Logourl black
From our private database of 14,100+ case briefs...

Allen J. McDonell v. Commissioner

United States Tax Court
26 T.C.M.115 (1967)


Facts

Allen J. McDonell (plaintiff) was a home office salesman for Dairy Equipment Co. (DECO). In 1959, DECO held a sales contest for its distributors and salesmen. Each winner was to receive a free trip to Hawaii with his wife. McDonell, as a home office salesman, was ineligible for the contest. However, DECO management ordered McDonell and his wife to accompany three of the contest winners and their wives to Hawaii in 1960. McDonell’s role was to ensure that informal discussions about DECO did not lead to complaints and thereby damage DECO’s reputation with the winners. The presence of McDonell’s wife was deemed necessary to assist him in hosting a trip for couples. DECO instructed McDonell that the trip was not a vacation but an assignment. He and his wife were to stay continuously with the winners and were forbidden from taking personal time during the trip. McDonell was one of four home office salesmen selected that year to accompany four different groups of winners. Each home office salesman was selected at random. Their selection had no correlation to their work performance, and a home office salesman’s selection one year did not prevent his selection the next year. They did not receive a pay cut for the duration of the trip and did not lose vacation time. McDonell and his wife left for Hawaii for ten days in February 1960. They stayed with the winners as instructed and did not take any spare time for themselves. The cost of the trip for McDonell and his wife was valued at $1,121.96. McDonell reported $600 in commissions on his 1960 tax return for the cost of his wife’s trip. His tax return was found to have a deficiency in the amount of $1,121.96. McDonell argues that the entire cost of the trip was not income and that he erroneously reported the $600 as income.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Holding and Reasoning (Tannenwald, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 220,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.