Too Confident: Section 33 of the Income Tax Act and Its (Mis)trust in Judicial Precedent

An analysis is presented of Comptroller of Income Tax v. AQQ, in which the Court of Appeal held that a transaction which has a main purpose of tax avoidance will be regarded as tax avoidance, preferred the Australian approach in interpreting Singapore’s anti-avoidance provision and appeared to have lowered the standard of review over the Comptroller. As the Australian approach is itself inconsistently applied, the author asserts that the Court might have been overly confident in its reliance on Australian case law.