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Business Organizations Law

Cornell University Law School

1961

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A Critique Of The Business-Purpose Doctrine, Robert S. Summers Dec 1961

A Critique Of The Business-Purpose Doctrine, Robert S. Summers

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

The aims of this article are: (1) to define the nature and significance of the business-purpose doctrine as applied in the field of Federal income taxation; (2) to summarize several considerations that support abandonment of the doctrine; and (3) to consider whether a substitute doctrine is needed. Several recent cases indicate that the influence of the business-purpose doctrine is declining, and in the recent case of Knetsch v. United States the Supreme Court appears to have substituted an alternative doctrine. The dual thesis of the present article is that the business-purpose doctrine ought to be abandoned and that there is ...