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Faculty Publications

Sixteenth Amendment

2010

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Murphy V. Internal Revenue Service, The Meaning Of 'Income,' And Sky-Is-Falling Tax Commentary, Erik M. Jensen Jan 2010

Murphy V. Internal Revenue Service, The Meaning Of 'Income,' And Sky-Is-Falling Tax Commentary, Erik M. Jensen

Faculty Publications

This article examines the widely noted D.C. Circuit case, Murphy v. Internal Revenue Service, where a panel twice got itself hopelessly entangled in the relationship between the meaning of “income” in the Internal Revenue Code and its meaning in the Sixteenth Amendment. At issue was whether a whistle-blower's recovery for emotional distress could be reached by the income tax. The first time around, the panel concluded that the recovery could not be taxed constitutionally because it was not income. The second time, apparently after having visited another planet, the very same panel concluded that the recovery could be ...