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LANG V. COMMISSIONER, 304 U. S. 264 (1938)

U.S. Supreme Court

Lang v. Commissioner, 304 U.S. 264 (1938)

Lang v. Commissioner

No. 919

Argued April 28, 1938

Decided May 16, 1938

304 U.S. 264


1. Under § 301(g) Revenue Act, 1926, and T.R. 70, Arts. 25 and 28, promulgated thereunder, only one-half of the insurance (in excess of the $40,000 exemption) collected on policies issued on the life of a decedent after his marriage and payable to his wife is to be

Page 304 U. S. 265

reckoned as part of his gross estate where the marriage was governed by the community law of the Washington and all of the premiums were paid from the community property. P. 304 U. S. 267.

2. The ruling is the same where the facts are as above stated except that the beneficiaries of the policies were the children of the marriage. Id.

3. But where the policy was issued before the marriage, and the premiums were paid in part from the husband's funds and in part from community funds, the wife being the beneficiary named in the policy, the amount to be reckoned as part of the husband's gross estate is the amount collected diminished by one-half of that proportion of it which the premiums satisfied with community funds bear to all premiums paid. Id.

4. The definition in T.R. 70, Arts. 25 and 28, of the expression "policies taken out by the decedent upon his own life," found in the Revenue Act of 1926, having been contained in earlier regulations under earlier revenue Acts using the same expression, must be treated (nothing else appearing) as approved by Congress. P. 304 U. S. 268.

Response to questions certified in relation to an estate tax assessment upheld by the Board of Tax Appeals, 34 B.T.A. 337, and on review by the court below.

Page 304 U. S. 266

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