The National Audit Office Criticises HMRC for Handling of Alleged Tax Avoidance Cases – And Says It Needs to Do More!

The National Audit Office (NAO) scrutinises public spending on behalf of Parliament.

Its audit of central government has two main aims.

According to the NAO website:-

“By reporting the results of our audits to Parliament, we hold government departments and bodies to account for the way they use public money, thereby safeguarding the interests of taxpayers. In addition, our work aims to help public service managers improve performance and service delivery.”

The NAO itself was one of the Thatcher Government’s creations in 1983, as part of her “war” with the Civil Service. Whilst the National Audit Act started as a Private Member’s Bill, it was seen as being a device by Mrs Thatcher to try to wrest some control of Government Departments back into the hands of politicians, rather than having the reins held by the real-life Sir Humphrey Applebys who manned (and it usually was “manned”) the Civil Service.

The Act also created the Public Accounts Commission, to oversee the NAO, perhaps to ensure that the undoubted independence of the NAO was not taken too far.

Yesterday the NAO released a new report which can be found here.

The Comptroller and Auditor-General, Amyas Morse, was quoted saying:-

Mr Amyas Morse, Edinburgh-born Comptroller and Auditor-General

“HMRC must push harder to find an effective way to tackle the promoters and users of the most aggressive tax avoidance schemes. Though its disclosure regime has helped to change the market, it has had little impact on the persistent use of highly contrived schemes which deprives the public purse of billions of pounds.

“It is inherently difficult to stop tax avoidance as it is not illegal. But HMRC needs to demonstrate how it is going to reduce the 41,000 avoidance cases it currently has open.”

The report summary goes on to say:-

The tax avoidance disclosure regime introduced in 2004 by HMRC has helped the department make some important headway in reducing the opportunities for avoidance. However, there is little evidence that HMRC is making progress in preventing the sale of highly contrived tax avoidance schemes to a large number of taxpayers.

In each of the last four years, over 100 new avoidance schemes have been disclosed. While HMRC believes most of these would be defeated if tested in the courts, there is no evidence that their usage is reducing.

Today’s National Audit Office report recognizes, however, that DOTAS has helped HMRC to change tax law and prevent some types of avoidance activity. Since the introduction of the regime, HMRC has initiated 93 changes to tax law designed to reduce avoidance. DOTAS has also helped to change the market of tax avoidance schemes, and the larger accountancy firms are now less active in this area.

Tax avoidance is not illegal and is therefore inherently difficult to stop. A potential avoider can use a scheme to gain a tax advantage until HMRC can prove that the arrangement is not consistent with tax law. This is a resource-intensive process which can take many years and often requires litigation.

HMRC has increased its focus on the tax affairs of high net worth and affluent individuals. While its high net worth unit set up in 2009 brought in £200 million of revenue that would otherwise have been lost in 2011-12, there are still 41,000 open avoidance cases relating to marketed schemes used by individuals and small businesses, and HMRC has yet to demonstrate how this number will be reduced.

The large number of users of mass-marketed schemes presents a challenge to HMRC. It has identified around 30,000 users of ‘partnership loss’ schemes and disguised remuneration schemes. It has sought to tackle such schemes by litigating a few ‘lead cases’ to demonstrate to other users that the scheme will not succeed in the courts. While HMRC has a good success rate when it litigates, its investigations can take many years to resolve and it cannot always successfully apply the rulings in lead cases to other cases.

HMRC has an anti-avoidance strategy, but does not monitor its costs and has not yet identified how it will evaluate its effectiveness. This limits its ability to make informed decisions about where to direct its avoidance activity.


Let’s make a quick checklist of the main points, shall we?

