HMRC has won its case against Scottish football club Rangers over the use of Employee Benefit Trusts (EBTs) as a means of avoiding tax, which means it can now pursue a range of cases against firms using them. The Supreme Court verdict was the final appeal after a series of tribunals had ruled in favour of the club.
The ruling will not directly impact Rangers, as it was run by a separate company - the Murray Group - when using EBTs to pay players and staff over £47 million between 2001 and 2010. The club went into liquidation in 2012 and was immediately reformed, having to start again at the lowest level of Scottish league football as a 'newco'.
However, HMRC's victory - in what has become known as the "big tax case" - could impact many other companies, including football clubs, that used EBTs before a legal crackdown was launched in 2010. Director general of HMRC's customer compliance group David Richardson said: "This decision has wide-ranging implications for other avoidance cases and we encourage anyone who’s tried to avoid tax on their earnings to now agree with us the tax owed.