Bonwit Teller & Co. v. United States
283 U.S. 258 (1931)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Bonwit Teller & Co. v. United States, 283 U.S. 258 (1931)

Bonwit Teller & Co. v. United States

No. 282

Argued March 16, 1931

Decided April 13, 1931

283 U.S. 258

Syllabus

1. Section 281(e) of the Revenue Act of 1924, as amended March 3, 1925, provides that, if a taxpayer has, on or before June 15, 1925, filed a waiver of his right to have the tax due for the taxable year 1919 determined and assessed within five years after the return was filed, then refund relating to such tax shall be made if claim therefor is filed on or before April 1926. Held that it should be construed liberally in favor of a taxpayer as to what amounts to a claim for refund. P. 283 U. S. 263.

2. Prior to the above amendment, the Commissioner had finally, upon full information and consideration, determined that the taxpayer had overpaid its tax in a stated amount, and he had then withheld a refund solely because the taxpayer had not complied with § 281 as it then stood. Soon after the amendment, the Commissioner notified the taxpayer that the overassessment could not be allowed unless the taxpayer filed a waiver on or before June 15, 1925, as the amendment required, and he enclosed blanks for that purpose. The taxpayer executed and returned the waiver before that date, with a letter to the Commissioner saying that the waiver was sent to him in accordance with his request. Held that the Commissioner was warranted in accepting the waiver and the letter transmitting it, with what went before, as amounting to the filing of a claim within the meaning of the amendment. P. 283 U. S. 263.

Page 283 U. S. 259

3. A suit based upon a determination and certification by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue that the plaintiff is entitled to a tax refund of specified amount is not barred under R.S. § 3226 by the lapse of five years from the payment of the tax. P. 283 U. S. 265.

69 Ct.Cls. 638, 39 F.2d 730, reversed.

Certiorari, 282 U.S. 823, to review a judgment dismissing a claim to recover an overpayment of income tax.

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