Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Kowalski

PETITIONER: Commissioner of Internal Revenue
RESPONDENT: Kowalski
LOCATION: Channel Islands National Park

DOCKET NO.: 76-1095
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

CITATION: 434 US 77 (1977)
ARGUED: Oct 12, 1977
DECIDED: Nov 29, 1977

ADVOCATES:
Carl B. Cordes - for respondents
Stuart A. Smith - for petitioner

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Kowalski

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - October 12, 1977 in Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Kowalski

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - November 29, 1977 in Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Kowalski

Warren E. Burger:

The judgment and opinion of the Court in number 76-1095, Commissioner of Internal Revenue against Kowalski will be announced by Mr. Justice Brennan.

William J. Brennan, Jr.:

In this case, the Tax Court and the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit disagreed on the question whether cash meal allowances paid to New Jersey's State Police Troopers are income with in the Section 61 (a) of the Internal Revenue Code, and whether even if they are income within that Section, are nonetheless excludable under Section 119 of the Code as meals furnished for the convenience of the employer.

The Tax Court held that the cash payments were income within Section 61 (a) and were not excludable under Section 119.

The Court of Appeals took the contrary view in reversed holding that even if the payments were income under 61 (a), they were excludable under Section 119.

We agree with the Tax Court and disagree with the Court of Appeals.

We therefore reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeals.

Mr. Justice Blackmun, joined by the Chief Justice, dissents and has filed a dissenting opinion.

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you, Mr. Justice Brennan.