HMRC and the Big Tax Case – Master Plan or Bungle – Guest Post by Raycharlez

This post might be familiar to some, as it was posted as a comment earlier this morning. I thought it worth putting up as a piece on its own.

In context, it was replying to Ecojon’s suggestion of an HMRC master plan in relation to the Big Tax Case.

And now I will pass you over to Raycharlez for his thoughts, with my thanks to him, and I will be back at the end with a quick comment.

————————–

Ecojon,

I would love to fully buy into your writings about HMRC’s legal strategy.

It conjures up a cogent picture of a coherent organisation making long-term legalistic chess moves in a game they are close to mastering.

But I find myself agreeing with Adam’s “hunch” on this one, although for my own non-legalistic reasons.

(Hi Adam, by the way. Nice to see you back. I vividly remember you from RTC and welcomed you back after your last sabbatical. I recall asking you the last time where you had been and you were courteous enough to reply with a voluminous and persuasive explanation. It is indeed serendipitous that another gap in your work commitments and projects has allowed you to return again so soon after the tax ruling. However, I am disappointed, but not surprised, that you are raising the “leak” issue so aggresively. If it was a criminal trial and the material leaked was sub judice then I would be with you 100 per cent. As it is, I believe that from a de facto perspective the information released by RTC was in the public interest and was akin to the leaked information relating to MPs expenses that found their way into the Telegraph.)

But to get back to my point,.

Ecojon, please remember I am a simple layman.

As such I view HMRC as a typical Westminster operation.

In other words it’s a bit of an anachronistic shambles.

I actually gave up reading Private Eye as it only filled me with despair at the way the nation state I live in is administered and governed.

My perception is that while HMRC may be good at going after small-time companies and taxpayers, who can’t afford accountants or lawyers, they struggle against the top dogs who employ legal experts at the pinnacle of their profession.

I realise HMRC has won important cases such as Sempra but is it possible to estimate HMRC’s rough batting average at the high-end scale when they are taking on major corporations in complex tax cases?

At the moment I feel compelled to use Adam’s Occam’s razor approach.

As such, it appears HMRC simply made a mess of a slam-dunk case.

I have read many stories over the years about under-pressure prosecutors failing to convict people in criminal courts because they failed to fill in a legal form correctly or got their dates mixed up.

Such things will happen even in modern constitutional systems that are administratively well-run and well-funded.

But this is Britain. A cobbled-together amalgam that layers modernity on top of an incoherent and somewhat odd feudalistic legal framework.

A country where our fellow citizens don false wigs, olde worlde gowns and silk clobber before addressing red-robed punters as “your Lordship”.

This sort of thing strikes me as strange behaviour in the 21st century and only reinforces my belief that the legal profession as presently constituted is a major barrier that would have to be overcome in order for a modern and legalistically cohesive state to be created, whether that be in the UK as a whole or Scotland in isolation.

It is not perhaps a bit ironic that many people on this blog – who I assume will normally be quick to recognise and lambast the intrinsic ineptitude of government departments in our antiquarian state – have suddenly become convinced that HMRC are tactical legal whiz kids waiting to spring a well-laid trap on Mr Black.

Those cool cats at HMRC must be using Ali’s old rope-a-dope trick!

Is it not actually better to assume they are more like the blundering prehistoric blazers who inhabit the SFA – a 19th century organisation no longer fit for purpose in the modern world.

The outmoded SFA, the legal establishment and Her Majesty’s revenue service all appear to belong in a bygone era to me.

Sorry for the pessimism Ecojon but, as they say in Dragons Den, that’s where I’m at and I’m not buying in to your analysis*.

(*I reserve the right to buy in at a later date if you are right)

————————–

Thanks Ray!

Readers of the FTT decision would have noted the reference to Mr Thomson for HMRC being out-numbered 4-1 by the MIH legal reps.

Was HMRC’s decision a recognition of Mr Thomson’s undoubted skills?
Was it proof of HMRC thinking it had an open goal?

Was it an economic step? In which case “penny wise, pound foolish”?

