Smith v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Another: HL 12 Jul 2006

The House considered whether under the 1992 Regulations a self-employed parent could use for his child support calculation his net earnings as declared to the Revenue, which would allow deduction of capital and other allowances properly claimed against tax.
Held: The appeal was allowed, and the decision of the Child Support Commissioner restored (majority). The precise and unusual phrase used in the regulations matched that used in the tax return. Lord Carswell: ‘one is entitled to place less emphasis on the coincidence in wording and return to the exercise of attempting by the use of the several recognised methods of statutory interpretation to ascertain the true intention of Parliament.’
(dissenting opinion) Though there was an inconsistency, the regulations was clear and could not be read to bear the interpretation proposed by the Secretary of State.


Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe, Baroness Hale of Richmond, Lord Carswell


Times 14-Jul-2006, [2006] UKHL 35, [2006] 1 WLR 2024




Child Support (Maintenance Assessments and Special Cases) Regulations 1992, Child Support Act 1991


England and Wales


CitedElliss v BP Oil Northern Ireland Refinery Ltd CA 1987
The company had incurred capital expenditure in machinery and plant for trading before 1972. The 1975 Act prevented them claiming the expenditure as losses, and they sought to carry them forward to 1973 when additional claims were possible. The . .
CitedSecretary of State for Work and Pensions v M HL 8-Mar-2006
The respondent’s child lived with the estranged father for most of each week. She was obliged to contribute child support. She now lived with a woman, and complained that because her relationship was homosexual, she had been asked to pay more than . .
CitedKehoe, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions HL 14-Jul-2005
The applicant contended that the 1991 Act infringed her human rights in denying her access to court to obtain maintenance for her children.
Held: The applicant had no substantive right to take part in the enforcement process in domestic law . .
CitedMarckx v Belgium ECHR 13-Jun-1979
Recognition of illegitimate children
The complaint related to the manner in which parents were required to adopt their own illegitimate child in order to increase his rights. Under Belgian law, no legal bond between an unmarried mother and her child results from the mere fact of birth. . .

Cited by:

CitedClift, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 13-Dec-2006
The claimants were former serving prisoners who complained that the early release provisions discriminated against them unjustifiably. Each was subject to a deportation requirement, and said that in their cases the control on the time for their . .
CitedAlvi, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 18-Jul-2012
The claimant had entered as a student, and then stayed under a work permit. New rules were brought in, and because his occupation as a physiotherapy assistant was not listed, he was not credited with sufficient points for a permit. The Court of . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Child Support, Income Tax, Taxes Management

Updated: 11 May 2022; Ref: scu.243083