CMEM, Inc. v. Commissioner，Tax Court Memorandum Decisions 1993-520。
事主Michael Theodoulou夫妇有多处偷税行为，我们仅看一条和joint account相关的。
Petitioners instead explain that Michael was acting pursuant to a Cypriot tradition whereby the head of a household is expected to put money aside for family members. At trial, Michael testified that, whenever he borrowed money from the children’s accounts, he felt obliged to return it at a later date. Thus, petitioners argue that, since Michael viewed the funds as the children’s ultimate property, and since any use of those funds was meant to accrue to the children’s long-term benefit, any interest earned on the children’s accounts should not be taxable to Michael and Evangelia.
Our finding here is based on the identity of the true owner of the income-producing property. … In such an inquiry, we look not to mere legal title, but to beneficial ownership. … It is command over the property or the enjoyment of its economic benefits that marks the real owner. … When transactions are between family members, special scrutiny of the arrangement is necessary, lest what is in reality but one economic unit be multiplied into two or more. Helvering v. Clifford, 309 U.S. 331, 335 (1940).
While we do not doubt the sincerity of Michael’s long-term intentions, we nevertheless have found that Michael owned the accounts in question during the years in issue. The circumstance that Michael may have viewed the funds as the eventual property of his children does not change the nature of the dominion and control he exercised over those funds during the years in issue. Michael’s access to, and use of, the money in the children’s bank accounts to facilitate his own business ventures establish him as the constructive owner of those funds. [*40] As such, we hold that he is subject to tax on any income earned on the children’s accounts. Accordingly, we sustain respondent’s determination with respect to the totality of the unreported interest income earned on the Theodoulous’ bank accounts during the years in issue.
irs 在1984年底对其1983年的tax return进行了audit。在1985年中旬陆续展开了其他年份的audit。法庭最终结论是Theodoulou夫妇在1982-1984年少报的taxable income 分别为$43,779, $62,364, $370,701。这个audit 的数额可以参考下。