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DCC Holdings and statutory fictions

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The Supreme Court has considered the limits of a statutory fiction in DCC Holdings. The Court held that the statutory fiction could not be interpreted in such a way as to entitle DCC to a tax loss resulting from a transaction in which it made a commercial profit. The conclusion on the technical analysis of the facts in DCC will now be of interest only to those who entered into similar transactions before 2007. However, the significance of DCC is the way in which the Supreme Court takes a robust and practical approach when confronted with the complexities of a statutory fiction. It also suggests that the Supreme Court is likely to take an equally robust and practical approach when confronted in the future with complex legislation which it is argued produces an arbitrary tax result.

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