Henderson v. Commissioner

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

143 F.3d 497 (9th Cir. 1998)

An itinerant taxpayer with no fixed home is not eligible for a tax deduction for business-travel expenses for federal tax purposes.

Relevant Facts

James Henderson (the plaintiff) lived with his parents in Idaho, and contributed minimally to the upkeep of his parents’ house. The plaintiff worked for an ice show based in Virginia that toured frequently. The plaintiff stored many personal belongings and his pet dog at his parents’ house in Idaho, paid Idaho taxes, voted in Idaho, held an Idaho driver’s license, and did his banking in Idaho. Between tours, the plaintiff would return to Idaho, where he performed minor jobs and made minimal efforts to look for other employment. Pursuant to §162(a)(2) of the federal tax code, the plaintiff deducted his business-travel expenses from his gross income. The commissioner of internal revenue (the defendant) denied the deduction on the grounds that the plaintiff’s travel did not take him “away from home,” as is required by §162(a)(2), because the plaintiff lacked a “tax home” in Idaho because there was no business purpose for the plaintiff to be in Idaho between tours. The plaintiff filed a petition challenging the commissioner’s determination in tax court, which upheld the determination. The plaintiff appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Issue

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Holding & Reasoning

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Concurrence

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Dissent

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Last updated:

December 23, 2020

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Procedural History

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Citations

143 F.3d 497 (9th Cir. 1998)