Deeming provisions

Firefighters Benefit Fund v FCT [2019] AATA 2775

ITAA36 s 121 says that an association of persons formed for the purpose of insuring them against loss, damage or risk ‘is taken … to be a company carrying on the business of insurance’.  The fund argued that, despite this, it was not an entity of this kind because insurance legislation definitions were not satisfied.

This was rejected (at [91]) because s 121 is a deeming provision and irrebuttable4.  The wider point is that deeming provisions are confined to the purpose for they are created.  Another case says it is not helpful to give special significance to deeming provisions as a class5.  They are read the same way as other provisions – that is, by reference to purpose/context.

This case is fromEpisode 52 of interpretation NOW!


4 Pearce & Geddes (at [4.45]), Chamberlain [2002] FCA 67 (at [24]) quoted.

5 Optical [2019] VSCA 197 (at [62]), cf Garuda [2019] FCA 786 (at [104]).