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UNITED STATES V. KOPPERS CO., INC., 348 U. S. 254 (1955)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Koppers Co., Inc., 348 U.S. 254 (1955)

United States v. Koppers Company, Inc.

Argued November 10, 1954

Decided January 31, 1955*

348 U.S. 254


For the years 1940 through 1945, abatements of federal excess profits taxes, through application of § 722 of the Internal Revenue Code, are not retroactive, and they relieve taxpayers from the payment of interest on deficiencies in such taxes only from the time of the abatements, rather than from the original due dates of the taxes abated. Pp. 348 U. S. 255-271.

1. This conclusion is supported by a consideration of the statutory scheme as a whole. Pp. 348 U. S. 261-263.

2. The interest here involved is attributable to I.R.C., § 292(a), and ran from the original due date of the tax. Pp. 348 U. S. 263-264.

3. I.R.C., § 710(a)(5), added in 1942, permits a taxpayer, seeking relief under § 722, to defer a part of its existing excess profits taxes where its adjusted excess profits net income exceeds 50% of its normal tax net income. This 1942 amendment, by its restrictions, fairly means that, under all other circumstances, the existing taxes were to be paid when due, or be subjected to interest during their delinquency under § 292(a). Pp. 348 U. S. 264-265.

4. The denial of interest on refunds is prescribed by I.R.C., § 3771(g), and equity demands a comparable result in the case of underpayments. Pp. 348 U. S. 266-267.

5. The conclusion here reached is supported by the legislative history and administrative interpretation of § 722, and is consistent in principle with Manning v. Seeley Tube & Box Co., 338 U. S. 561. Pp. 348 U. S. 267-271.

126 Ct.Cl. 847,117 F.Supp. 181, reversed.

209 F.2d 692 affirmed.

In No. 29, the Court of Claims awarded a taxpayer a judgment for a refund of interest paid on those portions of deficiencies in excess profits taxes for the years 1940 and 1941 which were abated under § 722 of the Internal chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 348 U. S. 255

Revenue Code. 125 Ct.Ct. 847, 117 F.Supp. 181. This Court granted certiorari. 346 U.S. 965. Reversed, p. 348 U. S. 271.

In No. 41, the Federal District Court awarded a taxpayer a judgment for a refund of interest paid on deficiencies in federal excess profits taxes for the years 1943, 1944, and 1945 which were abated under § 722 of the Internal Revenue Code. 107 F.Supp. 837. The Court of Appeals reversed. 209 F.2d 692. This Court granted certiorari. 347 U.S. 987. Affirmed, p. 348 U. S. 271.

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