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CARBON STEEL COMPANY v. LEWELLYN

March 1, 1920

CARBON STEEL COMPANY
v.
LEWELLYN, COLLECTOR OF INTERNAL REVENUE FOR THE TWENTY-THIRD DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA



CERTIORARI TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT

White, McKenna, Holmes, Day, Van Devanter, Pitney, McReynolds, Brandeis, Clarke

Author: Mckenna

[ 251 U.S. Page 502]

 MR. JUSTICE McKENNA delivered the opinion of the court.

Petitioner brought this action against Lewellyn who is Collector of Internal Revenue for the 23rd District of Pennsylvania, to recover the sum of $21,062.62 with interest from December 29, 1917, paid to him, under a demand made by him, as Collector, for an excise tax assessed under ยง 301 of Title III of the Act of September 8, 1916, c. 463, 39 Stat. 780, known as Munitions Manufacturer's Tax.

Petitioner made a verified return under protest, reciting its belief that the tax should be abated for the following reasons: (1) Petitioner did not manufacture munitions; (2) the munitions taxed were manufactured by certain independent contractors; (3) the profit derived by petitioner was from the sale of the munitions, not from their manufacture.

The tax was not abated and petitioner paid it under protest.

[ 251 U.S. Page 503]

     The facts are stipulated. Petitioner, through its president, who went to England, entered into three contracts with the British Government dated, respectively, January 26, September 29, and October 7, 1915, for the manufacture and delivery f. a. s. New York, of a certain number of high explosive shells.

The work to complete the shells consisted of the following operations: (1) Obtaining suitable steel in bar form; (2) cutting or breaking the bars to proper length; (3) converting the bars or slugs into a hollow shell forging by means of a hydraulic press; (4) turning the shell upon a lathe to exact dimensions; (5) closing in one end of the forging to form the nose of the shell; (6) drilling out the case of the shell and inserting a base plate; (7) threading the nose of the shell and inserting the nose bushing and inserting in the nose bushing a wooden plug to protect the thread thereof; (8) cutting a groove around the circumference of the shell and inserting therein a copper driving band and turning the band to required dimensions; (9) varnishing, greasing and crating the completed shell.

Petitioner was not equipped, nor did it have facilities, for doing any of the described work except the manufacture of steel suitable for the shells in bar form, and, therefore, to procure the manufacture of the shells it did certain work and entered into numerous contracts in relation to the various steps in making a completed shell.

These steps are not necessary to give. The question in the case is not a broad one and all of the details of the stipulation are not necessary to its decision. The essential elements of fact we have given and whether they bring petitioner within the Munitions Tax Act we shall proceed to consider.

The act is as follows: "Sec. 301. (1) That every person manufacturing . . .; (c) projectiles, shells, or torpedoes of any kind . . .; or (f) any part of any of the ...


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