A friend has just sent me an example of legalese which he claims is the best that he has ever come across.

I confess that I am also of the same opinion.

After reading it, if you too are not, I will be very surprised. Moreover, if you can understand what the particular section of the act aims at achieving, please enlighten me and the other readers of this post.

Section 165.55 of Australia’s 1999 GST legislation.

“For the purposes of making a declaration under this subdivision, the commissioner may: (a) treat a particular event that actually happened as not having happened; and (b) treat a particular event that did not actually happen as having happened and, if appropriate, treat the event as (i) having happened at a particular time; and (ii) having involved particular action by a particular entity; and (c) treat a particular event that actually happened as: (i) having happened at a time different from the time it actually happened; or (ii) having involved particular action by a particular entity (whether or not the event actually involved any action by that entity).”

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22 Responses to Legalese.

  1. shackman says:

    If you follow things POTUSv45 says it is clear as a bell – just call it fake news. But I agree with your notion of legalese andthe paragraph – LOL.

  2. Looney says:

    Checking the web, this is part of the tax code and the “commissioner” is the tax commissioner. From what I can see, the purpose of this is to grant the tax commissioner the sole authority to define realities and alternate realities for the purposes of taxation. The term “entity” is referring to a “tax avoider”, who is allegedly using a “scheme”, and it is the interpretation of the “scheme” that is in question.

    It all seems to me to be concise and readable compared to what we have here.

  3. At least they are honest even if the code itself is egregious.

  4. Wisewebwoman says:

    Totally makes sense to me as I was a tax interpenetration guide for my clients back in the day 🙂

    Covering all bases there in the tax laws as there are such crooks out there 🙂


  5. tammy j says:

    I don’t know what I think.
    it makes me tired.
    you know those cup games where a fast talker keeps moving the cups around and finally stops and you have to pick the cup the coin is under?
    it’s like that.
    and I never liked that. 🙂

  6. nick says:

    To think there are people who earn fat salaries drafting stuff like that and other people earning fat salaries explaining it to the rest of us who haven’t a clue what it means.

  7. There are times you cannot prove someone right or wrong for lack of evidence, though you pretty well know that they are either right or wrong. I think ‘Legalese’ protects and gives the concerned Commissioner the right to make a final declaration based on his hunch through experience.
    Maybe 🙂 What do you think ?

  8. That’s what specialized education is all about. If it was so simple, we could all have been Commissioners too 😉

  9. Looney says:

    I think the lesson here is that no matter how detailed the legal code, someone is going to find a loophole that subverts everything. Thus, this section grants the commissioner a corresponding loophole to make up what ever alternate reality is necessary to shake down the creative tax avoider. In the end, laws are only intended for the law abiding folk.

    • Thank you Looney. I have understood. The point that I wish to make is that they could have used exactly the kind of language that you have used. Simple, direct and understandable to ordinary folk like me.

  10. ordinary people here would call it “gobbledygook” or similar spelling…

    parents usually do a lot of “spelling” of words…that children cannot keep up with – for by the time they have worked “g-o-i-n-g” the convo has moved on… or there are hand movements that say much without saying anything…

  11. Joared says:

    Would you repeat that —- exactly what happened or didn’t happen? Might it happen or not happen still? If it happens or doesn’t happen what am I supposed to do? I’ll ask my President as likely he’s the only one who could make sense of it, even when no one else sees any sense to it.

    • I hope that you remember – “There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.”
      ~ Donald Rumsfeld

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