Irwin v. Gavit, No. 325

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtHOLMES
Citation69 L.Ed. 897,45 S.Ct. 475,268 U.S. 161
Docket NumberNo. 325
Decision Date27 April 1925
PartiesIRWIN, Former Collector of Internal Revenue, v. GAVIT

268 U.S. 161
45 S.Ct. 475
69 L.Ed. 897
IRWIN, Former Collector of Internal Revenue,

v.

GAVIT.

No. 325.
Argued April 15, 1925.
Decided April 27, 1925.

The Attorney General and Mr. Solicitor General Beck, of Washington, D. C., for petitioner.

[Argument of Counsel from pages 161-163 intentionally omitted]

Page 163

Mr. Neile F. Towner, of Albany, N. Y., for respondent.

[Argument of Counsel from pages 163-165 intentionally omitted]

Page 165

Mr. Justice HOLMES delivered the opinion of the Court.

This is a suit to recover taxes and penalties exacted by the Collector under the Income Tax Act of October 3, 1913, c. 16, Section 2, A, subdivisions 1 and 2; B, D, and

Page 166

E, 38 Stat. 114, 166 et seq. The Collector demurred to the complaint. The demurrer was overruled and judgment given for the plaintiff by the District Court (275 F. 643), and the Circuit Court of Appeals (295 F. 84). A writ of certiorari was granted by this Court. 264 U. S. 579, 44 S. Ct. 453, 68 L. Ed. 859.

The question is whether the sums received by the plaintiff under the will of Anthony N. Brady in 1913, 1914 and 1915, were income and taxed. The will, admitted to probate August 12, 1913, left the residue of the estate in trust to be divided into six equal parts, the income of one part to be applied so far as deemed proper by the trustees to the education and support of the testator's granddaughter, Marcia Ann Gavit, the balance to be divided into two equal parts and one of them to be paid to the testator's son-in-law, the plaintiff, in equal quarter-yearly payments during his life. But on the granddaughter's reaching the age of twenty-one or dying the fund went over, so that, the granddaughter then being six years old, it is said, the plaintiff's interest could not exceed fifteen years. The Courts below held that the payments received were property acquired by bequest, were not income and were not subject to tax.

The statute in Section 2, A, subdivision 1, provides that there shall be levied a tax 'upon the entire net income arising or accruing from all sources in the preceding calendar year to every citizen of the United States.' If these payments properly may be called income by the common understanding of that word and the statute has failed to hit them it has missed so much of the general purpose that it expresses at the start. Congress intended to use its power to the full extent. Eisner v. Macomber, 252 U. S. 189, 203, 40 S. Ct. 189, 64 L. Ed. 521, 9 A. L. R. 1570. By B the net income is to include 'gains or profits and income derived from any source whatever, including the income from but not not the value of property acquired by gift, bequest, devise or descent.'

Page 167

By D trustees are to make 'return of the net income of the person for whom they act, subject to this tax,' and by D trustees and others, having the control or payment of fixed or determinable gains, etc., of another person who are required to render a return on behalf of another are 'authorized to withhold enough to pay the normal tax.' The language quoted leaves no doubt in our minds that if a fund were given to trustees for A for life with remainder over, the income received by the trustees and paid over to A would be income of A...

To continue reading

Request your trial
273 practice notes
  • Helvering v. Stuart, Nos. 49 and 48
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • November 16, 1942
    ...423, 425, 81 L.Ed. 612, 108 A.L.R. 436; Douglas v. Willcuts, 296 U.S. 1, 9, 56 S.Ct. 59, 62, 80 L.Ed. 3, 101 A.L.R. 391; Irwin v. Gavit, 268 U.S. 161, 166, 45 S.Ct. 475, 69 L.Ed. 897. Control of the stocks of the company of which the grantors were executives may have determined the manner o......
  • U.S. v. $242,484.00, No. 01-16485.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Eleventh Circuit
    • November 20, 2003
    ...troubled by the question where to draw the line. That is the question in pretty much everything worth arguing in the law." Irwin v. Gavit, 268 U.S. 161, 45 S.Ct. 475, 476, 69 L.Ed. 897 In this country, forfeitures are not favored.32 They "should be enforced only Page 516 when within both th......
  • Doll v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, No. 12773.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • May 11, 1945
    ...U.S. 344, 347, 60 S.Ct. 551, 84 L.Ed. 796; Douglas v. Willcuts, 296 U.S. 1, 9, 56 S.Ct. 59, 80 L.Ed. 3, 101 A.L.R. 391; Irwin v. Gavit, 268 U.S. 161, 166, 45 S.Ct. 475, 69 L.Ed. 897; Eisner v. Macomber, 252 U.S. 189, 203, 40 S.Ct. 189, 64 L.Ed. 521, 9 A.L.R. 9 These are the three sources of......
  • Hoffman v. Palmer, No. 261.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • July 31, 1942
    ...decisions turn on matters of degree. See, e. g., Harrison v. Schaffner, 312 U.S. 579, 583, 61 S.Ct. 759, 85 L.Ed. 1055; Irwin v. Gavit, 268 U.S. 161, 45 S.Ct. 475, 69 L.Ed. 897; Ingo v. Koch, 2 Cir., April 15, 1942, 127 F.2d 667, note 6; dissenting opinion in Chrestensen v. Valentine, 2 Cir......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
272 cases
  • Helvering v. Stuart, Nos. 49 and 48
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • November 16, 1942
    ...423, 425, 81 L.Ed. 612, 108 A.L.R. 436; Douglas v. Willcuts, 296 U.S. 1, 9, 56 S.Ct. 59, 62, 80 L.Ed. 3, 101 A.L.R. 391; Irwin v. Gavit, 268 U.S. 161, 166, 45 S.Ct. 475, 69 L.Ed. 897. Control of the stocks of the company of which the grantors were executives may have determined the manner o......
  • U.S. v. $242,484.00, No. 01-16485.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Eleventh Circuit
    • November 20, 2003
    ...troubled by the question where to draw the line. That is the question in pretty much everything worth arguing in the law." Irwin v. Gavit, 268 U.S. 161, 45 S.Ct. 475, 476, 69 L.Ed. 897 In this country, forfeitures are not favored.32 They "should be enforced only Page 516 when within both th......
  • Doll v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, No. 12773.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • May 11, 1945
    ...U.S. 344, 347, 60 S.Ct. 551, 84 L.Ed. 796; Douglas v. Willcuts, 296 U.S. 1, 9, 56 S.Ct. 59, 80 L.Ed. 3, 101 A.L.R. 391; Irwin v. Gavit, 268 U.S. 161, 166, 45 S.Ct. 475, 69 L.Ed. 897; Eisner v. Macomber, 252 U.S. 189, 203, 40 S.Ct. 189, 64 L.Ed. 521, 9 A.L.R. 9 These are the three sources of......
  • Hoffman v. Palmer, No. 261.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • July 31, 1942
    ...decisions turn on matters of degree. See, e. g., Harrison v. Schaffner, 312 U.S. 579, 583, 61 S.Ct. 759, 85 L.Ed. 1055; Irwin v. Gavit, 268 U.S. 161, 45 S.Ct. 475, 69 L.Ed. 897; Ingo v. Koch, 2 Cir., April 15, 1942, 127 F.2d 667, note 6; dissenting opinion in Chrestensen v. Valentine, 2 Cir......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT