1 Hous. Bus. & Tax L.J. 1 (2001)

handle is hein.journals/houbtalj1 and id is 1 raw text is: COPYRIGHT  2001 HOUSTON BUSINESS AND TAX LAW JOURNAL. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

HOW TO READ TAX COURT OPINIONS*
Mary Ann Cohen*
It is a special privilege for me to be here today for several
reasons. First, I am honored to initiate the anticipated annual
lecture series sponsored by your Corporate & Taxation Law
Society. Second, my earliest career choice was to be a teacher;
therefore, I enjoy the opportunity to trade the courtroom for the
lecture hall. Of course there is an advantage to the courtroom,
where the black robe and gavel discourage too overt dissent from
my viewpoint. Third, this may be an opportune time to discuss
the function and structure of the United States Tax Court. It
seems to me that the attention of the tax policy makers and the
corporate world is focusing on the extent that so-called corporate
tax shelters require special efforts to determine whether tax
liabilities are being correctly reported by the business segment of
the economy. In the past few years, the Court has tried and
decided many cases involving reallocation of income among
members of international corporate families.' More recently, you
The text was presented as a speech to the Corporate & Taxation Law Society at the
University of Houston Law Center on November 11, 1999, and contains material
presented in earlier speeches and interviews of Judge Cohen. The footnotes were
prepared and appended by the editors to assist those interested in further research of the
subject matter.
I Judge, U.S. Tax Court; B.S., University of California at Los Angeles, 1964;
J.D., University of Southern California, 1967. Judge Cohen was in private practice in
Los Angeles from 1967 to 1982, when she was appointed to the Tax Court for a fifteen-year
term. She was reappointed in 1997. She was elected Chief Judge in 1996 and reelected
in 1998 for a term ending May 31, 2000.
1.  See generally H Group Holding, Inc. v. Commissioner, 78 T.C.M. (CCH) 533
(1999) (scrutinizing the allocation of income between Hyatt Corp., a domestic corporation,
and HIC, a wholly owned subsidiary, owning and operating hotel properties outside the
continental U.S.); Compaq Computer Corp. v. Commissioner, 78 T.C.M. (CCH) 20 (1999)
(analyzing the allocation between Compaq and its Singapore subsidiary of income derived
from printed circuit assemblies); DHL Corp. v. Commissioner, 76 T.C.M. (CCH) 1122
(1998) (examining the allocation of income among the shareholders of DHL and related
foreign DHL corporations and foreign investors who became the majority shareholders in
the related foreign DHL entities from a transaction involving the sale of more than 50% of
the portion of the DHL network outside the U.S.); General Dynamics Corp. v.
Commissioner, 108 T.C. 107 (1997) (investigating the allocation among General Dynamics
and its foreign sales corporations of commission income that may be deferred or excluded
under DISC or FSC); Seagate Tech., Inc. v. Commissioner, 102 T.C. 149 (1994) acq. in
result, 1995-2 C.B. 1, and 1995-33 I.R.B. 4, and 1996-1 I.R.B. 5 (focusing on allocation

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