Sunday, September 15, 2013

Lord Nimmo-Smith/SFA. Advantage, Bampots?

There were a few flutters of excitement on Friday as news spread that HMRC's UTT case will be heard next year. I'm not for one second setting myself up as an expert on this but as in the last 15 months I've been stalking David Murray like Carlos The Jackal stalks his next victim, I think it's important to shed some light on what it means for Minty.

Sorry to disappoint, but not very much.

Rangers are dead and so are any liabilities that would come out of this case.The key thing to remember here is that, even if they are found to be guilty, it doesn't automatically mean that what they did was deliberate fraud. 

Now we all know what we think ... but from a legal point of view it's a different story.

It just means that their EBT scheme should have involved paying tax but they didn't pay it because they thought it was a legal tax reduction scheme. Tax avoidance is perfectly legal and that's what they thought they were doing.

HMRC are, of course, desperate for a guilty verdict as they want a precedent set and the opportunity to go after another football club, a much bigger fish, in London.

The case doesn't rest on covering up, it's about the scheme itself. 

There are similar schemes around the world that are perfectly legal but what's at stake here (amongst other 
things) is whether or not Rangers were using these trusts as regular salary payments (which is not allowed).

That's why it's not a slam-dunk that they'll be found guilty. Despite an appeal being granted.

It's a big headache for the SFA if the decision is reversed though because it will effectively show that these were salary payments ... at a fraction of what the cost should have been.

That there is the clear breach of SFA rules but, much more importantly, is the sporting advantage that Lord Nimmo-Smith told us didn't exist.

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