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Abstract

One day, Mr. Jones walks into your office and tells you that he wants to help junior start his own business, but he does not want to incur any gift tax. "No problem," you say, and you proceed to tell him about the advantages of an interest-free demand loan to junior. You tell him that based on Johnson v. United States and Crown v. Commissioner, an interest-free demand loan will not result in a taxable gift. So junior can get the money to start his new business, Mr. Jones can transfer some of his wealth without adverse gift tax consequences, and all is right with the world - well, almost. On February 22, 1984, the United States Supreme Court handed down its decision in Dickman v. Commissioner. The Court overruled the decisions in Johnson and Crown and held that an interest-free demand loan between family members does result in a taxable gift. Sorry, Mr. Jones, but do not despair. If you make yourself comfortable, we will take a look at the High Court's reasoning and the implications of the Dickman decision.

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