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RIGGS V. DEL DRAGO, 317 U. S. 95 (1942)

U.S. Supreme Court

Riggs v. Del Drago, 317 U.S. 95 (1942)

Riggs v. Del Drago

No. 30

Argued October 20, 1942

Decided November 9, 1942

317 U.S. 95


1. Section 124 of the New York Decedent Estate Law, requiring that, unless otherwise directed by the decedent's will, the burden of any federal estate tax paid by the executor or administrator be apportioned among the beneficiaries of the estate, is not in conflict with the federal estate tax law (Internal Revenue Code, § 800 et seq.), and does not contravene the supremacy clause of the Federal Constitution. Pp. 317 U. S. 97, 317 U. S. 102.

The intent of Congress was that the federal estate tax should be paid out of the estate as a whole, and that the distribution of the remaining estate and the ultimate impact of the federal tax should be determined under the state law. The provisions of the Revenue Act of 1916 and subsequent Acts, their legislative history, and administrative interpretation support this conclusion, and §§ 826(b), 826(c), and 826(d) of the Internal Revenue Code do not require a different result.

2. Nor does the fact that the ultimate incidence of the federal estate tax is thus governed by state law violate the constitutional requirement of geographical uniformity in federal taxation. P. 317 U. S. 102.

287 N.Y. 61, 38 N.E.2d 131, reversed.

Certiorari, 315 U.S. 795, to review a decision of the Court of Appeals of New York, holding unconstitutional Section 124 of the New York Decedent Estate Law. The Surrogate's Court entered its order upon the remittitur of the Court of Appeals.

Page 317 U. S. 96

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