Biggs v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue

632 F.2d 1171 (5th Cir. 1980)

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Biggs v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
632 F.2d 1171 (5th Cir. 1980)

Facts

Franklin Biggs (plaintiff) owned property in Maryland. In 1968, Biggs met with Shepard Powell to discuss the possibility of selling the property and finding a new, suitable property to purchase in a like-kind exchange. After Biggs found a suitable property in Virginia, he arranged to have title transferred to Shore Title Company, Inc. (Shore), with Shore agreeing to then sell the property to Biggs. Powell and Biggs also signed a contract agreeing that Biggs would sell the Maryland property to Powell, and Powell would purchase the Virginia property from Shore and then transfer it to Biggs. Shore ultimately transferred title in the Virginia property to Biggs, and Powell acquired Biggs’s Maryland property. Although Powell never actually held title to the Virginia property, Biggs claimed the sale of the Maryland and Virginia properties as a like-kind exchange on Biggs’s 1969 federal tax return. The United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) (defendant) found that there was no like-kind property exchange and issued a notice of deficiency. Biggs appealed the notice to the tax court, which reversed the IRS and ruled in favor of Biggs. The IRS appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Henderson, J.)

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