After we broke the news today that Rangers FC bank accounts had been impeded by legal means, it has been announced by other news sources that Rangers have had a seven-figure sum ring-fenced in the club’s accounts after HMRC instigated an arrestment order.
The issue is in relation to the £2.8 million tax liability and the reported £1.4 million penalty imposed by HMRC.
Charles Paterson of Sky Sports fame mentioned on his twitter page earlier this evening:
“HMRC yesterday issued an arrestment order to the bank controlling Rangers’ finances after gaining legal authority to do so. Bank have today acted on this order & and moved/seized money “owed” to HMRC into a holding account, where it will stay for 14 weeks.
Rangers can appeal this decision, if not then HMRC keep the money & 2.8M tax dispute is settled. RFC accounts have NOT been frozen.”
A source experienced in the role of Sheriff Officers and Debt Recovery gave an insight into the workings of the arrestment procedure, to clarify the nature and effect of said documents which have been served to Rangers Football Club. He said: “It would appear HMRC have gained a warrant to recover the outstanding balance via the Summary Warrant procedure. In Scots Law this is a mechanism available exclusively to HMRC and Local Councils whereby the relevant organisation applies to the Sheriff Court detailing the debtor’s name and address and the outstanding balance. The Sheriff then summarily (without the appearance of the debtor or chance to defend) grants a warrant. This Summary Warrant is then passed to a Sheriff Officer for execution/enforcement.”
“The first form of enforcement available to a creditor following this procedure is service of a Charge for Payment of Money. It is a formal demand for payment allowing the debtor a further 14 days in which to make payment in full, failing which further enforcement will follow. This is the document which was served at Ibrox on August 10 2011.
“Upon expiry of the Charge and no payments being forthcoming from the debtor, the creditor can instruct further action. In this instance arrestment being the chosen method.”
He added: “An arrestment is a document served by Sheriff Officer upon a third party to an action, a third party who holds funds owing to the debtor. The document is served upon the third party, being the bank in this example. They are obliged to freeze an amount equal to the total of the original debt, any surcharge or penalties detailed in the Summary Warrant, as well as Sheriff Officer fees. The arrested funds are held for 14 weeks and then automatically released to the creditor.”
“There is no scope for appeal unless the debtor believes the creditor has not followed correct procedure or there is dubiaty as to the validity of the warrant. In this instance, however, HMRC have a valid warrant and as such this arrestment will remain in force pending the 14 week countdown to automatic release.”