Taxation – Federal Income Tax – Deductibility of Expenses Incurred by Attorney in Attending Tax Institute

Petitioner was a member of a firm of lawyers engaged in general practice in Binghamton, New York. The firm did enough work in federal taxation to warrant petitioner’s specializing in this field, and his partners relied upon him to keep abreast of all significant developments in tax law. Petitioner attended the Fifth Annual Institute on Federal Taxation, conducted in New York City under the sponsorship of New York University and designed exclusively for practitioners and specialists in the tax field. He incurred expenses for travel, board, lodging, and tuition, all of which he deducted as ordinary and necessary business expenses under section 23(a)(1)(A) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Commissioner disallowed the deduction, and his determination was upheld by the Tax Court on the theory that petitioner’s expenses were non-business ones of a personal nature. On appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, held, reversed. A tax lawyer’s expense in attending a tax institute is deductible as a valid business expense. Coughlin v. Commissioner, (2d Cir. 1953) 203 F. (2d) 307.