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JONES V. LIBERTY GLASS CO., 332 U. S. 524 (1947)

U.S. Supreme Court

Jones v. Liberty Glass Co., 332 U.S. 524 (1947)

Jones v. Liberty Glass Co.

No. 71

Argued November 17-18, 1947

Decided December 22, 1947

332 U.S. 524


1. Under § 322(b)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code, a claim for refund of federal income tax, whether arising out of an income tax "erroneously or illegally assessed or collected" or not, must be filed within three years from the time the return was filed or within two years from the time the tax was paid. The four-year period prescribed by § 3313 is inapplicable to such a claim. Pp. 332 U. S. 525-526, 332 U. S. 534-535.

2. The word "overpayment" in § 322 of the Internal Revenue Code is to be read in its usual sense, as meaning any payment in excess of that which is properly due, whether traceable to an error in

Page 332 U. S. 525

mathematics or in judgment or in interpretation of facts or law, and whether the error be committed by the taxpayer or the revenue agents. P. 332 U. S. 531.

3. Where the language and purpose of an Act of Congress are clear, legislative acquiescence in a rather recent contrary interpretation by lower federal courts is not to be assumed. Pp. 332 U. S. 533-534.

159 F.2d 316 reversed.

The District Court gave judgment for respondent in a suit for a refund of federal income taxes. 66 F.Supp. 254. The Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed. 159 F.2d 316. This Court granted certiorari. 331 U.S. 800. Reversed, p. 332 U. S. 535.

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