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Moss v. Commissioner

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
758 F.2d 211 (1985)


Facts

John Moss, who was a lawyer in a Chicago law firm, and his wife (plaintiffs) deducted the cost of his weekday lunches as a tax-deductible business expense under § 162(a) of the federal tax code. The law firm’s eight lawyers knew and worked well with each other. The lawyers had to meet each day to set their schedules and trial strategies, but because of their schedules and the unavailability of office conference space, the lawyers could only meet over lunch at a nearby restaurant. Clients rarely attended these lunch meetings. The meetings were brief, and the lawyers spent no more money at the restaurant than they would have spent on lunch anywhere else in Chicago. The commissioner of internal revenue (commissioner) (defendant) determined that Moss’s lunch costs were nondeductible personal expenses, and disallowed the § 162(a) business-expenses deduction that Moss and his wife sought. The Mosses filed a petition challenging the disallowance in tax court, which ruled for the commissioner. The Mosses appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Posner, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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