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Pacific Grape Products Co. v. Commissioner

219 F.2d 862 (1955)

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Pacific Grape Products Co. v. Commissioner

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

219 F.2d 862 (1955)

Facts

Pacific Grape Products Company (Pacific Grape) (plaintiff) canned its goods from July 1 to November 1 each year. Pacific Grape billed its customers on December 31 of each year for all their purchases that year, even if all the purchased goods had not yet been shipped. Pacific Grape accrued the revenue of all such sales in the year billed. Pacific Grape also incurred shipping expenses in the year billed even for goods not yet shipped. This was customary practice in the canning industry and was provided for in Pacific Grape’s contracts with its customers. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) (defendant) determined that this accounting was improper and ruled that revenue from goods not shipped by the year’s end should accrue the following year. This determination resulted in tax deficiencies in certain years and excess profits in other years for Pacific Grape. The tax court upheld the IRS’s determination, finding that title in the sold goods did not pass to Pacific Grape’s customers until the goods were shipped. Pacific Grape appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Pope, J.)

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