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U.S. Supreme Court

Commissioner v. Heininger, 320 U.S. 467 (1943)

Commissioner v. Heininger

No. 63

Argued November 12, 1943

Decided December 20, 1943

320 U.S. 467


1. Attorney's fees and other legal expenses, reasonable in amount, incurred by a taxpayer (a licensed dentist engaged in selling artificial dentures by mail) in resisting issuance by the Postmaster General of a "fraud order" which would destroy his business, and in connection with subsequent proceedings on judicial review, the final result of which was unsuccessful for the taxpayer, held, in computing income tax under the Revenue Acts of 1936 and 1938, deductible under § 23(a) as "ordinary and necessary" expenses of the business. P. 320 U. S. 472.

2. The policy of 39 U.S.C. §§ 259 and 732, which authorize the Postmaster General to issue fraud orders, will not be frustrated by allowance of the deduction. P. 320 U. S. 474. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 320 U. S. 468

3. The Board of Tax Appeals was not required to regard an administrative finding of guilt under 39 U.S.C. §§ 259 and 732 as barring the deduction. P. 320 U. S. 475.

4. Whether an expenditure is directly related to a business and whether it is ordinary and necessary are, in most instances, questions of fact, the decision of which by the Board of Tax Appeals is binding on the courts; but here, the Board denied the claimed deduction not by an independent exercise of judgment, but upon the erroneous view that denial was required as a matter of law. P. 320 U. S. 475.

133 F.2d 567 affirmed.

Certiorari, 319 U. S. 70, to review the reversal of a decision of the Board of Tax Appeals, 47 B.T.A. 95, which affirmed the Commissioner's determination of a deficiency in income tax.

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