United States v. DarusmontAnnotate this Case
449 U.S. 292 (1981)
U.S. Supreme Court
United States v. Darusmont, 449 U.S. 292 (1981)
United States v. Darusmont
Decided January 12, 1981
449 U.S. 292
ON APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
Held: The 1976 amendments of the minimum tax provisions of §§ 56 and 57 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 -- increasing the rate of the minimum tax and decreasing the allowable exemption as to enumerated items of tax preference, including the deduction for 50% of any net long-term capital gain, and making the amendments effective for the taxable years beginning after December 31, 1975 -- may be applied to appellee taxpayers' sale of a house, resulting in a long-term capital gain, that took place in 1976 prior to the enactment of the amendments, without violating the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. The retroactive application of an income tax statute to the entire calendar year in which enactment takes place does not per se violate that Clause. Nor is the retroactive imposition of the minimum tax amendments so harsh and oppressive here as to deny due process, even though appellees would not have owed any minimum tax under the prior provisions. Assuming, arguendo, that personal notice of tax changes is relevant, appellees cannot claim surprise, since the proposed increase in the minimum tax rate had been under public discussion for almost a year before its enactment. And the amendments to the minimum tax did not create a "new tax," since the minimum tax provision was imposed in 1969, and one of the original items of tax preference subjected to the minimum tax was the untaxed portion of any net long-term capital gain.
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