A deficiency of $1,123.19 in income tax for the calendar year 1943 is placed in issue by these proceedings. All of
The question involved is a narrow one, but apparently novel. Petitioner is obligated under a voluntary separation agreement with his wife to make monthly payments to her for her support. The sole issue is whether petitioner is entitled under Internal Revenue Code, section 23(u),
The parties agree that petitioner's rights under section 23(u) are dependent upon the wife's obligation under section 22(k). That section reads in part as follows:
(k) ALIMONY, ETC., INCOME. — In the case of a wife who is divorced or legally separated from her husband under a decree of divorce or of separate maintenance, periodic payments (whether or not made at regular intervals) received subsequent to such decree in discharge of, or attributable to property transferred (in trust or otherwise) in discharge of, a legal obligation which, because of the marital or family relationship, is imposed upon or incurred by such husband under such decree or under a written instrument incident to such divorce or separation shall be includible in the gross income of such wife, and such amounts received as are attributable to property so transferred shall not be includible in the gross income of such husband.
From a scrutiny of this language it will be apparent that the legislators took occasion in that single sentence to require at no less than three distinct points the intervention of some sort of judicial sanction for an alteration in the marital status.
The statutory command is thus so forceful and unambiguous that
The conclusion seems inescapable that were respondent to attempt to tax these payments to the wife he would be conclusively frustrated by the unmistakable legislative purpose. Since the evident intent was to collect this tax from one spouse or the other, and the exemption of the husband is concededly premised upon the corresponding liability of the wife, we see no alternative but to sustain respondent's determination.
Reviewed by the Court.
Decision will be entered for the respondent.