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United States v. Lewis

United States Supreme Court
340 U.S. 590 (1951)


Facts

In 1944, Lewis (plaintiff) received $22,000 as a bonus from his employer, which he reported as income for that year. A state court determined in 1946 that the amount of the bonus had been wrongly calculated and that Lewis was only entitled to an $11,000 bonus in 1944. Lewis therefore returned the excess amount to his employer. Until 1946, Lewis used the entire $22,000 unconditionally as his own. After returning the excess, Lewis filed suit in the Court of Claims to receive a refund of taxes paid on the excess. The Court of Claims ruled that the excess received under a mistake of fact was not income to Lewis and that Lewis was entitled to a refund.

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Black, J.)

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Dissent (Douglas, J.)

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