Self v. United States

142 F. Supp. 939 (1956)

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Self v. United States

United States Court of Claims
142 F. Supp. 939 (1956)

JC

Facts

James Self (plaintiff) was gifted Greenwood Mills stock from his father in trust in 1948, with the income to be paid to Self for his life. The remainder was to be paid to his descendants or to a charitable foundation if he had no descendants. Self could transfer the stock to or among his descendants. Self’s father paid gift tax on the entire value of the property in 1948. In 1951, Self executed a pair of deeds for 100 shares of Greenwood Mills stock each to his son and daughter in trust, pursuant to the terms of the 1948 trust from his father. Self paid gift tax on the right to receive the income for life on the 200 shares of Greenwood Mills stock—a total value paid of $918.23. He then filed a claim for a refund, and when the government did not take action, he filed suit. The government argued (1) that while Self’s exercise of a limited or special power of appointment was not subject to gift tax, that principle applied only to the trust corpus, (2) that the transfer of the trust income was not made pursuant to such a power, and (3) that gift tax accordingly applied. Self argued that because of the very nature of the stock, he could not transfer the shares of stock without also transferring the right to income from the stock. As he was acting pursuant to the special power of appointment from the original 1948 trust, Self posited that he was entitled to a refund of the 1951 gift tax paid on the right to income from the stock.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Littleton, J.)

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