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Vitale v. Commissioner

United States Tax Court
T.C. Memo. 1999-131 (1999)


Facts

Ralph Vitale (plaintiff) began work as an author after his retirement from the United States Treasury. Vitale wrote his third book about two men who traveled cross-country and started a brothel. During a one-year period, Vitale averaged nearly three visits per month to legal brothels in Las Vegas. Vitale would record everything about his visits, including the physical and personal characteristics of the prostitutes, his dialogue in negotiating prices, and how he selected the prostitutes. At some point, Vitale would tell the prostitutes that he wanted to use them as a character in his new book. Vitale deducted the brothel expenditures as business expenses on his tax return. The commissioner of internal revenue (commissioner) (defendant) issued a notice of deficiency against Vitale as a result. Vitale petitioned the tax court for a redetermination.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Fay, J.)

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