Posted by Raycharlez, with added meanderings by Paul McConville

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43 Comments

Filed under Guest Posts, HMRC v Rangers, Politics

43 responses to “HMRC and the Big Tax Case – Master Plan or Bungle – Guest Post by Raycharlez

  1. dan

    Ray Charlez, can’t believe you cancelled your subscription to the Eye. I know it’s grim reading at times, with tales of almost impossible bungling by the Great and the Good, and rampant and flagrant corruption among our social betters, bankers, and Captains of Industry, but where else are you going to get the full SP on those cheating, lying, thieving, conniving bastards who lord it over the rest of us—–and let’s face it Ray, the Rangers case is small potatoes when compared to some we could talk about over the Vodaphone network. I regularly meet up for a drink and a chat with a bunch of ordinary stiffs who get incensed about ‘benefit cheats’ and ‘junkies’ who get ‘given everything’ by the poor, long-suffering taxpayer. I reckon if those guys regularly dipped into the Eye and saw who was really screwing them, and for how much, there would be–well–social unrest at the very least.
    (I hope no one from the Eye reads this as I’m likely to be awarded the Order of the Brown Nose, for my troubles.)

    Like you I fear HMRC might have botched this, but hey, at least they get a second chance if they wish to take it. So, who knows?

  2. ecojon

    @ Raycharles

    It may surprise you but there is little in your post that I disagree with. I think you may have missed in the many posts I have written since the Decision and Minority Opinion was published that an equal possibility is that HMRC just got it wrong on the ‘sham’ issue.

    Where my musings ventured was that if they hadn’t got it wrong then it may well have been deliberate for reasons as yet unknown. As I have stated in at least one post there would only be a very few senior tax people and Mr Thomson who would know the answer to that.

    I also did not talk of any masterplan with Rangers being at the centre – what I have always said is that Rangers isn’t actually that important in the overall scheme. To my way of thinking it doesn’t matter how shambolic HMRC might be as an organisation it will have a Master Plan as to how it assembles and marshalls its legal arsenal to deal with tax reduction schemes whether legal or not. The plan will be there although it may well be cr*p.

    I have also stated that one of the reasons we don’t know whether HMRC will appeal or not is down to the fact that we don’t really know if they might be happy with some of the bits they might have ‘won’ from the Rangers BTC. But, as I keep saying and I doubt if Rangers fans will believe this, this isn’t just about Rangers and not even primarily about Rangers despite millionaire footballers being paid millions more on which tax isn’t paid.

    If Rangers had actually co-operated with HMRC from Day 1 and come to an agreement then there’s a good c hance that Hector would have gone after another ‘target’ but as with many issues that is another imponderable and we are where we are wherever that is.

    I too get irritated at times at the way our nation is run and with a lot of organisations and structures within it including the legal profession but then I have experienced a few other nation states close-up and personal and I will stay here doing my little bit to make things ‘better’ whenever I can.

    Like you I am merely a layman and I make mistakes especially if I stray into speciaised areas and forget that I do not know better than the professionals although sometimes I feel that I can bring a more commonsense approach and actually provide them with a door whereby they can leave their ivory towers and see and experience the ‘real world’ now and again.

    And I think Dr Poone has done exactly that with her two legal colleagues and she also shows that the bureaucracy can be challenged on basically commonsense grounds.

    However perhaps, for me, the most interesting part of your post is your description of Adam who tells us he can’t string two words together when it was suggested he might like to guest post.

    Yet you describe him thus: ‘I vividly remember you from RTC and welcomed you back after your last sabbatical. I recall asking you the last time where you had been and you were courteous enough to reply with a voluminous and persuasive explanation. It is indeed serendipitous that another gap in your work commitments and projects has allowed you to return again so soon after the tax ruling’.

