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Professional Associations and Federal Income Taxation: Some Questions and Comments, 17 Tax Law Review 1 (1961)


In the years 1942-1948, the community property system wus
adopted by state legislatures in Oregon, Nebraska, Michigan, and
Pennsylvania and was a candidate for adoption in New York and
several other eastern states. Community property moved eastward
in those days as irresistably as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, not
because the League of Women Voters wanted it or even because it
was the rediscovered heritage of Anglo-American law of which the
British had been brutally deprived by the Norman Conquest, as a
great scholar urged in his brief in Fernandez v. Wiener. Not at all.
The appeal of community property to states that hud never enjoyed
the civilizing mission of a Spanish occupation emanated, simply and
solely, from the fact that it permitted husband and wife to split their
income in computing their federal income tax. As the community
property system spread, pressure mounted to throw open the privilege
of income-splitting to all married couples regardless of their
state's system of property law. As soon as Congress responded by
enacting the joint return provisions of the Revenue Act of 1948, however,
the "new" community property states lost their taste for
Spanish law and repealed their statutes.

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