Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Stidger

PETITIONER: Commissioner of Internal Revenue
RESPONDENT: Stidger
LOCATION: Bellmawr, New Jersey Police Department

DOCKET NO.: 173
DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1965-1967)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

CITATION: 386 US 287 (1967)
ARGUED: Jan 16, 1967
DECIDED: Mar 20, 1967

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Stidger

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 16, 1967 in Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Stidger

Earl Warren:

Commissioner of Internal Revenue versus Howe A. Stidger et ux.

Mr. Rogovin.

Rogovin:

Mr. Chief Justice, Associate Justices.

This case presents the issue whether amounts expended for meals by respondent, a marine officer serving overseas under circumstances where his family could not accompany him constitute a deductible trade or business expense under Section 162 (a) (2) of the Code which in pertinent part provides up the “traveling expenses” including the entire amount for meals and lodging while away from home in the pursuit of a trade or business would be deductible or whether such expenditures are nondeductible items prohibited by Section 262's warrant that except as otherwise provided in the Chapter no deduction shall be allowed for personal, living or family expenses.

In 1957, the marine respondent, a career marine officer was stationed at El Toro, California.

During that year, he had received permanent duty orders to the Fleet Marine Force Pacific located at Iwakuni, Japan.

A Captain Stidger had been in El Toro, California for some two and a half years prior to the receipt of his change of duty orders.

Prior to that, he had been in Albuquerque permanently stationed with the Marine Corps.

While living at El Toro, he lived with his family in an adjoining town of Santa Ana.

On October 1st, 1957 when his squadron was transferred to Iwakuni, Japan, Captain Stidger began a 15-month tour overseas.

During this period of time, his family remained in Santa Ana, California because of a marine order that precluded dependence from joining their servicemen husband and fathers when they were stationed with the Fleet Marine Force Pacific which was the organization that the squadron was assigned to, so that during this period of time, the family continued to live at Santa Ana, California.

In December of 1958, the respondent had completed his overseas tour and was assigned to the Marine Air Station at Cherry Point, North Carolina.

Potter Stewart:

This -- he was -- he wasn't assigned to a ship when he was overseas, was he?

Rogovin:

No sir.

He is --

Potter Stewart:

He's not on a carrier.

He was at a -- some sort of a --

Rogovin:

A land base.

Potter Stewart:

-- naval base, naval aviation land base or what?

Rogovin:

Yes sir, a marine air base.

Potter Stewart:

Marine air station?

Rogovin:

Yes sir.

Abe Fortas:

Mr. Rogovin, in your statement, you said he was permanently assigned to -- or something to that effect, assigned in a permanent station in the Pacific.

What's the basis of the word permanent?

Rogovin:

This is a word of art --

Abe Fortas:

Is it in the record?

Rogovin:

-- Justice Fortas.

I believe there were permanent duty station orders.

I believe that is in the record.

Abe Fortas:

And this was officially designated as a permanent duty station?