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Farid-Es-Sultaneh v. Commissioner

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
160 F.2d 812 (1947)


Facts

In December 1923, S.S. Kresge transferred 700 shares of the S.S. Kresge Company to Farid-Es-Sultaneh (plaintiff). Kresge and Farid-Es-Sultaneh planned to wed after Kresge obtained a divorce from his wife. The shares of stock, each with a fair market value of $315, were intended as financial protection for Farid-Es-Sultaneh in the event that Kresge should pass away before their marriage took place. Kresge obtained his divorce on January 9, 1924, and transferred another 1,800 shares of stock to Farid-Es-Sultaneh on January 23, 1924. At the time, the stock was worth $330 per share. Before marrying in April 1924, Kresge and Farid-Es-Sultaneh signed an ante-nuptial agreement. The agreement specified that in consideration of the shares received by Farid-Es-Sultaneh and Kresge’s agreement to marry her, Farid-Es-Sultaneh would relinquish all marital rights, including her right to financial support as Kresge’s wife. The two were married until their divorce in 1928. In 1938, Farid-Es-Sultaneh sold 12,000 shares of the stock for $230,802.36. By that time, the number of shares she owned had increased due to the payout of multiple stock dividends. It was calculated that if Farid-Es-Sultaneh purchased the stock, her adjusted basis would be $10.66 2/3 per share, based on the fair market value of the shares at the time she received them. On the other hand, if the shares were a gift to Farid-Es-Sultaneh rather than a purchase, she assumed Kresge’s adjusted basis of $0.159091 per share. Farid-Es-Sultaneh believed that she purchased the stock through her pre-nuptial agreement with Kresge, and accordingly used the fair market value of the stock at the time she received them as her adjusted basis. The Commissioner (defendant) determined the stock was a gift, and that Farid-Es-Sultaneh should have used Kresge’s adjusted basis in calculating taxable gain. The Tax Court agreed with the Commissioner.

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Holding and Reasoning (Chase, J.)

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