  • HMRC must push harder to find an effective way to tackle the promoters and users of the most aggressive tax avoidance schemes.
  • Highly contrived schemes which deprive the public purse of billions of pounds.
  • Little evidence that HMRC is making progress in preventing the sale of highly contrived tax avoidance schemes.
  • A potential avoider can use a scheme to gain a tax advantage until HMRC can prove that the arrangement is not consistent with tax law.
  • This process can take many years.
  • It often requires litigation.
  • There are still 41,000 open avoidance cases relating to marketed schemes used by individuals and small businesses.
  • HMRC has identified around 30,000 users of ‘partnership loss’ schemes and disguised remuneration schemes.
  • It has sought to tackle such schemes by litigating a few ‘lead cases’ to demonstrate to other users that the scheme will not succeed in the courts.
  • HMRC has a good success rate when it litigates.
  • But its investigations can take many years to resolve.
  • HMRC cannot always successfully apply the rulings in lead cases to other cases.

That report and the undoubted criticism that HMRC will get for not doing enough to bring in the billions of pounds of tax income to which this report relates are likely to have an effect on how the tax recovery strategies framed by the taxman are revised.

I suspect that this is probably the worst time for a high-profile and high-value case relating to allegedly artificially constructed disguised remuneration schemes to have been decided against HMRC by a split First Tier Tribunal, especially where there are reputed to be many thousands of those cases still open, with billions of pounds at stake.

It would seem to place a great deal of pressure on HMRC to take such a case, should there be one, to appeal, even if only “pour encourager les autres”.

However, I can’t immediately think of such a case off the top of my head.

If there was, then the allegedly delinquent taxpayer might have to put his celebratory champagne back on ice for a few weeks until time for appeal has come and gone.

But we don’t know of anyone in that position, do we…

Posted by Paul McConville


Filed under HMRC, Uncategorized

264 responses to “The National Audit Office Criticises HMRC for Handling of Alleged Tax Avoidance Cases – And Says It Needs to Do More!

  1. Ecojon,

    surely you are not slamming the Daily Record! Its a bastion of truth, probity
    and rectitude. Gawd what are you thinking man!

  2. ecojon

    @ Martin

    If they don’t get their act together I’ll be boycotting it or starting an online petition 🙂

  3. mick

    The spl tribunal god ahead all the spin failed and they mentioned the diviling serial of the ftt so that’s that then and the Elgin match is of as it’s been over sold lol

  4. mick

    Bbc mentions the side letters

  5. Forgive me for raising a point about another blogger.

    The more I read Leggo ( I know, I know) I find myself forming the opinion that he does not like Graham Spiers.

    It’s hard to put my finger on exactly why this might be, however in the absence of anything more conclusive I’ve decided that it is a direct result of…Graham’s beautifully quaffed wavy blond hair.

    Mr Leggo seems, judging by his picture, to be a little challenged in this regard

    Knowing the vanity of man I can fully understand how this seemingly petty jealousy has grown into the full rabid hatred we see today.

    pip pip.

  6. While I’m on about other bloggers….

    It seems that Bill has only gone and got himself saved.

    We live in strange times 🙂

    • Alas the first comment on Bills post refers to the Elgin game being ‘off’ due to ‘over subscription’ whatever that means.

      Kinda spoils the mood of religious fervor, but hey, that’s football.

  7. we know what they did last summer and the one before that and the one before that and the one before that and the one before that…….

  8. KMac

    Apologies if someone has already posted this link. The most definitive article I have read on recent events – Compelling.

    • The chap must have missed the result what was it again ?

    • JohnBhoy

      Excellent learned article. The evidence brought by HMRC was dearly damning but they shot themselves in the foot by arguing that the loan scheme was not a sham. Bizarre. Given the detail in these findings, and the unchallenged damning view of the dissenting tribunal member, I can now understand why Murray is not gloating and has gone to ground. BDO and Nimmo have just been handed a couple of silver bullets.

