Supreme Court considers questions about income taxation in Moore v. United States

Must income be realized in order to be taxed?

Dec 07, 2023

Key takeaways

What does it mean for income to be “realized?”

Oral arguments on Dec. 5 indicated the Court’s openness to a narrow ruling.

The Court’s opinion could affect legislation on a wealth tax or tax on unrealized capital gains.

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A tax case before the U.S. Supreme Court, Moore v. United States, is stirring up fundamental questions about the taxation of income. Oral arguments on Dec. 5 crystallized the principles both sides are disputing in the context of the 16th Amendment.

What defines a realization event, and to what extent is one necessary for the government to constitutionally tax corporate shareholders? How the Court decides could have sweeping implications on taxation in the U.S.

In this edition of Tax Policy Now, members of RSM US LLP’s tax policy and Washington National Tax teams delve into the dynamics of the case, including the principal arguments of both parties and the implications of a broad or narrow ruling.

Below is the discussion between Jim Alex, RSM national tax policy leader; Don Susswein, leader of the partnership tax group in Washington National Tax; and Matt Talcoff, Washington National Tax leader.

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