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Mary Frances Allen v. Commissioner

United States Tax Court
16 T.C. 163 (1951)


Facts

Mary Frances Allen (plaintiff) visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art wearing a valuable brooch. She had the brooch pinned on her dress at 4:30 p.m. that day but realized at 5:00 p.m. that it was gone. At the time, there were about 5,000 people in the museum. Allen did not witness how the brooch went missing. She offered no evidence as to the type of clasp on the brooch, whether she bumped into anyone in the crowd, or whether her dress was damaged as a result of the pin’s removal. Allen sought to deduct the value of the brooch as a loss by theft. The Commissioner (defendant) disallowed the deduction.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Van Fossan, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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Dissent (Opper, J.)

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