      • redetin

        “not a sham”
        Of course in rangers terms, that’s a ringin endorsement of the trust and loan sheme.
        However, that’s a long long way fae it being entirely legal in terms of set up and management, and in terms of the money that players received, not as part of wages, but somehow not for playing football (eg appearance money”).
        A long way to go on this one, mibbe even an elephant trap layed by HMRC, wha kens the workins o the legal mind?

        • JohnBhoy

          Murray’s devious machinations have been exposed revealing, inter alia, side letters not declared to the SPL. Even without an appeal by HMRC, Rangers and related parties are in deep dodo. They lost a major war, were disarmed, summarily exiled and, even though they have been retrospectively declared winners in an earlier battle, they are now about to be called to account for their war crimes.

          Xmas has certainly come early for BDO, Nimmo et al. Is it any wonder that the usual suspects – Ally, Hateley, Jabba, Murray, etc. – want to ‘move on’.

      • ecojon

        @ JohnBhoy

        More like bandolier methinks 🙂

  9. mick

    Nice to see 1of our commenters hitting out with the facts

  10. What was the rtc chappie saying again about illegal, he really shouldn’t give up the day job, those Californian servers to pay….

    I have information on Rangers’ tax case, and I will use this blog to provide the details of what Rangers FC have done, why it was illegal, and what the implications are for one of the largest football clubs in Britain.

    • mick

      We’d the clubbed died due to dodging taxes get real rtc told you what msm would not rtc woke up the nation to the scam all your wayward texts can’t change that you sound like jabba totally deluded the insurance people are moving in it was proven there was insurance fraud from a good source and they did not win that’s bought headlines via msm and Murray

    • mick

      That’s like. The articles Eco does are you moon lighting on other sites lol. What a great read a shout ticketus in ma sleep lol this hits the nail alright gamma level news green must explain before 3rd as we will put 2and2together then well sevco fans stick that in your pipe and smoke it

  11. mick

    We have thought that all along on here this Proves or speculation is spot on well done a look forward to the rep once to this over the weekend

  12. ecojon

    Tax avoiders to get warning shot from HMRC

    Interesting approach by Hector to contact punters direct and basically tell them if they don’t get out of these aggressive tax avoidance schemes that they will be put under microscope – this really is a good use of scarce Hector resources.

    Interesting bit from story:

    Tax avoidance schemes have hit the headlines in recent months. They have included the Jersey-based K2 scheme which featured the membership – now cancelled – of comedian Jimmy Carr. More than 1,000 people were thought to be using the scheme which was said to be sheltering £168m a year from the Treasury.

    Under the K2 scheme, an individual resigned from their company and any salary they subsequently received was paid to an offshore trust which then lent investors back the money. As this is a loan that can technically be recalled, there was no income tax due.

    Seems to me that HMRC really needs an enforceable legal decision over what is actually a genuine loan and what isn’t. It may well increase pressure on HMRC to appeal the Rangers FTT decision because if they were successful it would put the wind up thousands of people in aggressive tax avoidance schemes.

    As I have said repeatedly, the Rangers case was never primarily about Rangers as far as HMRC was concerned – they have much bigger fish to fry. It might be that they have another case on the stocks virtually ready to take forward to try and get the necessary legal backing to deal with the ‘loan’ issue.

    If not that increases the pressure on them from on-high to actually appeal the Rangers case although they will obviously have to pour over the two reports (majority & minority) from the legal perspective to see if the legal wiggle-room remains in view of the fact that the the HMRC Counsel appears to have been at great pains to declare that the Murray Group trusts were not a ‘sham’.

    To a lay person like myself I don’t understand why that seemingly important concession was given and not argued and then left to the tribunal to decide on. But I can only think that HMRC isn’t stupid so there must be a reason.

    It will be interesting to see what the reason is and what happens if HMRC goes looking for repayment of the loans in certain cases or indeed any tax liabilities incurred. Of course at that stage the people approached might argue they weren’t loans but indeed wages.

