Hastings Business Law Journal


Gurpreet Bal


In this Note, the author addresses the underlying tension between criminal intent and the complexity of the tax code in criminal tax prosecution in light of the recent Supreme Court opinion in U.S. v. Boulware. The author takes a look at the facts and circumstances of Boulware, the body of precedent supporting the Ninth Circuit's opinion, and the reasoning of the Supreme Court in its subsequent reversal of that opinion. He revisits the oft cited opinion of Judge Learned Hand in Helvering v Gregory, and asks whether the courts have taken Judge Hand's famous approval of tax planning so far out of context that it justifies the very behavior that he reproved. The author then asks if it is time to do away with the actual tax deficiency requirement in tax evasion cases-a rule bom in dictum and forged in repetition.