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Morsman v. Commissioner

United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
90 F.2d 18 (1937)


Robert Morsman (plaintiff) executed a trust agreement naming himself trustee of certain stocks that he owned. At the time, Morsman was not married and had no children, but he had a living brother. The trust agreement stated that the trust was to terminate upon Morsman’s death if he did not have any children. The trust stated that if Morsman did have children at the time of his death, the children would receive income from the stocks for 20 years, at which point the trust would terminate and the principal would go to Morsman’s children, his widow, or his heirs. In 1929, Morsman sold some of the stock, making a profit. Morsman did not report the income on his personal tax return. The commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) (defendant) ruled that Morsman should have reported the income as his individual income. The board of tax appeals affirmed. Morsman filed suit, arguing that the income was not his but belonged to the trust.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Thomas, J.)

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