A case of very bad timing

In life timing is pretty much everything.

The two certainties of life, we are told, are death and taxes.

Obviously the timing of your death is something that should concern you.

Anything you can do to postpone that inevitable event if considered to be the behaviour of an intelligent being.

What about taxes?

Well there’s never a good time to get a tax bill.

However, some times are worse than others.

The unexpected “victory” in the FTT for Rangers (IL) is, to say the least, a tad unfortunate.

Quite simply it came too late to save the club.

Even if it had been delivered a year ago then the last owner of the now liquidated club Craig Whyte had ran already out of cash.

The “substantially reduced liability” is probably still a bill of seven figures.

Given that the Ambulance service and the face painting lady wasn’t being paid then a tax bill for millions, if not the tens of millions originally envisaged by Hector, had little chance of being paid.

The time to have had this result would have been about the time I had started writing about the Big Tax Case and that was in early 2010.

That was probably the cut-off date.

Of course we know from the FTT report that the probe into the club’s use of the EBT scheme started in 2004.

According to that document, and it has not been challenged by anyone, the investigation took such a long time because vital documents were concealed by people at Rangers.

The reason for that conduct is yet to be established.

Perhaps the people who were in leadership positions at Ibrox then will issue a statement refuting that assertion that Rangers impeded the investigation, or at the very least were less than cooperative.

Which brings us back to timing.

The very late arrival of this result cannot be laid at the door of the three judges or HMRC.

The FTT commended the diligence of the investigators for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs who looked into the tax affairs of Rangers.

This result came too late to save Rangers from Administration and ultimately from Liquidation.

I think it is fair to say that if HMRC had received full cooperation in 2004 then this matter could have been concluded satisfactorily before Planet Fitba knew that Craig Whyte even existed.

If there was any strategy in play from people in Ibrox to delay the work of the HMRC investigators then it must rank as one of the major own goals in the history of British football.

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