    Just where that would leave the original majority decision in the Rangers FTT case would be interesting legally if it hadn’t been appealed in the interim. But it all depends on whether Hector was playing a clever long game by not arguing the loans were a ‘sham’. Time will tell – it might just have been a mistake 🙂

    • Carl 31

      just looking at those numbers alone…

      About 1000 people in a scheme that shelters some £168m from the Treasury – an average of £168k per person.
      RTC (NG) saw some £47m avoided tax amongst 108 EBTs of Murray Group employees – an average of £435k per person.

      • ecojon

        @ carl31

        This one is a pilot scheme and they are sending out four different letters I think so they judge which is most effective at getting punters to chuck the schemes and get cash back.

        They probably had quite a few different factors to think about when choosing it as a pilot and not just the actual money. Maybe they thought they could really get a PR result and that would therefore soften-up all sorts of other people in other schemes.

        However, HMRC does work in mysterious ways like not arguing the Rangers trust funds were a ‘sham’ which even seems to have surprised the FTT who made it clear that this left them legally no option in certain regards as to their decision.

        Beyond me but either the whole HMRC legal team are a bunch of dodos or they had a good reason. Tbh my money would be on the latter but it might be a while before it is clarified, to use an in buzzword 🙂

        And the clarification might not even come regarding Rangers.

  13. Adam

    HMRC cant go looking for repayment of the loans. As for a comment on the previous page in relation to “inane dribble”, are you reading any of the above ? 🙂

  14. mick

    Ticketus ?????doomed am telling ya lol

  15. Robert D Bruce

    Can anyone out there please help me.

    I have been to my bank manager and I’ve applied for a loan. The loan is for a figure amounting to 90% of my annual salary. The bank manager has agreed to give it to me in staged payments. When I receive my salary I will be advance 90% of my salary figure by way of a loan.
    My dilemma is this. I can get critical injury cover for the value of my salary but the insurance company won’t cover me for the amount of the advances I will be getting from the bank. This means that if I were to be injured or fall ill and could not perform my normal duties I would be covered fot the just over half of what would be my normal income, i.e. my salary minus the loan amount.
    I read somewhere that others have managed in the past to get such cover, where the insurance company will pay out not only for the amount of my salary but will also cover the amount that the bank will be advancing me on a monthly basis.
    To illustrate my problem further please take time to read the following:

    In 2005, Mr Evesham sustained an injury and was expected to be out of action for some months. The Board Report of February 2005 (16/J/184) for Rangers Football Club Plc, Football Business Unit, recorded the player’s injury on page 4 and noted that after a six-week excess period the insurance policy to cover Mr Evesham’s wage costs would pay £24,365 a week. Extrapolating the weekly figure by 10 multiplying with the fraction 365/7 gives an equivalent of annual wage costs of £1,270,460. The injury fell within the period of the third contract when the gross salary of Mr Evesham was stated at £667,000. It would appear that the insurance
    cover took into account the £667,000 and the £600,000 through trust payments to arrive at £1,267,000 per annum. For the season 2004/2005, Rangers did receive 15 insurance payment for Mr Evesham of £388,722 for the period from 23 January 2005 to 30 June 2005, a total of 22 weeks, and discounting the first six weeks excess, the payment was closely matched to 16 weeks at £24,365, which should give a total of £389,840.

    Now, if this goalkeeper can be covered by a policy such as I am looking for, they must exist.

    Can anyone point me in the direction of any company willing to provide me with such cover.

    • Adam

      I think you are looking for the wrong type of insurance to be fair. If however you work for a company and they think you are a key person and want to insure themselves against the possibility of you being ill, then im sure they will have an easier time finding a policy you describe above than you will finding one for yourself.

  16. Adam

    You can get cover for all wages, all injury bills, any potential replacement costs, any loss of other income. The type of insurance you describe above is not limited to a persons annual salary.

  17. Adam

    So to be clear and go straight to your point, if a player was on a basic salary of £25k per week and the insurance company paid £35k per week, it does not then automatically mean this was to cover EBT’s. There are a whole host of reasons as to why a company would insure more than a weekly salary and it is very common with skilled individuals.

