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This week’s opinion

10 November 2015 / Andrew Hubbard
Issue: 4526 / Categories: Comment & Analysis

Argument requires more testing.

Many readers will have clients who have unresolved enquiries into employee benefit trust schemes. The Court of Session decision in the Murray Group case reported on page 6 of this issue will have a major impact on the way those enquiries are resolved. Although I can see why the court reached its decision I have concerns about its analysis.

In essence the judge sidestepped previous employee benefit trust decisions and developed an argument based on the concept of redirection of income. That could have significant implications across a range of  employment tax issues (not least pensions and salary sacrifice arrangements) and it ought to be tested further before it becomes established law.

An appeal to the Supreme Court might be possible but that depends on the willingness of the Murray Group to fund a further appeal particularly given that four of the five companies that were...

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