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Supreme Court of the United States
November 12, 1959, Reargued ; March 21, 1960, Decided
No. 492, October Term, 1957
[*146] [***624] [**631] MR. CHIEF JUSTICE WARREN delivered the opinion of the Court.
The question presented is whether a Federal District Court has jurisdiction under 28 U. S. C. § 1346 (a)(1) of a suit by a taxpayer for the refund of income tax payments which did not discharge the entire amount of his assessment.
This is our second consideration of the case. In the 1957 Term, we decided that full payment of the assessment is a jurisdictional prerequisite to suit, 357 U.S. 63. Subsequently the Court granted a petition for rehearing. 360 U.S. 922. The case has been exhaustively briefed and ably argued. After giving the problem our most careful attention, we have concluded that our original disposition of the case was correct.
Under such circumstances, normally a brief epilogue to the prior opinion would [****5] be sufficient to account for our decision. However, because petitioner in reargument has placed somewhat greater emphasis upon certain contentions than he had previously, and because our dissenting colleagues have elaborated upon the reasons for their [*147] disagreement, we deem it advisable to set forth our reasoning in some detail, even though this necessitates [***625] repeating much of what we have already said.
The relevant facts are undisputed and uncomplicated. This litigation had its source in a dispute between petitioner and the Commissioner of Internal Revenue concerning the proper characterization of certain losses which petitioner suffered during 1950. Petitioner reported them as ordinary losses, but the Commissioner treated them as capital losses and levied a deficiency assessment in the amount of $ 28,908.60, including interest. Petitioner paid $ 5,058.54 and then filed with the Commissioner a claim for refund of that amount. After the claim was disallowed, petitioner sued for refund in a District Court. The Government moved to dismiss, and the judge decided that the petitioner "should not maintain" the action because he had not paid the full [****6] amount of the assessment. [**632] But since there was a conflict among the Courts of Appeals on this jurisdictional question, and since the Tenth Circuit had not yet passed upon it, the judge believed it desirable to determine the merits of the claim. He thereupon concluded that the losses were capital in nature and entered judgment in favor of the Government. 142 F.Supp. 602. The Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit agreed with the district judge upon the jurisdictional issue, and consequently remanded with directions to vacate the judgment and dismiss the complaint. 246 F.2d 929. We granted certiorari because the Courts of Appeals were in conflict with respect to a question which is of considerable importance in the administration of the tax laws. 1
[****7] [*148] THE STATUTE.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
362 U.S. 145 *; 80 S. Ct. 630 **; 4 L. Ed. 2d 623 ***; 1960 U.S. LEXIS 1961 ****; 60-1 U.S. Tax Cas. (CCH) P9347; 5 A.F.T.R.2d (RIA) 1046; 1960-1 C.B. 660
FLORA v. UNITED STATES
Prior History: [****1] Argued May 20, 1958. Decided June 16, 1958. Rehearing granted June 22, 1959
Disposition: 246 F.2d 929, affirmed.
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