  18. Adam

    Given that a huge ground swell of peoples opinion was founded from information on RTC’s blog, can anyone honestly admit on here that they have been hugely disappointed that since the verdict, not only has the entire website been deleted, but the twitter account has ceased to provide any further information or make comment ?

    Can i also ask if people believe that as the information the BBC and RTC was personal and private that the people leaking the information should be prosecuted ?

    • Carl 31

      Hi Adam,
      Please see my post from earlier this week in which I state, not disappointment, but that I clearly held the wrong opinion on the RTC – I got it wrong.

      Would you care to voice an opinion on the instances which were conceded by MIH and those which were lost?

      Are you disappointed with the actions and behaviour of Rangers, as evidenced?

      • Adam

        From what i can read, MIH conceded that for 5 people, there was sufficient confusion in the documentation as to warrant a tax liability. It does not confirm however that any of the 5 are Rangers FC employees as we need to keep reminding ourselves this was HMRC v MIH essentially.

        There is many a rumour about 30, 31, 33, 34 or 35 cases not mentioned in the decision paper. Until i see evidence of this, then i will remain silent.

        • Carl 31

          What is written in the doc is that…
          MIH conceded a number of cases (see pg58)
          Lost 5 out of those cases that were not conceded.
          (see pg56)

          This means that they were found to have not paid the tax due in 5 instances that they specifically appealed under the ‘umbrella’ appeal that was the BTC. Important to say these were within the overall decion of ‘appeal allowed’ (see pg 1), but are there just the same.

          • Adam


            Paragraph 233 “It was conceded that advances in favour of certain players are taxable and liable to NIC,” specifically relates to Paragraph 210 in relation to the 5 individuals where it was conceded that tax would be due.

            Paragraph 233 “and we have found that in certain other limited instances, there may be a similar liability” specifically relates to Paragraph 211 in relation to Mr Black, his sons, Mr Indigo and Mr Red where the tribunal states “While we do not express a concluded view on the following 5 persons’ subtrusts, we consider that exceptional considerations may arise occasioning PAYE and NIC liability.”

            Absolutely 100% certain on this.

          • Adam

            Actually, just reading your point back and I may have read it incorrectly. Based on what i have said above, are you in agreement with me.

            And that there isnt another tranche that we are aware of (the 30, 31, 33, 34, 35 rumour) who have been accepted.

            Apologies if i read you wrong by the way

        • ecojon

          @ Adam

          I am shocked at the blatant inaccuracies in your post and might I suggest that before giving information purporting to be fact that you should actually check that it is accurate otherwise it might lead to certain conclusions being drawn re your motives.

          You say the FTT was basically HMRC v MIH essentially. It wasn’t – there were 5 appellant companies one of which was Rangers and I can only assume you haven’t read the decision as it clearly splits and deals with the separate issues involving employees of each appellant company.

          Of the 108 sub-trusts set up, 81 of them are for employees of Rangers. Over three-quarters of the sub-trusts relate to Rangers’ employees, and nearly 80% of the total assessments (£36.6m out of £46.2m) relate to Rangers. The issue of side letters as far as I am aware relate only to the 81 Rangers sub trusts.

          You also state that there is no evidence that the five people, where it was agreed there was tax liability, were actually Rangers players. That is utter nonsense and the FTT decision states quite clearly on a number of occasions the five were Rangers players. Again to be charitable about your ‘error’ I can only assume you have read very little other than biased MSM reports.

          I assume that when at work you would expect any subordinate to perform much more accurately than you have achieved here especially with matters that are very simply verifiable.

          • Adam

            Firstly, i am sure you are aware that Rangers were part of the Murray empire and that Murray Group or as i referred to them MIH handled the entire case. You will also see that the main witnesses in the workings of the scheme were related to Murray Group or such offspring of a working relationship with Murray. That deals with your first part.

