Thursday, January 25, 2018

Wilson Chow on Legal Interpretation of Tax Law: Hong Kong (new book chapter)

"Legal Interpretation of Tax Law: Hong Kong"
Wilson Chow
in Robert  F. van Brederode & Richard Krever (eds.), Legal Interpretation of Law (Wolters Kluwer, 2017), ch 9
Introduction and Background: Three themes introduce this chapter, and they inform us why legal interpretation of taxation law in Hong Kong has evolved in the way it has.  They are historical development (which explains the reliance placed by Hong Kong courts on precedents from comparable common law jurisdictions and illustrates that, in different periods of Hong Kong's legal history, different approaches to statutory interpretation have evolved), simplicity and stability (which explains why Hong Kong 'tax law' in many key areas is found in case law, rather than statutory intervention; which supports the comparatively recent adoption by the courts of a practical and purposive approach to statutory interpretation; and which, as well shall see, has not been inimical to the interests of the Revenue) and low taxation rates (which, in part, explains the antipathy apparent in the courts to 'tax avoidance' transactions and which, in turn, reinforces the purposive approach).

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