Page images

whether elected or appointed, of the United States, Alaska, Hawaii, or any political subdivision thereof, or the District of Columbia, the compensation received as such), of whatever kind and in whatever form paid, or from professions, vocations, trades, businesses, commerce, or sales, or dealings in property, whether real or personal, growing out of the ownership or use of or interest in such property; also from interest, rent, dividends, securities, or the transaction of any business carried on for gain or profit, or gains or profits and income derived from any source whatever. The amount of all such items shall be included in the gross income for the taxable year in which received by the taxpayer, unless, under methods of accounting permitted under subdivision (b) of section 212, any such 'amounts are to be properly accounted for as of a different period.

ART. 31. What included in gross income.--Gross income includes in general compensation for personal and professional services, business income, profits from sales of and dealings in property, interest, rent, dividends, and gains, profits, and income derived from any source whatever, unless exempt from tax by law. See section 213(b). In general, income is the gain derived from capital, from labor, or from both combined, provided it be understood to include profit gained through a sale or conversion of capital assets. Profits of citizens, residents, or domestic corporations derived from sales in foreign commerce must be included in their gross income; but special provisions are made for nonresident aliens by section 217 and for citizens and domestic corporations deriving at least 80 per cent of their gross income from sources within possessions of the United States by section 262. Income may be in the form of cash or of property.

A husband and wife domiciled in Arizona, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, or Washington, in rendering separate income tax returns, may each report as gross income one-half of the income which, under the laws of the respective States, becomes simultaneously with its receipt community property.

As to dividends, whether in cash or in property, see section 201 and articles 1541-1549.

Where property is sold by a corporation to a shareholder, or by an employer to an employee, for an amount substantially less than its fair market value, such shareholder of the corporation or such employee shall include in gross income the difference between the amount paid for the property and the amount of its fair market value. In computing the gain or loss from the subsequent sale of such property its cost shall be deemed to be its fair market value at the date of acquisition. This paragraph does not apply, however, to the issuance by a corporation to its shareholders of the right to subscribe to its stock, as to which see article 39.

The amount of income tax paid for a bondholder by the obligor pursuant to a so-called tax-free covenant in its bonds shall not be

included in the gross income of the bondholder. See section 234(a) (3) of the statute. The amount of the tax so paid may nevertheless be claimed as a credit against the total amount of tax due in accordance with section 221(d) and article 376. As to the determination of gain or loss from sale or disposition of property, see sections 202– 204 and articles 1561-1603. As to the gross income of corporations, see section 233 and articles 541-550.

ART. 32. Compensation for personal services. Where no determination of compensation is had until the completion of the services, the amount received is ordinarily income for the taxable year of its determination, if the return is rendered on the accrual basis; or, for the taxable year in which received, if the return is rendered on a receipts and disbursements basis. Commissions paid salesmen, compensation for services on the basis of a percentage of profits, commissions on insurance premiums, tips, pay of persons in the military or naval forces of the United States, retired pay of Federal and other officers, and pensions or retiring allowances paid by private persons or by the United States (except pensions exempted by paragraph (9) of subdivision (b) of section 213), are income to the recipients; as are also marriage fees, baptismal offerings, sums paid for saying masses for the dead, and other contributions received by a clergyman, evangelist, or religious worker for services rendered. However, so-called pensions awarded by one to whom no services have been rendered are mere gifts or gratuities and are not taxable. The salaries of Federal officers and employees are subject to tax. (See section 209 and articles 1661 and 1662 for special provisions relative to earned income and article 88 as to compensation of State officers and employees.)

ART. 33. Compensation paid other than in cash.- Where services are paid for with something other than money, the fair market value of the thing taken in payment is the amount to be included as income. If the services were rendered at a stipulated price, in the absence of evidence to the contrary such price will be presumed to be the fair value of the compensation received. Compensation paid an employee of a corporation in its stock is to be treated as if the corporation sold the stock for its market value and paid the employee in cash. When living quarters such as camps are furnished to employees for the convenience of the employer, the ratable value need not be added to the cash compensation of the employees, but where a person receives as compensation for services rendered a salary and in addition thereto living quarters, the value to such person of the quarters furnished constitutes income subject to tax. But see section 213(b) (11). Premiums paid by an employer on policies of group life insurance covering the lives of his employees, the beneficiaries of which are designated by the employees, are not income to the employees. See article 293.

ART. 34. Compensation paid in notes.-Notes or other evidences of indebtedness received in payment for services, and not merely as security for such payment, constitute income to the amount of their fair market value. A taxpayer receiving as compensation a note regarded as good for its face value at maturity, but not bearing interest, shall treat as income as of the time of receipt the fair discounted value of the note at such time. Thus, if it appears that such a note is or could be discounted on a 6 per cent basis, the recipient shall include such note in his gross income to the amount of its face value less discount computed at the prevailing rate for such transactions. If the payments due on a note so accounted for are met as they become due, there should be included as income in respect of each such payment so much thereof as represents recovery for the discount originally deducted.

ART. 35. Gross income from business.-In the case of a manufacturing, merchandising or mining business“ gross income” means the total sales, less the cost of goods sold, plus any income from investments and from incidental or outside operations or sources. In determining the gross income subtractions should not be made for depreciation, depletion, selling expenses or losses, or for items not ordinarily used in computing the cost of goods sold.

