GST 2011

Interpreting tax legislation - International All Sports v FCT

Source: Taxation In Australia Journal Article

Published Date: 1 Nov 2011


Statutory interpretation cases have often turned on the choice between a literal or purposive approach and the application of various common law principles. More recently, the purposive approach, which rejects strict grammatical analysis in favour of a consideration not only of the syntax but also of the policy and the surrounding legislative context of the statute, has become the preferred approach. The recent Federal Court decision in
International All Sports v FCT, a GST case, provides a good example of the now settled approach to statutory interpretation in the tax context.

This article examines the decision in detail and, in particular, how the application of the current approach affected the outcome. Although it is clear that context and purpose should be considered from the outset, the literal reading of a statute will only be diverged from where such considerations lead to an
alternative construction that should be preferred.

Sorry, this is subscriber only content.

To gain access to this material and much more - Subscribe Now.

(Note: Members can access Taxation in Australia journal articles without a Tax Knowledge Exchange subscription - please log in to access).

Already a Subscriber? Login now


  • Published By: Keith Swan
  • Published On:1 Nov 2011

The material is copyright. Apart any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research criticism or review, as permitted under the copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any process without written permission from The Tax Institute.

Unless expressly stated, opinions are not that of The Tax Institute, which accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of any of the information contained within it.

The Tax Institute
(ABN 45 008 392 372 (PRV14016))


The Tax Institute is a Recognised Tax Agent Association (RTAA) under the Tax Agent Services Regulations 2009. 

Copyright Statement

All materials provided on this site are protected by copyright and are owned by or licensed to TTI.

Except as expressly permitted by TTI or the copyright owner, any person or company who uses this site must not use, reproduce, redistribute, retransmit, publish or otherwise transfer, or commercially exploit, the materials or any information, software or other content, in whole or in part, which is available through this site.


GST 2011

Share this page