            Re the second part, upon a second reading, when looking at a question from Carl, i confirmed above that it was indeed 5 Rangers players where there was enough confusion as to warrant taxation. It is 2 posts above your reply, but you may not have read that part before typing the above out.

            Unlike others, i dont mind admitting mistakes when i make them. I made a mistake. I corrected it.

    • Dalriadan

      Are you talking about RTC (IA) or RTC (IL)?

      We need to be precise here, no?

  19. see the elgin game is off due to TOO MAY TICKETS SOLD!!!! i wonder how sold out saturday is coming along ? and will celtic relay their attendance figures or hide them for another week?

  20. Adam

    Not sure if this has been raised before but do people realise that the thumbs up and thumbs down thing demonstrate a classic example of bigotry.

    • Den

      Not sure how you come to that conclusion.

      I rarely bother using them but where I see a well written and logical post I do like to give it TU as I like information. Sometimes a load of rubbish is posted and I may hit the TD, mostly I just let it go.

      There has been a spate of TDs recently and some people have seen something sinister in it, I really don’t know or care.

      Bigotry to my understanding and experience is something lot more serious than a single keystroke on blogs that are not even going to be tomorrow’s chip paper.

      • Adam

        I jump to the conclusion because clearly, unlike yourself, people press the thumbs down based on their prejudice against a particular poster.

        A case and example of this is on an uncontentious point/post: “You can get cover for all wages, all injury bills, any potential replacement costs, any loss of other income. The type of insurance you describe above is not limited to a persons annual salary.” 5 people gave it the thumbs down.

        It was merely a true answer to a question yet 5 people right away gave it thumbs down. The only rational reason for that is their prejudice against the person writing it.

        And i need to point(which also answers the nest question) out that i am not claiming it to be the Old Firm “bigotry”, it is the true meaning of bigotry i am referring to.

        • Den

          I guess that if my definition of “bigotry” was the “true meaning” we may agree. If you would post the “true meaning” you refer to we could find out. I admit that my interpretation of bigotry is the kind of West of Scotland one which is very serious and emotive. Your definition may not have that baggage and therefore your post will make more sense to me.

          I tend to agree that some of the thumb activity is related to the poster, much of it is probably signifying agreement or disagreement with the point of view of the poster, sometimes it seems that disagreement with one of your posts leads to TD for subsequent posts.

          For the record your thumbs down didn’t come from me.

    • ecojon

      @ Adam

      Ah but is that the Scottish bigotry or the Olde French bigoterie? Or even the Yorkshire one 🙂

  21. Carl 31

    1. open TC02372.
    2. Hold ‘ctrl’ key and simultaneously press ‘F’ to open the ‘find’ function.
    3. Type the words “not guilty” into the find function box. The reader will then seek out this phrase, ‘not guilty’.
    4. Observe the result.

    • Adam

      There was no guilty or not guilty in this case. It wasnt a trial. HMRC said MIH owed them x. MIH said they didnt. The Independent Tribunal decided that MIH were correct in their assessment and that HMRC were wrong.

      No-one was guilty or not guilty.

      • Carl 31

        Wont stop the tabloids though …

      • ecojon

        @ Adam

        However some extremely senior and professionally qualified people acted in what can only be a shocking manner and if the case was as weak as some now proclaim it is a source of wonderment to be why these people behaved in the way that they did.

  22. Adam

    Can you explain please ecojon – Are you meaning that if the case was so weak that the top bods in HMRC shouldnt have pursued it ???

    • Mick

      All thou there is a feel of they got of lightly don’t forget there was reports of a police investigation in to the ibrokes tax issues strathclyde police as am lead to believe have a live case against oldco it was in the media how would the ftt result affect this ?????

    • ecojon

      @ Adam

      My meaning is clear and I try to write in an open manner without twisting words but it would appear you don’t share my aims. Trying to put words into someone’s mouth really is cheap but if that is how you wish to behave carry on.

