Thomas v. Perkins
301 U.S. 655 (1937)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Thomas v. Perkins, 301 U.S. 655 (1937)

Thomas v. Perkins

No. 824

Argued May 4, 5, 1937

Decided June 1, 1937

301 U.S. 655

Syllabus

1. The federal income tax Act is to be given a uniform construction of nationwide application except insofar as Congress has made it dependent on state law. P. 301 U. S. 659.

2. An instrument assigning oil leases for a specified sum "to be paid out of the oil produced and saved from the lands, and to be one-fourth of all the oil produced and saved" until that sum was paid, provided that the "oil payment" should be made to the two assignors, each to receive one-half thereof "out of the oil produced and saved" from the leased premises, "which payments shall be made by the pipeline company or other purchaser of said oil" and be "one-fourth of all the oil produced and saved" from the

Page 301 U. S. 656

land, "until the full sum is fully paid." It further stipulated that the specified sum should be "payable out of oil only, if, as, and when produced from said lands;" that "said oil payment" should not be a personal obligation of the assignee, and that it would "bear none of the expenses of the development of said oil leases or any other burden." No lien was reserved by the assignors.

Held, without deciding whether technical title to the oil while in the ground was in assignors or in assignee,

(1) That the intention was to withhold from the operation of the grant one-fourth of the oil to be produced and saved up to an amount sufficient when sold to yield the sum stipulated. P. 301 U. S. 659.

This construction was confirmed by the act of the parties under the assignment.

(2) That the amounts received by the assignors from the proceeds of operation were not chargeable for income tax purposes to the assignee a part of his gross income. Id.

86 F.2d 954 affirmed.

Certiorari, 300 U.S. 653, to review the reversal of a judgment rendered in favor of the Collector, in an action to recover a tax payment, tried without a jury.

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