High Court of Australia

Pape v Commissioner of Taxation [2009] HCA 23

238 CLR 1; 83 ALJR 765; 257 ALR 1

7 Jul 2009

Case Number: S35/2009

Before

French CJ, Gummow, Hayne, Heydon, Crennan, Kiefel, Bell JJ

Catchwords

Constitutional law – Standing - Section 7 of the Tax Bonus for Working Australians Act (No 2) 2009 (Cth) ("the Act") provides that the Commissioner of Taxation must pay a tax bonus to entitled persons - Persons entitled under s 5 of Act if, inter alia, an individual, Australian resident with an adjusted tax liability greater than nil and not exceeding $100,000 for 2007-08 income tax year - Whether person entitled under s 5 of Act has standing to bring action for declarations and injunction.

Constitutional law – Appropriations of moneys from the Consolidated Revenue Fund - Whether payment of tax bonus supported by valid appropriation under ss 81 and 83 of Constitution - Whether appropriation "for the purposes of the Commonwealth" under s 81 - Whether phrase "for the purposes of the Commonwealth" limits legislative power - Whether source of legislative "power to spend" is ss 81 and 51(xxxix).

Constitutional law – Powers of the Commonwealth Parliament - Whether Act law with respect to trade and commerce under s 51(i) - Whether Act law with respect to taxation under s 51(ii) - Whether Act law with respect to external affairs under s 51(xxix) - Whether Act supported by implied nationhood power - Whether Act supported by power conferred by ss 81 and 51(xxxix) - Whether Act supported by power conferred by ss 61 and 51(xxxix) - If Act beyond power, whether Act can be read down so as to be within power.

Constitutional law – Executive power of the Commonwealth - Global financial and economic crisis - Whether Act supported by ss 61 and 51(xxxix).

Constitutional law – Taxation power - Persons entitled under s 5 of Act included persons entitled to tax bonus greater than their adjusted tax liability for the 2007-08 financial year - Whether Act law with respect to taxation.

Words and phrases – "appropriation", "for the purposes of the Commonwealth", "made by law" and "maintenance of this Constitution".

Constitution – ss 51(i), (ii), (xxix), (xxxix), 61, 81 and 83.

Acts Interpretation Act 1901 (Cth) – s 15A.

Tax Bonus for Working Australians Act (No 2) 2009 (Cth).

Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth)
– ss 2 and 16.

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