie with David Murray

    • Hi, thought we’d let this/you through one last time. The author of this piece also works in this sector and in his case happens to be a supporter of the club. Your type (Handwringer, apologist or Celtic fan) isn’t welcome here. Goodbye.

  4. Wonder if celtic will issue a letter of apology. Wonder if the person(s) who leaked the false damaging information will be found and charged. Wonder if a public inquiry will be held. It is now true that hmrc went ALL OUT to damage RFC. It is now fact that HMRC has not went after any other club who used this system. It is now apparent that this was nothing more than a witch hunt. WE WANT A PUBLIC ENQUIRY!!

  5. The Court of Appeal has found that HM Revenue and Customs do owe a duty of care to a taxpayer if it makes mistakes. As a consequence of the decisions in Neil Martin v Commissioners for HMRC [2007] EWCA Civ 1041, the taxpayer may sue HMRC for damages in certain circumstances.28 Oct 2007 – Sue the bastards!!

  6. Hopefuly someone will go to prison for this and maybe we'll see a paper trail to other Rangers Haters out there as well…..watp 55

  7. But…. we had run out of money…. we had stopped paying staff…… EBT's stopped for ever but here we are today, still making a loss year after year, unaudited accounts detail £11.6M this year, £13.2M last year, total losses for 2 very successful years £24.8M. Now you can rightly see significant improvements in the team and the stadium, however we are paying for these improvements by losses and indicating increased values due to player value increases in particular. It then becomes a similar gamble to our fall into liquidation. If it works great, if not disaster. Two sides to every story, bear in mind nothing about our accounts can be 100% verified, but there are quite a few shaking, hoping and praying it will work out, if we do not stop the rot (win the league this year) I cannot see any way back as the other side will and have the finance to make our task almost impossible, we will have no financial clout to complete and the present team will not have enough compete. Just hope they do not decide to splash a bit more funding in January and hope even further that the Europa League gets in their way more than ours, a couple of injuries and we are well and truly goosed (Morelas and Jack). J

  8. A full investigation is indeed required and due to HMRC's miscalculation and blocking of a CVA I am confident King will have us back in court suing HMRC for hundreds of millions…reputational damages, loss of player assets, loss of domestic and European prize/TV money, loss of revenue, sponsorships, gate receipts…not to mention the potential individual suits by staff who were made redundant. This would easily allow us to pay off the actual tax we owed, bring the oldco back, and transfer all assets back over as King mentioned back in 2015 and finally end septics sevco garbage for good. This is the start of a very long thread which has just been pulled. The truth will come out…only remains to be seen if there was something more sinister behind the witch hunt. We Are The People. We Are The Famous. No Surrender!

  9. The BBC, SPFL and celtic ALL need to hold their respective hands up, and issue an apology, and maybees celtic should issue a letter of apology. It is worth wondering who controlled this debacle within hmrc and who checked the checker, and how long did they know of this travesty of justice and how long did they sit on it. Rangers and their fans need a public enquiry to find the truth and to see who was involved, and most important who the drivers of this most heinous crime were.

  10. A full investigation should be carried out, there is skulduggery going on here, if I can remember correctly there was a lot of leaks to the press on the issue from the side of the HMRC.
    Sue the f*ckers and if it's true that two HMRC workers that was dealing with the case were Celtic season ticket holders, Jail the scum

  11. While it is true that a tax expert runs the club shrouded in smoke, the historic case has always reeked of interference with those biologically programmed to be second best.

  12. Fuckin public inquiry needed and mega compo payout cunts,they tried there best to put us put the game and failed fannies


  13. We can sell Morelas if it makes you happy Dechlan. But we will be keeping Morelos, and we will be taking 55 as well as the League Cup Final.
    You getting feart? You've every right to be.

  14. Liquidation, however unfortunate was for a reason, we could not pay our way, EBT's around the UK were found to be unlawful, better supporting the team now as any case against HMRC has no chance in court if it were ever to get there. Tax case aside we should be talking more with our rivals from the East about how to achieve entry into world leagues if you are interested in money, thing is, money is not everything, building a club on solid foundations is worth its weight in Gold, perhaps we are starting to see that come to pass, but we need to win the league this season or it could well end in tears again J

    • J
      We could have paid our way. If we owed £20 million, that could easily have been raised. Either from investors, or we could have sold a couple of players. Look at those we lost and tell me they were not worth decent money? Davis and Naismith even then would have raised £10 million. A couple of others and we would have been fine.
      End in tears? Are you sure you are on the right site? Did Kerrydale Street give you permission to come on here?

  15. I've always felt since 2012 that there was a story to tell here. What it needs is someone with the right knowledge and some good contacts and the best interests of Rangers at heart, or at the very least a sense of fair play. We need to know why HMRC started down the road they took, why other clubs and institutions weren't similarly investigated, who was behind the monumental error and when did they know about and what if anything they tried to do about it. Above all we need to know what redress is open to us.

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