The High Court said in 2009 that ‘tax statutes do not form a class of their own’12, even if their fiscal nature is part of the wider context. Eames (at ), however, states categorically that revenue statutes ‘are to be interpreted in a technical manner’.
As one judge suggested in 2004, tax statutes are ‘technical and frequently complex things’13. To him, this justified a plain meaning starting-point, even if ‘by and large one is now to approach [them] in the same way as any other statute’14. These overlapping ideas are difficult to reconcile smoothly. Perhaps they reflect no more than that tax often involves technical legislation enacted in a technical context.
This case is from Episode 36 of interpretationNOW!
13 Charles Lloyd  VCAT 1461 (at ).