Lord Greene in IRC v British Aero Salmson Engines Ltd stated that determining what is income or capital is often `borderline. Indeed, in many cases it is almost true to say that the spin of the coin would decide the matter as satisfactory as an attempt to find reasons.' Such a statement seems to be relevant in the case of FCT v Montgomery, where the High Court, on 5 August 1999, decided in a three four decision that lease incentive payments received by a large firm of solicitors, Freehill Hollingdale and Page (Freehills), is income and thus assessable in the hands of its partners.
The majority of the High Court disapproved the recent decision of Commissioner of Inland Revenue v Wattie. In that case the Privy Council held, on an appeal from the New Zealand Court of Appeal, that in similar circumstances to Montgomery, lease incentives are capital in nature, not income.