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 Poe v. Seaborn, 282 U.S. 101 (1930), addressed the issue of whether income earned by a husband is rightfully taxed to his wife in a community property state. In Poe v. Seaborn, the Supreme Court concluded that “the wife has, in Washington, a vested property right in the community property, equal with that of her husband; and in the income of the community, including salaries or wages of either husband or wife, or both.” Accordingly, the Court held that husband and wife were entitled to file separate returns, each treating one-half of the community income as his or her respective income. . . .The case law relating to income-splitting in community property states has always arisen solely in the context of spouses. . . .


In Commissioner v. Harmon, 323 U.S. 44, 46-47 (1944), the Supreme Court distinguished its decision in Poe v. Seaborn. In Commissioner v. Harmon, a case addressing the tax consequences of an Oklahoma statute allowing married couples to elect community property status, the Court said: “In Poe v. Seaborn, supra, the court was not dealing with a consensual community but one made an incident of marriage by ...

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