Fatal distraction

Keith Gordon considers a case where a taxpayer asked the High Court to correct an inadvertent error on his tax return

One of the things I discovered during my legal studies was that the High Court has the power to correct mistaken documents. For example, if a written contract misstates the terms of the agreement between the parties, the High Court can, by declaration, rewrite the document so as to reflect the terms actually agreed by the parties. It is not a power that is liberally applied and it is subject to the court’s discretion in accordance with what are known as the maxims of equity.