Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 16,800+ case briefs...

Davis v. United States

United States Supreme Court
495 U.S. 472 (1990)


Harold and Enid Davis (plaintiffs) deposited money into their dependent sons’ checking accounts. The Davises’ deposits supported the missionary work that their sons, as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, were obligated to perform. According to church regulations, the sons were supposed to use their checking accounts solely for their missionary work, but were not legally obligated to adhere to the regulations. The Davises claimed the amount of these deposits as tax deductible under § 170 of the federal tax code. The Internal Revenue Service determined that the Davises’ payments were not tax deductible, and disallowed the deductions. The Davises paid back taxes and then sued the United States government (government) (defendant) for a refund. The United States District Court for the District of Idaho ruled for the government, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari to resolve a circuit split over the tax deductibility of expenses incurred in support of a third party’s charitable work.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (O’Connor, J.)

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 449,000 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 449,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 16,800 briefs, keyed to 224 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.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial