Caffoor v Columbo Income Tax Commissioner: PC 1961

Taxation and rating decisions are sui generis. Lord Radcliffe said: ‘The critical thing is that the dispute which alone can be determined by any decision given in the course of these proceedings is limited to one subject only, the amount of the assessable income for the year in which the assessment is challenged. It is only the amount of that assessable income that is concluded by an agreement or by a decision on an appeal against it (see section 75). Although, of course, the process of arriving at the necessary decision is likely to involve consideration of questions of law, turning upon the construction of the Ordinance or of other statutes or upon the general law, and the tribunal will have to form its view on those questions, all these questions have to be treated as collateral or incidental to what is the only issue that is truly submitted to determination (cf Reg v Hutchings).’ and ‘It may be that the principles applied in these cases form a somewhat anomalous branch of the general law of estoppel per rem judicatam, and are not easily derived from or transferred to other branches of litigation in which such estoppels have to be considered; but in their Lordships opinion they are well established in their own field, and it is not by any means to be assumed that the result is one that should be regretted in the public interest.’


Lord Radcliffe


[1961] AC 584

Cited by:

CitedMatalan Retail Ltd v Revenue and Customs ChD 5-Aug-2009
The taxpayer imported swimwear for sale. The respondent had incorrectly indicated that such swimwear had one classification. The claimant sought to prevent the respondent reclassifying the goods, saying that they had made given binding tariff . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Commonwealth, Taxes Management, Rating

Updated: 02 May 2022; Ref: scu.372324