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May 26, 2024
PI Global Investments

Property Should Not Be Confused With Income

Moore v. United States, argued in December, is the most important Supreme Court tax case in a century (“The Supreme Court and a Wealth Tax,” Review & Outlook, Dec. 6). One issue raised by the government for the first time during oral argument deserves additional attention.

Although the Moores received no distributions on their stock, they were taxed in 2017 on a fictitious distribution of property from a foreign corporation. Their argument: We realized no income, as required by the 16th Amendment. At oral argument, the Solicitor General suggested the case might be decided by holding that a corporation’s realized income may be “attributed” to shareholders, but, as Justice Neil Gorsuch noted, none of the government’s briefs in any forum ever made that point.

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