    Unable to string a couple of words together hardly sits comfortably with ‘voluminous and persuasive explanation’ so perhaps there are many sides and faces to Adam yet to be revealed. I watch with interest 🙂

  3. Adam

    Firstly, thanks for the welcome back raycharlez

    ” It is indeed serendipitous that another gap in your work commitments and projects has allowed you to return again so soon after the tax ruling. ”
    Just to clarify, i have been back since October but on my return, the RTC blog was closed down for replies and as no decision had been reached, then there was no need for me to seek out any other blog on the matter.

    The decision the other day was an extremely important point in the tax case timeline, something which i discussed online for a good 5 or 6 months and therefore it makes perfect sense to me that I should seek out the current views given that the decision went against many peoples “you’re guilty tax evading cheats” view and went for my “this is clearly not a straight-forward case given the length and people shouldnt count their chickens” view.

    Im glad your memory of my reasoning was persuasive, though i must confess at not remembering it being voluminous but either way, and this is for ecojohn, it still wont make me want to do a guest blog on here. Once again, apologies if people have a strange obsess…i mean concern as to why im happy to post and not write an article. 🙂

    You really couldn’t make that up.

  4. RayCharles

    Ecojon,

    All those who followed RTC will remember Adam.
    He certainly spiced up proceedings when his availability allowed.
    His posting behaviour did seem odd given how engrossed he was with the subject matter at hand when he involved himself in debate.
    I asked him about this and he did indeed post a voluminous and persuasive explanation for his absences. This would suggest he does posses the necessary writing skills that would allow him to post at length on a matter of substance if he so wished. And just to continue the Dragons Den theme, I would also like to point out that while Adam’s explanation for his sabbaticals was voluminous and persuasive, that does not necessarily mean that I bought it.

    • Adam

      I would love to know what was voluminous about it. 🙂

      I accepted a position that required me to get the head down, work long hours, and station myself abroad for good chunks of time. I voluntarily stopped posting on RTC as I knew it would be a distraction.

      A bit of self discipline was required and i applied it.

      Not sure what was voluminous about that and not really bothered if you didnt buy it. Its a faceless online blog which i am happy to post on and answer questions, when I WANT to. 🙂

    • ecojon

      @ RayCharles

      I never thought for a moment that you had ‘bought-it’ as simple common-sense has a way of trumping ‘voluminous and persuasive’ explanations.

      However, in keeping with the spirit of the majority in the Rangers tax case which allowed Dr Poone to express her Opinion, your post provided me the same opportunity with Adam.

      Not that I believe there was any prior intention on your part – Nonetheless, like Dr Poone, I took advantage of the opportunity that presented 🙂

      I am sure that should Adam miraculously regain the ability to make ‘voluminous’ posts then I will be happy to test just how ‘persuasive’ they are.

      As to his continual question-asking attempting to lure the unwary onto a pre-prepared debating minefield then hell will freeze over before I respond as I have serious doubts about what Adam is actually about and until I see evidence of that in posts, instead of questions, I doubt if my perception will alter.

      • Adam

        I ask questions because im curious. If people dont want to reply then thats up to them. If you ask me 10 questions about my views on this tax case or by extension the financial woe my club has went through, i will be more than happy to answer whatever i can.

        Instead of having such a blinkered view, open yourself up and ask away. I might not change your mind, in fact, i doubt i will, but one can only hope.

  5. JohnBhoy

    Notwithstanding the lack of a sustained argument to support your premise, it was neither a master plan nor a bungled case on the part of HMRC. Murray, to his surprise and most other people’s, won the day. The panel members had a different interpretation of the law and the facts: two views were grounded in narrow interpretations of the law; a third view dissented on both legal interpretations and the reality of Murray’s scheme. A case of the law being an ass.

    If this was Company X – with no connection to Rangers – engaged in Murray’s scheme, where rich people avoid paying £millions in taxes for the best part of a decade, through ‘loans’ that are not paid back, there would be widespread public opprobrium with no attempt at ‘whataboutery’ in defence of the result. Put Rangers into the mix and the landscape of west coast Scottish opinion shifts dramatically, with wild celebrations at the ‘result’ and an outburst of disdain reserved for those with the temerity to challenge such a scheme. The defence of a club is more important to some than the defence of our principles as a society.

