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FREULER V. HELVERING, 291 U. S. 35 (1934)

U.S. Supreme Court

Freuler v. Helvering, 291 U.S. 35 (1934)

Freuler v. Helvering

No. 129

Argued December 8, 1933

Decided January 8, 1934*

291 U.S. 35


1. Under § 219 of the Revenue Act of 1921, the fiduciary of a trust estate, in computing the net income for the taxable year, makes the same deductions from gross income that are allowed in cases of individual income, including deductions for depreciation; those parts of the net income which, by the instrument or order governing the distribution, are distributable during the tax year to beneficiaries are specified in the fiduciary's return, but they are income of the beneficiaries as of the time of their receipt by the fiduciary and are returnable by and taxable to the beneficiaries, whether distributed to them or not; if, by mistake, the fiduciary omits to make proper deductions for depreciation, and so overstates the net income of the estate and overpays a beneficiary, the excess received by the latter is no part of his income, and need not be included in his return. P. 291 U. S. 40.

2. A decree of a state court having jurisdiction of a trust determining that annual deductions for depreciation of the trust property should have been taken from gross income before making distributions to

Page 291 U. S. 36

life income beneficiaries, and requiring them to make restitution accordingly, establishes the rights of the parties and is an "order governing the distribution" of the income within the meaning of § 219(d) of the Revenue Act of 1921. Pp. 291 U. S. 43, 291 U. S. 45.

3. Proceedings in a state court resulting in such a decree held not to have been collusive. P. 291 U. S. 45.

4. Retention by the income beneficiaries of the excess paid them by the trustee, under an agreement with the possible remaindermen permitting substitution of promissory notes, held not to have rendered it taxable as income from the trust. P. 291 U. S. 45.

62 F.2d 733 reversed.

Certiorari, 290 U.S. 610, to review a judgment reversing, on appeal, a decision of the Board of Tax Appeals, which had set aside a deficiency assessment of income tax. 22 B.T.A. 118.

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