Rangers: The “Experts” Speak

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7 Responses

  1. Mike Bhoyle says:

    This is the second article of yours I have read….and I’m most impressed.
    You bring a clarity and insight into the current shambles at Rangers in a banaced and informative way.
    You quite rightly slate the Scottish Media for their “silence” on certain matters and their ignorance on just about all other matters..well done.
    I have no wish to know your background or your football “preferences”…but if you’re not Scottish….and are new to this situation….I can confirm that people like me have been aware of it for more years than we care to remember.
    Keep up the good work.

  2. Martin Kelly says:

    Interesting article but I’m afraid that it contains its own “basic misunderstandings, particularly on the tax evasion/avoidance distinction. Tax evasion is the deliberate non-payment of taxes, in the knowledge that they are due, and is a criminal offence. Rangers are not currently accused of tax evasion (though some have suggested that they should be). Strictly, there is no such thing as tax avoidance. What people call “tax avoidance” is basically the arranging of one’s affairs in order to minimise one’s tax liabilities, in a way that argaubly conflicts with the so-called ‘spirit’ of the tax laws. But either tax is due as a matter of law (in which case, it must be paid, and deliberate failure to pay it is evasion), or it is not legally due (in which case, nothing has been avoided). This is not just my view but that of Lord Hoffmann, the former senior Law Lord. Tax avoidance is a term that HMRC loves to use to tar those who engage (sometimes unsuccessfully) in tax planning with the same brush as criminals who deliberately evade taxes that are unquestionably due. So it’s better to avoid framing the debate in terms of “tax avoidance”.

    You’re right that setting up and running an EBT is not, in itself, illegal. The Tribunal will determine whether or not the setting up and running of an EBT by Rangers gave rise to (currently unpaid) tax liabilities. If so, then it was illegal (as a matter of civil law) for Rangers not to pay those taxes as they fell due – and Rangers must now cough up. In that sense, “tax avoidance” is illegal – contrary to what you assert in your article. However, if the Tribunal decides in Rangers’ favour, then no tax was due and Rangers have not acted illegally. That is presumably what you meant when you said that “Tax avoidance is legal”. So to recap: successful tax ‘avoidance’ involves no illegality; unsuccessful tax ‘avoidance’ is contrary to the civil law; and tax evasion is a criminal matter. I hope that you’ll agree that the term “tax avoidance” is misleading and gives rise to much confusion.

    Hope that helps!

  3. Vincent says:

    Excellent article. Many thanks.

  4. Martyn Dhowdenden says:

    Thank you for this excellent and, almost unique in the saga,accurate article. I have read with a mixture of disgust and embarrassment the pathetic articles in the Scottish media and listened in disgust as one broadcaster after another on radio Scotland failed to do what they are paid for.

  5. pat says:

    Like a previous poster, this is also the second article on this topic I have read from your site. Again, it was excellent.
    I am pleased that there is no way of telling what your footballing allegiances are, or if you have any at all. It is a well written, researched and balanced piece.

  6. Auldyin says:

    I watched that interview and like you shook my head in disbelief at the inabilty of “experts” to grasp the distinction between the FTT/Big tax case and cause of administration-the non payment of vat/paye/ni since last May.

  7. Mike Bhoyle says:

    You’re not my hero anymore….
    Martin Kelly is….:0)

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