    HMRC would have rather won the BTC at this stage but they may have other opportunities. For those whose moral compass points in a different direction from those revelling in the BTC result, one that abhors rich greedy bastards refusing to pay their fair share of taxes, hope springs eternal.

    Legal or not, Murray has come up smelling of shit.

    • You’ve nailed it, JohnBhoy.

      • The silver fhox

        You certainly have nailed it JohnBhoy and I am glad to agree with Henry’s statement. This is a clear summation of the state of affairs in our little patch of the world.

    • Adam

      By extension, is this was Company X then there would be no site dedicated to Vodafone, Starbucks, Amazon or Google where thousands of “west Scotland” opinions are given on a daily basis as to why all of these brands are so abhorent and everybody should be boycotting them.

      No, there would just be a whole lorry load of hypocrites sitting in Starbucks, with their coffee, looking up Amazon through Google on their Vodafone phone to try and buy a book about a team they dont support. 🙂

      • JohnBhoy

        You obviously don’t get out much. There are plenty of blogs that focus on tax dodging. http://taxjustice.blogspot.co.uk/ is one such such blog. That aside, there is a strange thought process operating in your head. The ‘extension’ you introduce – boycotting – and the conclusion – those that do not boycott are hypocrites – are unrelated to the thesis in my post i.e. that Murray’s conduct was reprehensible. Besides, there are people who do boycott companies. The first stage, however, ought to be disapproval. In the case of Murray and Rangers, that preliminary step has met with stiff resistance. If disapproval fails to change a company’s ways then a boycott is an option. Oddly enough, it was Rangers fans who were discussing boycotting SPL teams, putting a lovely comical Ally in Wonderland twist on crime and punishment.

        By extension, perhaps other SPL fans will take up your call for a boycott of Rangers.

      • @Adam

        You appear to be suggesting that this site is “dedicated” to TRFC which, as has been stated several times, is simply not the case.

        If I have that wrong I would appreciate a response to clarify.

  6. jim.larkin@hotmail.co.uk

    I don’t adam ‘n’ eve it !

  7. TheBlackKnight TBK

    “Readers of the FTT decision would have noted the reference to Mr Thomson for HMRC being out-numbered 4-1 by the MIH legal reps.
    Was HMRC’s decision a recognition of Mr Thomson’s undoubted skills?
    Was it proof of HMRC thinking it had an open goal?
    Was it an economic step? In which case “penny wise, pound foolish”?”

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Perhaps they were resting the BIG players before the big game (appeal)….. It does seem strange that MIH, with all of its alleged woes and money troubles (indebtedness to Lloyds to the tune of £850m) can afford such a lengthy and protracted case with so many expert Silks and representatives from Pump Court Tax Chamber……

    • dan

      TBK maybe, like the very fragrant Asil Nadir, Minty’s getting Legal Aid? Asil’s bill currently stands at £625,000 but is likely ‘to soar’ (source Private Eye). And old Asil could show Minty a thing or two. While in the prime of life he had it away on his toes with £29 million of other people’s money. Then, aged, and with the grave but a few baby steps away, he comes back and throws himself on the mercy of the court. Unfortunately it went badly for him and he’s now doing a ten stretch in Belle Marsh. But let’s face it, that’s not a real jug, is it? More like sheltered housing for your white collar crooks.

      • TheBlackKnight TBK

        indeed!

      • @dan

        Apologies if your last 2 sentences are intended to be tongue-in-cheek & my Night Nurse addled brain hasn’t picked up on it but, while Mr Polly Peck will no doubt be transferred to one of Her Majesty’s cushier establishments (eg Ford Open) Belmarsh, far from being a holiday camp is in fact a (very, very) high security prison.

        And no, I’m not talking from personal experience!

    • Pump chambers is such an apt address, for HMRC received a serious pumping.

