BARTELS V. BIRMINGHAM, 332 U. S. 126 (1947)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Bartels v. Birmingham, 332 U.S. 126 (1947)

Bartels v. Birmingham

No. 731

Argued April 3, 1947

Decided June 23, 1947

332 U.S. 126


1. Under the circumstances detailed in the opinion, the members of "name bands" which play short-term engagements at public dance halls are, for purposes of the taxes imposed by the Social Security Act, employees of the band leaders, and not of the dance hall operators -- notwithstanding contractual provisions designating the dance hall operators as their employers. Pp. 332 U. S. 127-132.

2. An interpretive ruling on Treasury Regulations by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, whereby the burden of the social security tax could be shifted by contractual arrangements from the band leaders to the dance hall operators, was in excess of the statutory power of the Commissioner, and invalid. Pp. 332 U. S. 130-132.

157 F.2d 295, reversed.

Petitioners brought suits against the Collector of Internal Revenue for refunds of social security taxes. In one of the suits, several band leaders were permitted to intervene as defendants. Judgments for the petitioners in the District Court were reversed by the Circuit Court of Appeals. 157 F.2d 295. This Court granted certiorari. 329 U.S. 711. Reversed, p. 332 U. S. 132.

Page 332 U. S. 127

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