The taxpayer bought a property with existing ‘fencing assets’. A $2.74m deduction was claimed for capital expenditure incurred on ‘construction, manufacture, installation or acquisition’ of that fencing11. The AAT (at [73-77]) denied the deduction.
Statutory purpose required ‘a fence coming into existence on the land and not just the transfer of an existing fence from one person to another’12. The AAT applied the Latin maxim, copulatio verborum13 – ‘the linking of words indicates that they should be understood in the same sense’. This speaks to the modern weight which context has in interpretation14. iTip – maxims or ‘rules’ provide soft guidance only15.
This principle is from Episode 63 of interpretation NOW!
* In full – copulatio verborum indicat acceptationem in eodem sensu.
12 This would reward conduct beyond that ‘envisaged by the statute’.
13 Dick  NSWCA 190 (at [10-13]), Broome’s Legal Maxims (at 373-374).