  8. arb urns

    u can change your wife or girlfriend but u can never change your football club……….if i was an edward bear id b right back between the sheets with the witchbitch and a season ticket holder at my local united,town,city,athletic,albion,alexandria or cherrypickers. i would give her back all the bank accounts ,credit cards, ins policies, investments etc etc in case the hand on my heart emptied them again and i for the second time end up with the most expensive supply of loo roll in history in the form of share certs.

    but seriously its not too late to talk , there is a way out of this for both sides hmrc and gers. sdm’s no winners comments and rangers being destroyed is the starting point along with the insolvency act … where theres a will theres a way. get cher along to sing to them both its a pretty emotional and moving song and performance.

  9. Paul, previously you have alluded to 30+ EBT cases where tax is due (in addition to the 5 ruled on by the FTT). Do you have any more info as to what these are and where this info came from. I’ve seen them referred to a lot but without any supporting evidence.

  10. JimBhoy

    @Adam Here’s a question for ya…Bit long winded but hear goes…

    Do you think the oldco rangers shareholders have any comeback on those who were running the club/business with respect to the many millions put into schemes to give the clubs employees, most of whom were millionaires, effectively loans tax free that they would never need to pay back and at a time when the club/business was not in any positive financial shape to do so?

    • Adam

      I dont think they will have im afraid. Unless there is a turnaround in the decision, and its purely my opinion there wont be, then the schemes were a legal method of tax avoidance.

      I think the oldco shareholders may have a better chance of something from the takeover rather than the EBT scheme.

  11. nickmcguinness

    As The Black Knight says, there seems little sense in MIH spending such massive sums on silks for a verdict that will have relatively little impact on MIH, given that the vast majority of any tax charges would have been levied on a company that is now in the throes of being “liquidised” (with thanks to Tommy In Glasgow, the radio nutter).
    One concern for MIH may have been to strike the first blow against the possibility of criminal charges being levied against any directors.
    However, I can see HMRC indicating soon that they will mount an appeal then, a few months down the line – after the SPL Tribunal has sat and delivered its verdict – MIH could quietly indicate that it would not now oppose the appeal and was prepared to come to an agreement on the small sum due exclusively from them (with RFC now no more).
    HMRC get their verdict, MIH are relatively untroubled, and it has little or no effect on the SPL tribunal or TRFC.
    And large gins all round at the Speculative Society summer barbecue.
    (The last bit’s a joke. I hope!)

  12. JimBhoy

    @Alex Yeah a real success mate, you must be so proud…

  13. Sir Nicholas Fairbairn

    The FTT is generally considered by the cognescenti as the first joust- the serious business is done at the UT. And there is serious business to be done.

  14. Beautifully put Raycharlez – with you 100%. Excellent post, thanks for that

  15. Carl 31

    Why I agree with the dissenting opinion (DO).
    Whilst I disagree with the majority decision (MO), I should state my full acceptance of the MO to avoid doubt. It may be changed via the proper appeals process. That is in the hands of HMRC at the minute.

    The Majority Opinion.
    In my view, and as a recent BRTH blog indicates, the MO states crucially that Mr Mure and Mr Rae are bound by the findings that, in a real legal sense, loans are in place, and the employees do not receive emoluments. The expert panel members “have to” make the findings-in-fact that they do, and cannot proceed to make further judgement. They stop there, and allow the appeal on those grounds.
    IMO, those grounds are not shaky. Sound grounds.

    “In our view in the present Appeal we have to regard the trust structure and loans as “… genuine legal events with real legal effects”. (Mayes para 78 supra).” 223, Pg56.

    They apply principles from case law – Special Commissioners decision on Sempra.

    Since these loans may at some future point fall repayable (the “real legal effects”), they are not emoluments. PAYE/NIC is not due. Appeal Allowed.

    IMO, no fault is found with the arguments put, the evidence used, the line of reasoning, the final conclusion or the way it is set out in straightforward terms.

    However, there is another line of reasoning.

    The Dissenting Opinion
    Dr Poon is not bound, in the DO, in the same fashion since she is prompted or led by further case law. The DO states that it applies case law principles from a higher court, whereas the MO, she says, rests on case law of a primary court or FTT.

