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Compensatory And Punitive Damages For A Personal Injury: To Tax Or Not To Tax, Douglas A. Kahn Jan 1992

Compensatory And Punitive Damages For A Personal Injury: To Tax Or Not To Tax, Douglas A. Kahn

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Since the adoption in 1919 of the Revenue Act of 1918, damages received on account of personal injuries or sickness have been excluded by statute from gross income.1 This exclusion, which does not apply to reimbursements for medical expenses for which the taxpayer was previously allowed a tax deduction,2 is presently set forth in section 104(a)(2). One might expect that a provision having recently attained the ripe age of 75 years without change in its basic language would have a settled meaning. However, recent litigation under section 104(a)(2) bristles with unsettled issues. Does the ...