The so-called £50m HMRC Tax blunder reported by The Times last month relating to the downfall of Rangers is actually a £5m recalculation.
Such was the magnitude of the spin applied by the Glasgow based publisher that HMRC made the rare move to comment on an individual case.
The original story seemed riddled with errors, most crucially being the failure to recognise that the club went into liquidation in 2012 with the Big Tax Case not decided until July 2017 at The Supreme Court.
After publication the usual suspects took their lead from The Times with all sorts of conclusions being made about the unfortunate loss of an institution due to a vendetta.
On November 14 The Times reported:
A multimillion-pound blunder by the tax authorities is being blamed for the financial implosion that wrecked Rangers Football Club and sent shockwaves through the sporting world.
Up to £50 million is set to be wiped off the tax bill owed by the Ibrox club’s old operating company after HM Revenue & Customs acknowledged it had claimed for too much, The Times can reveal.
Accountancy sources now believe the outstanding bill for using an offshore trust to pay Rangers players and staff is likely to stand at the far more affordable figure of £20 million. That is equivalent to £2 million annually for the 2001 to 2010 period the tax avoidance scheme was in place.
John McClelland, the former Rangers chairman, says that ambiguity over the tax burden repelled genuine investors and paved the way for Rangers collapse under the controversial businessman Craig Whyte. Mr McClelland said that if a £20 million tax bill had been agreed during his tenure it would have been relatively simple for the Ibrox club to find a credible buyer.
— HMRC Press Office (@HMRCpressoffice) November 15, 2019
As widely reported today and to clarify: HMRC won against Rangers’ tax avoidance in the Supreme Court, and did not miscalculate anything
— HMRC Press Office (@HMRCpressoffice) November 14, 2019
Extraordinary. This story starts with a blatant falsehood in its very first sentence. The was no company which owned Rangers in Liquidation. It was Rangers that was in Liquidation. Dire stuff. https://t.co/S4zYmeYKTx
Almost every aspect of that story was untrue.
Today the latest creditors report from BDO revealed a reduction of £5.2m down to £73m.
Administration of the club occurred in February 2012 after five months of non-payment of Income Tax and National Insurance. The club had already refused to pay the £2.8m tax bill owed for undeclared payments made to Tore Andre Flo and Ronald de Boer.
When the club went into administration then liquidation they were still contesting the Big Tax Case. BDO continued that action before losing at the Supreme Court five years after the liquidation process began.
CLICK HERE for the latest report from BDO to the 276 creditors including florists, face painters, taxi firms, newsagents, utility firms, emergency services and local authorities.