U.K. Tax Authority Lodges Appeal on Rangers Tribunal Ruling

HM Revenue & Customs are trying to overturn a November ruling that allowed the use of employee benefit trusts by the former Rangers Football Club, the U.K. tax authority today said.

HMRC was today given leave to appeal against the ruling, Ron Barrie, a spokesman for the tax authority, said in an interview. The appeal is scheduled to be heard by a Second Tier Tax Tribunal later this year, Barrie said.

The club, which went into liquidation last year, used the trusts to make tax-free loans totaling 47.7 million pounds ($75.1 million) to players and staff between 2001 and 2010 in the form of tax-free loans. HMRC had challenged the payments, arguing they were illegal and subject to tax.

Judges on the First Tier Tax Tribunal ruled 2-to-1 in November that the payments were loans that could be repaid and so were not liable to income tax. Appeals against their rulings are only allowable on a point of law, according to the Ministry of Justice website.

The reformed team now plays in the fourth division of Scottish soccer.

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