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Abstract

The author examines the decision in FCT v Rowe for the concept of symmetry in tax matters which appears to underlie the equitable operation of the system. They conclude that, if there is such a principle, it certainly has not been applied in Rowe's case. According to the authors, this is probably correct in law, but does not necessarily serve the interests of fairness in tax matters. The authors draw on the experience of the UK and South Africa in dealing with similar situations. They conclude that the UK system has no better answers than the Australian, but that statutory intervention in South Africa has meant that the dispute in Rowe, despit the general similarity of the South African tax law, could never arise.

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