United States v. Dickey
268 U.S. 378 (1925)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Dickey, 268 U.S. 378 (1925)

United States v. Dickey

No. 768

Argued April 16, 17, 1925

Decided May 25, 1925

268 U.S. 378

Syllabus

1. Assuming that no constitutional right of the taxpayer is invaded, the question whether income tax returns shall be published or kept secrets addressed to the discretion of Congress. P. 268 U. S. 386.

2. Section 257(b) of the Revenue Act of June 2, 1924, directs the Commissioner of Internal Revenue to prepare, each year, and make

"available to public inspection in such manner as he may determine, in the office of the collector of each internal revenue district and in such other places as he may determine, lists containing the name and post office address of each person making an income tax return in such district, together with the amount of the income tax paid by such person."

The same Act (§ 1018) reenacts § 3167 Rev.Stats., which makes it a misdemeanor to print or publish in any manner whatever "not provided by law" any income return or any part thereof, etc. Held, in view of the legislative history of these provisions and the evident policy of the Act to secure publicity of the information authorized to be put into the lists, that publication by newspapers. of the names and amounts of taxes so listed is not within the inhibition of § 3167. P. 268 U. S. 385.

3 F.2d 190 affirmed.

Error to a judgment of the district court sustaining a demurrer to an indictment accusing the editor and the managing editor of divers newspapers of printing and publishing parts of federal income tax returns, in violation of § 1018 of the Revenue Act of June 2, 1924, reenacting Rev.Stats. § 3167.

Page 268 U. S. 384

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