THE taxman has not received a single penny of the £72 million in unpaid tax and interest believed to be owed by the liquidated company that owned Rangers FC.

While payments are being made to creditors, no money has yet been paid into the bank accounts of HMRC – six months on from a landmark legal victory over the Ibrox club’s use of loans to pay staff in a tax avoidance scheme.

According to the latest liquidation update, law firms acting for various parties in the tax dispute have been paid around £9.2million, while the rolling bill for BDO, the liquidators, stands at £3.4million.


It has also emerged that BDO has set aside nearly £3 million in case they lose an on-off claim over the shrinking insolvency funds of the former Rangers company, now known RFC 2012 plc and commonly dubbed ‘Oldco’.

BDO have agreed to pay an interim dividend of nearly 4p in the pound to unsecured creditors, distributing more than £1.3 million, but it has emerged that has not included any payment to cover the amount owed to the taxman after HMRC's winning the so-called Big Tax Case over the club’s use of Employee Benefit Trusts (EBT) to pay players and staff.

More than £47 million was paid to Rangers players, managers and directors in the EBT scheme between 2001 and 2010 in tax-free loans.

Two tribunals in 2012 and 2014 had previously supported the Rangers argument that the EBT payments were loans and therefore not taxable, but the Court of Session found in favour of HMRC after an appeal in 2015.

Liquidators BDO were then allowed to appeal to the Supreme Court in London and in July, HMRC successfully argued that the payments were earnings and should be taxable.


Liquidators had previously indicated that £72m of the £94.4m owed to HRMC relied on the taxman’s claim that Rangers Oldco was liable for its use of EBTs.

But it is understood that BDO has noted nearly half of the HMRC claim relates to interest and penalties accrued over the years.

BDO is now to enter into discussions with the taxman over the amount of the claim being made, it is understood, with a view to having it reduced.

Meanwhile, it is understood that Rangers FC Group – the company formerly known as Wavetower that was founded by former owner Craig Whyte – which aimed to secure a £14 million liquidation pot has decided to make a £2.8 million claim.

On December 15, the latest stage of the claim emerged. It is understood BDO successfully moved to get litigants to have to post £25,000 to cover any costs that might go against them.


It is understood the amount of the claim now relates to the difference between the amount raised by Mr Whyte’s deal to sell off rights to three years of future season tickets to investment firm Ticketus to help buy the club and the sum used to repay the club’s debt with Lloyds.

The collapse of the Rangers business left hundreds of unsecured creditors out of pocket including more than 6000 loyal fans who bought £7.7m worth of debenture seats at Ibrox.

Creditors ranged from giants such as Coca-Cola to a picture framer in Bearsden and a lady called Susan Thomson who runs a face-painting business and was owed £40.

If BDO lose the case, the Rangers FC Group claim would rank ahead of unsecured creditors and reduce the amount they get back.

One small creditor said: “I am amazed it has taken this long to get to the point where some money is being received but it sounds like with other issues with HMRC and the legal claim that we might have a longer wait for anything else.”


A judgement by Lord Doherty last year put off any decision on the rights and wrongs of the Rangers FC Group claim until after the fraud trial.

He said: “I am satisfied that (i) whether there was a fraudulent scheme involving [Wavetower], and (ii) whether [Wavetower] was the recipient of unlawful financial assistance.. are both issues which arise in the proceedings. In those circumstances hearing the appeal before the criminal proceedings have been concluded would trespass upon matters at issue before the High Court of Justiciary, with the risk of prejudice to the administration of justice in those proceedings.”

HMRC declined to comment.