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Jim Turin & Sons, Inc. v. Commissioner

219 F.3d 1103 (2000)

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Jim Turin & Sons, Inc. v. Commissioner

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

219 F.3d 1103 (2000)

Facts

Jim Turin & Sons, Inc. (Turin) (plaintiff) was a paving company that purchased its asphalt from a manufacturing corporation. The manufacturer would ship asphalt to Turin hours before it was needed, and Turin would use the asphalt as soon as possible to prevent the asphalt from hardening. Once Turin completed a job, it would be paid 10 to 30 days after billing. Turin used a cash method of accounting for tax purposes. Turin took deductions for the cost of asphalt it bought from the manufacturer and recognized income when it received payment for a job. The Commissioner of Internal Revenue (the Commissioner) (defendant) determined that Turin should have been using the accrual method of accounting when doing its federal taxes because, under Treasury Regulation § 1.471-1, asphalt was merchandise kept in Turin’s inventory. The accrual method would require Turin to recognize income when a job was completed, not when it received payment. Turin petitioned the United States Tax Court for a redetermination. The tax court found that the Commissioner had abused his discretion in requiring Turin to use the accrual method of accounting because asphalt was not merchandise. The Commissioner appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Tashima, J.)

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