      I would have thought that my statement: ‘However some extremely senior and professionally qualified people acted in what can only be a shocking manner’ might actually have caused you, as a senior businessman with certain standards, to actually explain why they would act like that especially with your apparent knowledge of MIH and its workings.

      • Adam

        ecojon , i honestly wasnt sure what you meant. If you are asking me to judge Senior Murray Group officials based on limited information i know, then i would honestly say that i trust that the Independent panel made the right decision given that they heard 5 or 6 days of evidence as well as read over thousands of documents from a 10 year period.

        I think they are in a much better position to reach the correct decision than you and I.

        • ecojon

          @ Adam

          You are incorrect with the 5/6 day hearing btw – It lasted for 29 days of which 17 days were for the examination of evidence.

          Unfortunately I do not have the legal expertise to make a judgement on the correctness or not of the tribunal decisions. But I am left with what appears, to my limited legal capabilities, to be two widely differing opinions and I find it hard to see how HMRC won’t appeal to actually have some important legal issues resolved and this has nothing specifically to do with Rangers.

          But HMRC, as I have previously stated, might have another case they regard as a better option to get the ‘right’ legal result for them so they may well walk-away from the Rangers case and its conflicting decisions.

          But only HMRC knows the answer to that one so we will have to wait and see what they decide. If they don’t appeal this and they don’t have another suitable case ready to roll then it might be quicker to go for new legislation but I don’t see that as likely as this parliament will soon be running out of legislative time before the GE.

          • Adam

            I am pretty sure they only heard 5 or 6 days as stated though and the rest of the time was all the documentation etc. Not that it matters mind you, as the point remains the same.

            • ecojon

              @ Adam

              WRONG AGAIN!

              9. The Hearing, recorded by stenographers, lasted for 29 days over four diets, of which 17 days were for the examination of evidence.

              I thought you might have been out of the country during the hearings and you possibly weren’t using the internet to keep in touch with Rangers tax matters.

              But maybe not because I keep forgetting your special knowledge 🙂

            • Adam

              My apologies. I thought i got that from RTC site actually but it was a long time ago and obviously cant check back now.

  23. Adam

    “led to believe” lol

  24. ecojon

    @ Adam

    There were 5 different appellant companies with different legal issues applying to some companies and, in particular, Rangers. There were also some common issues. As you are well aware each of the appellant companies has a separate legal persona and whether you wish to accept it or not Rangers was the employer of 81 of the 108 people with sub-trusts. The balance of 27 were employed by other companies.

    However if you continue to the line that the Rangers Board had no real responsibilities in this matter and it was all down to MIH well that’s one way of looking at it and might explain why SPL/SFA weren’t told about the side-letters. I love the line about ‘enough confusion’ btw – it’s a cracker 🙂

    As to your correction that gave me a good laugh as I reckon you would need to be a Philadelphia Lawyer to work out that was a ‘correction’ to your mistake.

    • Adam

      Puting words in my mouth now.

      “However if you continue to the line that the Rangers Board had no real responsibilities in this matter and it was all down to MIH”

      I never said that. What i said was “the main witnesses in the workings of the scheme were related to Murray Group or such offspring of a working relationship with Murray”

      It is my view, and i believe the view of many, that this scheme was implemented in Murray Group first and it was David Murray who pushed it into Rangers. I dont believe the rest of the Rangers Board at the time had much of a say so in it(which was pretty much the way with everything truth be told). This wouldnt have absolved them of any blame if the scheme was found to be wrong mind you.

      Re the correction, did i clarify or not after my initial post that it was indeed 5 players ?

      • ecojon

        @ Adam

        Personally I find it hard to see it as a clarification. I would have said something like: ‘Hey carl those five people I said weren’t Rangers players actually are Rangers players. Sorry 🙂

        You did just enough to cover your ‘error’ if that’s what it was and no more and didn’t actually state they were Rangers players in your clarification just ‘players’. Not very open at all and I reckon you are one well worth the watching.

