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and the present tax is neither a tax on excess profits nor a tax on war profits, but a tax partaking of the characteristics of both. The tax is imposed on income over a fixed minimum exemption and a deduction of varying percentages of the invested capital. The taxability of a business concern existing during the prewar period is affected, but only slightly, by the rate of its earnings on invested capital during that period. The taxpayers under this statute are divided into four classes, special provisions applying to each class. These classes are (a) domestic corporations and partnerships, (b) individuals, citizens of or residing in the United States, (c) foreign corporations and partnerships and (d) non-resident alien individuals. The tax is imposed upon the entire net income of every corporation and partnership and upon the net income of every individual derived from business, trade, profession or occupation. The individual investor, it seems, who is not engaged in any business, trade, profession or occupation, is not intended to be taxed, but the individual deriving an income from a salary is within the purview of the law. For the purpose of the discussion in this chapter, a general statement of how the tax is imposed, or what might be called a formula, is given in the following paragraph, the terms and phrases used therein being defined in succeeding paragraphs.
General Statement. The tax is imposed on the amount of net income 3 from any trade or business - for the taxable years after deducting (a) an amount not
3 See Definition on pp. 509 to 512. 4 See Definition on p. 508. 5 See Definition on p. 507.
less than 7% nor more than 9% e of the invested capital? and (b) the specific exemption allowed by the law,8 at graduated rates e unless no invested capital or not more than a nominal capital 10 is employed, in which case the tax is 8% of the net income of such trade or business in excess of the specific exemption allowed by law. The tax will be assessed on information given by the taxpayer in his or its return of annual net income, (partnerships being required to file returns for this purpose) and will be due and payable at the same time as the income tax.
Corporation. The term "corporation" includes joint stock companies or associations, and insurance companies.11 A domestic corporation is one created under the laws of the United States or of any state, territory or district thereof. A foreign corporation is one created under the laws of Porto Rico, the Philippines, the Panama Canal Zone, Virgin Islands or the laws of any other possession of the United States or the laws of any foreign country or Government.12 Corporations exempt from the income tax are also exempt from this tax.13 A foreign corporation deriving less than $3,000 of net income from sources within the United States during a taxable year is not required to pay any tax.14
6 See p. 527.
11 The term, as used in this law, has the same meaning as in the income tax law. For a discussion of the definition under that law see Chapter 12.
12 Section 200.
Partnerships. The law does not define the term "partnerships,” but the intent is, undoubtedly, to include all kinds of partnerships, general and limited. Limited partnerships have been held by the Treasury Department to come within the definition of the term “corporations." 15 A domestic partnership is one created under the law of the United States, or of any state, territory or district thereof. A foreign partnership is one created under the law of any other possession of the United States or of any foreign country or government.16 Partnerships carrying on or doing the same business, or coming within the same description, as corporations exempt from the income tax law, are exempt from this tax.17 A foreign partnership deriving less than $3,000 of net income from sources within the United States during a taxable year is not required to file a return or pay any tax.18
Individuals. Special provisions apply to individuals who are citizens and residents of this country. The definition of the term “citizens and residents” will undoubtedly be the same as that made with respect to the income tax law, 19 except that the term "United States” as defined in this statute does not include Porto Rico, the Philippines or other possessions. It would seem that Congress did not intend the tax to apply to the incomes of the citizens and residents of those possessions, except to the extent that such income is derived from business or trade conducted within the “United States," as the term is defined in the following paragraph. The term “non-resident alien individuals” is not defined in the statute but the definition of the Treasury Department, under the income tax law, will probably be applied to the term as used in this statute.
15 See Chapter 12. 16 See Section 200. 17 Section 201; see Chapter 15. 18 Section 202. 19 See Chapter 4.
20 Individuals carrying on or doing the same business, or coming within the same description, as corporations exempt from the income tax, are exempt from this tax. Officers and employees of the United States, or any state, territory or the District of Columbia, or any local subdivision thereof, are exempt with respect to the compensation or fees received by them as such officers or employees.21 A nonresident alien deriving less than $3,000 of net income from sources within the United States during a taxable year is not required to pay any tax under this law.22
United States. The term "United States” means only the states, the territories of Alaska and Hawaii, and the District of Columbia.23 In view of this definition a foreign corporation, or partnership, or a non-resident alien, deriving income from Porto Rico, Philippines, Virgin Islands, Panama Canal Zone and other possessions will not be subject to this tax.
Taxable Year. In the case of individuals, the term "taxable year” means the calendar year, the first taxable year being the year 1917. In the case of corporations and partnerships, the term means the calendar year, unless the corporation or partnership has fixed its own fiscal year, in which case it means such fiscal year. Where a fiscal year has been fixed, the first taxable year is the fiscal year ending in 1917. In such cases, the tax for such fiscal year will be that proportion of the tax computed upon the net income for the full fiscal year which the time in 1917 bears to the full fiscal year.24 The tax will be computed upon the full income for the fiscal year, but only such part thereof will be assessed
20 See Chapter 5. 21 Section 201. 22 Section 202 23 Section 200.
, as is ascertained by multiplying the amount computed for the full fiscal year by the fraction of the fiscal year falling in the calendar year 1917. For example, if onethird of the fiscal year falls in the calendar year 1917, one-third of the full amount of the tax so computed will be assessed.
Prewar Period. The term “prewar period” means the calendar years 1911, 1912 and 1913. If a corporation or partnership was not in existence during the whole of such period, its “prewar period” will be as many of such years during the whole of which it was in existence. If an individual was not engaged in trade or business during the whole of such period, his "prewar periodo will be as many of such years during the whole of which he was engaged in the trade or business.26 The purpose of fixing a prewar period is solely to determine what particular percentage of invested capital between 7% and 9% may be taken by the taxpayer as a deduction.26
Trade and Business. The term “trade and business' is defined in the law to include professions and occupations.27 The term has no particular value with reference to corporations and partnerships, since every corporation
24 Section 200. 25 Section 200. 26 Section 203. 27 Section 200.