Plaintiff, divorced and living apart from his former wife who had custody of their two sons, claimed dependency exemptions for both sons in his federal income tax returns for the two years in question. The Commissioner of Internal Revenue disallowed the exemption for one son in each of the two years. In affirming the Commissioner's determination, the Tax Court held that plaintiff failed to sustain the burden of proving that his contribution was more than half the total support of the children. Though able to establish the amount of his contribution, plaintiff could not prove the amount of support from all other sources, including his former wife. On appeal to the Fourth Circuit, reversed. Held: To sustain the burden of proof for a claimed dependency exemption, a taxpayer need not prove the total amount of support from all sources if he establishes other facts persuasively indicating that his contribution constituted over half the claimed dependent's aggregate support. Commissioner v. Mendel, 351 F.2d 580 (4th Cir. 1965).
Exemptions for Dependents: The Burden of Proof Dilemma for Divorced or Separated Parents,
Wash. L. & Rev.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.uw.edu/wlr/vol41/iss4/12