        In a similar situation I would have apologised for disseminating seriously incorrect information. I really find it hard to understand how you could have innocently got it so wrong when you said the five weren’t Rangers players – you must have known they were Rangers players as it states that in several bits of the decision.

        • Adam

          Im happy to apologise and say i got it wrong. For the record though, prior to Carl posing the question, i had not connected para 233 to 210. If you read para 210 on its own, it states 5 anon names and doesnt state players which is unusual as in most other instances, it does distinguish when it talks about players. That is why i said ” It does not confirm however that any of the 5 are Rangers FC employees”

          When Carl then pointed out para 233 which i had read but didnt pick up the connection at the time, then it clearly stated it was “5 players”.

          So, i hope that explains my position and please accept my apology for my original statement as it actually does confirm it at a later stage in the decision.

          • ecojon

            @ Adam

            No need to apologise as I knew you were wrong anyway. However I will accept it on behalf of people who might have read it and believed it.

      • ecojon

        @ Adam

        Are you happy then about Ally and his reported wish to see Murray’s role at Ibrox be rehabilitated in the eyes of the fans?

        • Adam

          No. Murray and his dealings opened the door to Craig Whyte. Something he should never, ever, be forgiven for.

          • ecojon

            @ Adam

            We agree on something 🙂 You may not believe this but I have no wish to see Rangers destroyed and never have had. I think they are important for Scottish football and not just in a financial sense. I have openly expressed this opinion on here on many occasions and some Celtic fans disagree with my viewpoint which they are entitled to do.

            The actions of the SFA, SPL and SFL beggar belief this year and reconstruction aside we need a clear-out of some of the people at the top of the game.

            Rangers starting back in the SFL3 was gerrymandered – we all know that but I believe it was necessary and it appeared to be what a helluva lot of supporters wanted as well. I thought it might give decent Rangers fans the opportunity to reclaim their club but it hasn’t and what I see emanating from, what now appears to be a large section of the Ibrox support, isn’t pretty. And yea we have our bampots as well but they ain’t wagging the dog.

            I also happen to think that chico is possibly the worst nightmare the club could ever have ended-up with and I really now fear for its future and wonder what will actually be left when the circus departs Ibrox. There might not be enough left to save a second time.

            • Adam

              I 100% agree on SPL and SFA. Utterly clueless from top to bottom. I think the SFL have come out if it with some credit the way they handled things to be honest.

              As for chicco who i presume is Charles Green, well whilst cautious, i feel he has done well.

              Some will see that as blue specs but those of you that can remember me from RTC, i was very outspoken on Whyte when a vast majority of Rangers fans were hooked, lined and sinkered.

  25. We all now understand that there is a legal difference between tax “avoidance” & tax “evasion”.
    This does not mean that there is therefore necessarily a moral difference between the two!
    Recently, when Jimmy Carr was found to have avoided tax using a technically legal scheme similar to the MIH/Rangers EBT scheme, our Prime Minister denounced it as “Morally wrong”.
    The implication was that Jimmy Carr had cheated society: I don’t recall either the Met or Strathclyde Police going after Mr Cameron for making this assertion!
    Yet the tax avoidance – and moral evasion – of Rangers under David Murray is financially many times what Jimmy Carr cost to the public purse/our communal social enterprise.
    Rangers & their supporters seem now (in the absence of an HMRC appeal, anyway) to hold the legal high ground.
    But they cannot hold the moral high ground until they demand that their fabulously wealthy ex-players repay more than £47 million pounds to the off shore Jersey Trust so that this Trust can repay that huge amount to oldco RFC: with the intention that half of it is paid as the tax that was morally due and the rest is paid out to the creditors large & small who were stiffed by the reckless gambling of David Murray

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