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Income Tax Keyed to Bankman
Duberstein v. Commissioner
Citation:363 U.S. 278 (1960)
Duberstein: Duberstein was president of Duberstein Iron & Metal Company and had a close business relationship with Berman, president of Mohawk Metal Corporation. In 1951, Berman phoned Duberstein to tell him about how certain information Duberstein had provided resulted in great success for his business. Berman insisted on buying Duberstein a Cadillac in exchange for the helpful information. Although he initially protested, Duberstein did eventually relent and accept the Cadillac. Duberstein would also later testify that he did not believe Berman would have purchased the car for him if not for the information Duberstein had provided. Duberstein failed to report the car as a gross income that year, instead considering it to be a tax-exempt gift.
Stanton: Stanton had been the employ of Trinity Church as a comptroller, as well as president of the Trinity Operating Company set up by the church, with an annual salary of $22,500 by his last year with the church in 1942. That year, Stanton resigned from both positions and the Operating Company’s directors passed a resolution to pay Stanton a gratuity of $20,000 for his services upon his exit. The Operating Company’s directors further explained that the gratuity was based on Stanton being liked by all his colleagues, his pleasing personality, and other niceties. Additional evidence in the case suggested that Stanton may have actually been forced out due to a conflict with the directors. Stanton failed to report the $20,000 “gratuity” as gross income, thus the Commissioner asserted a deficiency against him.
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