Cape Brandy Syndicate v Inland Revenue Commissioners: CA 1921

Rowlatt J said: ‘In a taxing Act one has to look merely at what is clearly said. There is no room for any intendment. There is no equity about a tax. There is no presumption as to a tax. Nothing is to be read in, nothing is to be implied’ and ‘subsequent legislation, if it proceeded on an erroneous construction of previous legislation, cannot alter the previous legislation’.
Lord Sterndale MR said: ‘I quite agree that subsequent legislation, if it proceed upon an erroneous construction of previous legislation, cannot alter that previous legislation; but if there be any ambiguity in the earlier legislation, then the subsequent legislation may fix the proper interpretation which is to be put upon the earlier.’
Lord Atkinson: ‘Where the interpretation of a statute is obscure or ambiguous, or readily capable of more than one interpretation, light may be thrown on the true view to be taken of it by the aim and provisions of a subsequent statute.’
Otherwise: Cape Brandy Syndicate v CIR

Rowlatt J, Lord Sterndale MR, Lord Atkinson
[1921] 1 KB 64, 12 Tax Cas 358
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedGreen and Another v Inland Revenue ChD 11-Jan-2005
The deceased died intestate and with a negative valued personal estate, but with assets in trusts, including a revocable life interest in property. The question was whether his debts could be set off against the trusts interests to reduce them below . .
ApprovedKirkness v John Hudson and Co Ltd HL 1955
Viscount Simonds said: ‘the beliefs or assumptions of those who frame Acts of Parliament cannot make the law’. While subsequent legislation could resolve ambiguity in earlier legislation, it could only do so where the subject of the subsequent . .
CitedRegina on the Application of Jackson and others v HM Attorney General CA 16-Feb-2005
The applicant asserted that the 2004 Act was invalid having been passed under the procedure in the 1949 Act, reducing the period by which the House of Lords could delay legislation; the 1949 Act was invalid, being delegated legislation, had used the . .
CitedPeter John St. Barbe Green, David Robert Mitson (Trustees of the Will of Consuelo Dowager Duchess of Manchester v the Commissioners of Inland Revenue ChD 11-Jan-2005
The taxpayer appealed a notice of determination of liability of the estate for Inheritance Tax purposes. He sought to set off an excess of liabilities over assets in the deceased’s own estate against assets held in settlements.
Held: The . .
CitedFrankland v Commissioners of Inland Revenue CA 7-Nov-1997
Shares which were transferred within the first tax quarter after a death lost the benefit of Inheritance Tax exemption on their transfer into a discretionary trust. . .
CitedTrustees of BT Pension Schemes and others v Clark (HM Inspector of Taxes) CA 24-Feb-2000
Whether pension fund trustees were engaging in the sub-under-writing of share issues in return for commission payments, was a question of fact for the original court hearing the case, and it was not for an appeal court to set aside that finding of . .
CitedCommissioners of Inland Revenue v McGuckian HL 21-May-1997
Steps which had been inserted into a commercial transaction, but which had no purpose other than the saving of tax are to be disregarded when assessing the tax effect of the scheme. The modern approach to statutory construction is to have regard to . .
CitedOrmond Investment Co Ltd v Betts HL 1928
The House considered the interpretation of a statute dealing with public rights of navigation.
Held: ‘Where the interpretation of a statute is obscure or ambiguous, or readily capable of more than one interpretation, light may be thrown on the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Income Tax, Litigation Practice

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Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.221017