    “210. The Special Commissioners’ decision on Sempra is heavily relied upon by the Appellants and extensively cited in the majority Decision. I have not relied on Sempra as it is a decision from a court of first instance and is not binding on this Tribunal; I have focused instead on the relevant binding authorities from the House of Lords and the Court of Appeal.”210, (pg 140)

    As has been highlighted by other bloggers, it is usual when the decision of the FTT is by 2-1 majority, and the DO sets out why it dissents, that the MO proponents make some comment on why the DO opinion is not their view. In this case, the MO does not make any correcting or clarifying comments. Dr Poon states this in her opinion and it is not challenged, corrected, qualified or clarified. I find it curious that the DO contains a statement that the MO’s case law may be of less import than the case law the DO relies on. Also, it is curious that this goes unexplained by the MO proponents.
    What is inherent in the principles each case law relied upon that might give one more import than the other? I form my opinion partly on an understanding from Paul’s description in his post on the appeals process through from the first tier to the House of Lords, ie, 14 learned panel members and judges will have examined, discussed and tested the legal argument in a case that has reached the HoL, rather than 3 in a FTT. In my view, this makes me lean to the DO. I agree that, because of this principle, the DO case law holds sway. For clarity, I do not to fault the MO as its set out.

    The quote from para 210, pg 140, above means, if correct, that the MO may have relied on case law that it was not bound to (which is not to say it is prevented from this – or bound not to). Since each appeal case is, at least to some extent, new, it may be the case that the MO has applied more relevant case law regards the evidence? I haven’t sat through the tribunal and have not experienced the evidence, so I don’t make comment on that angle. I form my view based only on the FTTT doc TC02372. So what is the contrast between the MO and DO re the evidence?

    Dr Poon sets out that she does not arrive at her findings entirely by giving each aspect of the evidence the same import as the MO. Whilst available from both the documentary record and that of witnesses, she mainly views the former as being the best indicator what has in reality occurred.

    “A body of evidence that is not narrated in the majority Decision, which seeks to give a judgment in principle on the efficacy of the trust arrangements as a tax avoidance scheme, is of critical relevance in forming my view of the transactions in their real terms.” 3, pg60.

    and

    “In making my extra findings-in-fact, I have accorded greater coverage therefore to the admitted documentary evidence as providing a more realistic record of the nature of the transactions. Obliterated in some instances and by no means complete, nonetheless the documentary evidence that spans over a decade provides a contemporary record of the transactions as they happened at the time, and affords an account of the true intention and role of the participants in the scheme.” 3, pg61.

    I read throughout both MO and DO that the panel members find issue with the reliability/credibility of a number of witnesses. I consider that DR Poon views much witness submission and testimony is not borne out by the documentary evidence and is thus undermined or in doubt to some degree.
    The crux of why I agree with the DO is that I have a bit more confidence in the case law applied by the DO, and more confidence that, by using the evidence to arrive at that opinion in a broader sense, the opinion has struck on a truer picture of events, and better reflects how the law should be applied to it.

    I await news of an HMRC appeal.

    • ecojon

      @ Carl31

      The more I read both opinions the more I feel that Dr Poon is has brought a touch of real-life into the proceedings as opposed to abstract legal concepts by Duffers x 2. Whether that is enough to merit an appeal is another matter although I suspect if it goes the the Upper Tribunal then Dr Poon’s opinion will be very persuasive.

      • Carl 31

        “Duffers x 2” steps a bit along the road to being the mirror of Alex Kublacant, and his, ‘kin youse no aw jist accept shes no as clever, an shood huv been in the hoose makin hur man’s tea?’

        Mr Mure and Mr Rae are excellent.

  16. Carl 31

    I dont consider that HMRC’s counsel, Mr Thomson, got it wrong/bungled/missed an open goal.

    The HMRC case is built on the view taken that the whole scheme was set up to pay taxable wages but not pay tax. It wasn’t built on the status of ‘loans’ from a trust to an employee.

    It is not wise to go into a fight that you don’t think you can win.

