United States v. Wilcox,
95 U.S. 661 (1877)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Wilcox, 95 U.S. 661 (1877)

United States v. Wilcox

95 U.S. 661


Secs. 73 and 74 of the act entitled "An Act imposing taxes on distilled spirits and tobacco, and for other purposes," approved July 28, 1868, 15 Stat. 157, were not intended to repeal the rule prescribed by sec. 24 of the Act of July 13, 1866, 14 id. 153, as amended by sec. 9 of the Act of March 2, 1867, id., 473, for the allowance of commissions to collectors of internal revenue upon taxes collected by them for articles removed from one district to a bonded warehouse in another district.

This was an action by Wilcox to recover from the United States certain commissions which he claimed were due to him as a collector of internal revenue upon taxes collected by him for articles removed in bond from his district to another.

The Court of Claims found the following facts:

1. Under the provisions of the Act of July 20, 1868, c. 186, sec. 73, 15 Stat. 157, the Commissioner of Internal Revenue designated and established at different ports of entry bonded warehouses for the storage of manufactured tobacco and snuff in bond intended for exportation, under the control of the collector of internal revenue in charge of exports at the port and in the district where located.

2. The commissioner promulgated the following instructions and regulations applicable to the withdrawal of tobacco from said warehouses for consumption, so far as material in this case:

"The law makes no provision for the removal of tobacco in bond without payment of tax, except such tobacco and snuff as are intended for export. . . ."

"Sec. 73 of the Act of 1868, c. 186, provides . . . that said goods may be withdrawn from warehouses either for immediate export to a foreign country, or after the tax has been paid thereon. . . ."

"The following rules and regulations are prescribed for the deposit in, and the withdrawal from, any export bonded warehouse of . . . manufactured tobacco and snuff. . . ."


"The party desiring to withdraw manufactured tobacco or snuff from an export bonded warehouse, after the tax has been paid

Page 95 U. S. 662

thereon, will file with the collector an entry for withdrawal in the following form, describing the goods as they were entered for warehousing, viz.:"


"Entry of merchandise intended to be withdrawn from the export bonded warehouse of 05r, at _____, in the _____ district of the state of _____, by _____, for consumption, on payment of the taxes, the same having been stored in said warehouse by _____, on the ___ day of _____, 18 __, and which were described as follows, viz.:"

"* * * *"

"The taxes having been fully paid and the stamps affixed and cancelled, the collector will issue a permit for the delivery of the goods, which permit must be presented to the assessor of the district for his certificate that the same has been presented to him, and that the amount of taxes paid thereon has been entered in his bonded account of the district."

And the collector was required to certify that the full amount of tax due and owing thereon had been paid to him.

3. The claimant was Collector of Internal Revenue for the Fifth Collection District of Virginia from April, 1869, to March, 1871, as alleged in his petition.

4. During the time the claimant was collector as aforesaid there were removed from manufactories in his district, without the payment of tax thereon, and transported directly to export warehouses in other districts, under the provisions of sec. 74 of said act, 15 Stat. 157, and the regulations of the commissioner, a large quantity of manufactured tobacco, to each package of which was affixed, by said collector, an engraved stamp, as required by said section.

5. Of the tobacco so removed from manufactories in the district of the claimant, and shipped to export bonded warehouses in other districts, there was withdrawn by the owners from said warehouses, to be sold in districts other than that of the claimant, and not for export, in accordance with the regulations of the commissioner mentioned in the second finding, a large quantity of tobacco, and the tax thereon was paid to the collectors in the districts where said warehouses were situated.

6. Adding one-half the amount of the tax received on the

Page 95 U. S. 663

quantity of tobacco shipped from the claimant's district, as set forth in the fourth finding, and withdrawn from the warehouses in other districts to be sold, as stated in the fifth finding, to the amount of taxes collected by the claimant on which his commissions were calculated, if he was entitled to have such addition made under the provisions of the Act of June 30, 1864, c. 173, � 25, 13 Stat. 231, as amended by the Act of July 13, 1866, c. 184, � 9, 14 id. 106, and the Act of March 2, 1867, c. 169, � 9, id. 171, the claimant would be entitled to additional commissions amounting to the sum of $1,020, which has not been paid to him.

As a conclusion of law, the court found that the claimant was entitled to recover the sum of $1,020, and rendered judgment accordingly.

The United States then appealed here.

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