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COMMISSIONER V. LESTER, 366 U. S. 299 (1961)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Commissioner v. Lester, 366 U.S. 299 (1961)

Commissioner v. Lester

No. 376

Argued April 25, 1961

Decided May 22, 1961

366 U.S. 299


Section 23(u) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939 permits a husband to deduct from his gross income for income tax purposes amounts includible under § 22(k) in the gross income of his divorced wife, and § 22(k) provides that periodic payments received by the wife after a decree of divorce in discharge of a legal obligation imposed upon the husband under a written instrument incident to such divorce shall be includible in the gross income of the wife, but that

"This subsection shall not apply to that part of any such periodic payment which the terms of the . . . written instrument fix, in terms of . . . a portion of the payment, as a sum which is payable for the support of minor children of such husband."

Held: in order to come within this exception to § 22(k), the written agreement providing for the periodic payments to the wife must specifically designate the amounts or parts thereof allocable to the support of the children, and must not leave such amounts to determination by inference or conjecture. Pp. 366 U. S. 299-306.

279 F.2d 354 affirmed.

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