    The loan documents will have been drawn up with a view to having to stand up to the most robust of legal challenges. They will have been drawn up with the input of numerous tax experts with the express instruction of making sure they can’t be shown up as legal ‘shams’. If Mr Thomson had stood even part of his case on the grounds that they were shams, he would have not only lost but have been made to look foolish. The quite narrow issue would have ignored the broader point argued. Similarly, if the debate had been steered wholly onto the loans.

    The HMRC case, and Mr Thomsons argument, is that the whole scheme is one thing masquerading as something else. The payment of taxable wages masquerading as employee benefits not taxable. This idea of one thing dressed up as another is crucial. The DO case law states that the intent and purpose of the parties (employee and employer) must be given consideration – a point not dealt with by the MO. To focus down onto the status of a document, which only forms one part of the overall dodge, would have been a mistake.

    • arb urns

      probably the best defence of thomsons position to date carl. feel sure he wasnt expecting the mo to seize on it quite so zealously though its almost their sole reason for forming their opinion, they are like two schoolboys catching out the teacher. then at the end they throw in this left field issue about the loans and IHT treatment and hey presto they are two noel edmonds handing out gotchas. read their language it changes tone completely from turgid legal to nervous excitement its totally weird.

    • ecojon

      @ Carl31

      I have been struggling to try and express the kind of lucidity you have just achieved – brilliant 🙂

  17. arb urns

    a fine account carl. as the days go by you can feel mure and rae’s discomfort, they wont be sitting on a tribunal any time soon with poon i would guess. its astonishing they dont come back at the DO it looks like they have folded up tent and said cant argue with that. if all, we as ukplc, can get out of this at the end of the day is a little IHT then I am all for taking them up on their invitation for mrs crimson to ingather all the loans and prevent iht exemption being claimed after the great day. although i am confident that after this st peter will be asking all who travel there, were you a good boy like that Silly Bodd and paid all your taxes down there and specifically werent signed up to that rangers or mih remuneration trust ?

    • Carl 31

      I see no reason why Mr Mure and Mr Rae wouldnt in future sit in a panel with Dr Poon. I would be much more confident on betting no one would look to rely on future tribunal evidence provided by Mr Red!

  18. Dear Paul,
    like Denny I would like to find out more about the 30 out of court settled EBTs and the handful that the tribunal said that there was something due on. Since surely this has some bearing on the legitimacy on claiming a so-called victory in the tax case. Sounds more like a plea bargain to me.

  19. arb urns

    RFC were the first
    To go and get burst
    But in the race to go down
    Theres two new kids in town
    Away down gorgie its cold and its dark
    These a lovely new Tesco with a stonking car park
    Where folk used to sing about glorious hearts
    Its now full of wiffies wi trolleys and carts
    This is my story this is my song
    Invest in Vlads shares your money wont stay very long
    Theres some say the Pars are next to be toast
    We’ll get there before them is jambos proud boast
    Hearts Hearts
    All torn up in parts
    Its down at tynecastle they died
    The talk o the toun
    Was a foreign balloon
    That took all the money and flied.

    its not all gers and tic out there.

  20. My perspective on it is: if you need basic treatment you go to an NHS hospital. You’ll not get the best people in the world treating you but it should get the job done in most cases. If you have a more serious problem you’ll go to a private specialist if you can afford it. It’s the reality of public vs private treatment.

    Similarly HMRC being a public organisation are bound by this and are limited in the quality of legal support they can hire. MIH on the other hand have the liberty to hire the leading specialist (Mr Thornhill) and this looks to have been the difference-maker in this case

  21. Den

    HMRC are probably a mixed bag of competence and ineptitude.

    There is little doubt that HMRC will be ourgunned by large Corporations which employ their own Legal and Tax specialists and employ some of the best from outside the organisation for the Court cases.

    I wont comment on their strategy at the FTT as it is a very difficult position. I think they were slack in letting Craig Whyte withhold PAYE and NIC deductions for so long before forcing his hand: and I can’t understand why they let him appoint D&P.

    If they had acted earlier less taxpayers cash would have been lost.

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