ART. 36. Long-term contracts.--Income from long-term contracts is taxable for the period in which the income is determined, such determination depending upon the nature and terms of the particular contract. As used herein the term “long-term contracts ” means building, installation, or construction contracts covering a period in excess of one year. Persons whose income is derived in whole or in part from such contracts may, as to such income, prepare their returns upon the following bases:

(a) Gross income derived from such contracts may be reported upon the basis of percentage of completion. In such case there should accompany the return certificates of architects or engineers showing the percentage of completion during the taxable year of the entire work to be performed under the contract. There should be deducted from such gross income all expenditures made during the taxable year on account of the contract, account being taken of the material and supplies on hand at the beginning and end of the taxable period for use in connection with the work under the contract but not yet so applied. If, upon completion of a contract, it is found that the taxable net income arising thereunder has not been clearly reflected for any year or years, the Commissioner may permit or require an amended return.

(6) Gross income may be reported in the taxable year in which the contract is finally completed and accepted if the taxpayer elects as a consistent practice so to treat such income, provided such method


clearly reflects the net income. If this method is adopted there should be deducted from gross income all expenditures during the life of the contract which are properly allocated thereto, taking into consideration any material and supplies charged to the work under the contract but remaining on hand at the time of completion.

Where a taxpayer has filed his return in accordance with the method of accounting regularly employed by him in keeping his books and such method clearly reflects the income, he will not be required to change to either of the methods above set forth. If a taxpayer desires to change his method of accounting in accordance with paragraphs (a) and (6) above, a statement showing the composition of all items appearing upon his balance sheet and used in connection with the method of accounting formerly employed by him, should accompany his return.

Art. 37. State contracts.--The profit of an independent contractor from a contract with a State or political subdivision thereof must be included in gross income. Where warrants are issued by a city, town, or other political subdivision of a State, and are accepted by the contractor in payment for public work done, the fair market value of such warrants should be returned as income. If for any reason the contractor upon conversion of the warrants into cash does not receive and can not recover the full value of the warrants so returned, he may deduct from


income for the year in which the warrants are converted into cash any loss sustained, and if he realizes more than the value of the warrants so returned he should include such amount in his gross income of the year in which realized.

ART. 38. Gross income of farmers.—A farmer reporting on the basis of receipts and disbursements (in which no inventory to determine profits is used) shall include in his gross income for the taxable year (1) the amount of cash or the value of merchandise or other property received from the sale of live stock and produce which were raised during the taxable year or prior years, (2) the profits from the sale of any live stock or other items which were purchased, and (3) gross income from all other sources. The profit from the sale of live stock or other items which were purchased is to be ascertained by deducting the cost from the sales price in the year in which the sale occurs, except that in the case of the sale of animals purchased as draft or work animals or solely for breeding or dairy purposes and not for resale, the profit shall be the amount of any excess of the sales price over the amount representing the difference between the cost and the depreciation theretofore sustained and allowed as a deduction in computing net income.

In the case of a farmer reporting on the accrual basis (in which an inventory is used to determine profits), his gross profits are ascertained by adding to the inventory value of live stock and products on hand at the end of the year the amount received from the sale of live stock and products, and miscellaneous receipts for hire of teams, machinery, and the like, during the year, and deducting from

, this sum the inventory value of live stock and products on hand at the beginning of the year and the cost of live stock and products purchased during the year. In such cases all live stock raised or purchased for sale shall be included in the inventory at their proper valuation determined in accordance with the method authorized and adopted for the purpose. Also live stock acquired for draft, breeding, or dairy purposes and not for sale may be included in the inventory, instead of being treated as capital assets subject to depreciation, provided such practice is followed consistently by the taxpayer. In case of the sale of any live stock included in an inventory their cost must not be taken as an additional deduction in the return of income, as such deduction will be reflected in the inventory. See article 1616.

In every case of the sale of machinery, farm equipment, or other capital assets (which are not to be included in an inventory if one is used to determine profits) any excess over the cost thereof less the amount of depreciation theretofore sustained (and allowed as à deduction in computing net income, shall be included as gross income. Where farm produce is exchanged for merchandise, groceries, or the like, the market value of the article received in exchange is to be included in gross income. Rents received in crop shares shall be returned as of the year in which the crop shares are reduced to money or a money equivalent. Proceeds of insurance, such as hail and fire insurance on growing crops, should be included in gross income to the amount received in cash or its equivalent for the crop injured or destroyed. If a farmer is engaged in producing crops which take more than a year from the time of planting to the time of gathering and disposing, the income therefrom may be computed upon the crop basis; but in any such cases the entire cost of producing the crop must be taken as a deduction in the year in which the gross income from the crop is realized.

As herein used the term “ farm” embraces the farm in the ordinarily accepted sense, and includes stock, dairy, poultry, fruit, and truck farms, also plantations, ranches, and all land used for farming operations. All individuals, partnerships, or corporations that cultivate, operate, or manage farms for gain or profit, either as owners or tenants, are designated farmers. A person cultivating

A or operating a farm for recreation or pleasure, the result of which is a continual loss from year to year, is not regarded as a farmer.



« PreviousContinue »