Givens
v.
Comm'r of Internal Revenue

United States Tax CourtJun 16, 1988
90 T.C. 1145 (U.S.T.C. 1988)
90 T.C. 1145T.C.90 T.C. No. 76

Dkt. No. 4951-85

1988-06-16

DONALD AND JEAN GIVENS, Petitioners v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, Respondent

Debra Bowen, for the petitioner. Joyce Sugawara, for the respondent.


Petitioner, a Los Angeles County deputy sheriff, was injured in the course of his employment. Under California Labor Code section 4850 and the Los Angeles County Code he received payments equivalent to his full salary for one year, which the parties agree are excludible under sec. 104(a)(1) as payments received under a worker's compensation act. Thereafter, under the Los Angeles County Code provisions providing for compensation for injuries received in the course of employment, he was paid for his accumulated sick leave. HELD, payments received based on accumulated sick leave are amounts received under a worker's compensation act as compensation for personal injuries and are excludible from gross income. Debra Bowen, for the petitioner. Joyce Sugawara, for the respondent.

OPINION

NIMS, CHIEF JUDGE:

This case was assigned to Special Trial Judge Helen A. Buckley pursuant to the provisions of section 7456(d)(3) of the Code (redesignated sec. 7443A(b)(3) by section 1556 of the Tax Reform Act of 1986, Pub. L. 99-514, 100 Stat. 2755) and Rules 180, 181 and 182. The Court agrees with and adopts her opinion which is set forth below.

OPINION OF THE SPECIAL TRIAL JUDGE

BUCKLEY, SPECIAL TRIAL JUDGE:

Respondent determined a deficiency in petitioners' 1982 Federal income tax in the amount of $4,179.

FINDINGS OF FACT

Some of the facts have been stipulated and they are so found. The stipulation of facts and accompanying exhibits are incorporated herein by reference. At the time they filed the petition herein, Donald Givens resided at South Gate, California and Jean Givens resided at Placentia, California. After concessions, the principal issue to be decided is whether petitioners are entitled to exclude from gross income under section 104(a) of the Code amounts received as ‘sick pay‘ under the Los Angeles County Code (L.A.C.C.) following job-related injuries.

Petitioner Donald Givens (hereafter ‘petitioner‘) was employed as a deputy sheriff with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department from May 1, 1956 to October 18, 1982. He was injured in the course of his duties on March 5, 1981, and became unable to perform his duties. Petitioner continued to be employed by the Sheriff's Department as a deputy sheriff until October 18, 1982 when he was retired for medical reasons. The injuries petitioner sustained in March of 1981 prevented him from returning to work at any time during either 1981 or 1982.

Petitioner received $6,588.70 in worker's compensation benefits during 1982. The parties agreed that these amounts are nontaxable. He also received the following ‘sick pay‘ and other allowances:

+--------------------------------------------------------+ ¦2/16/82 to 3/21/82 ¦$2,966.56¦100-percent sick pay ¦ +-------------------+---------+--------------------------¦ ¦3/22/82 to 5/16/82 ¦3,105.46 ¦65-percent sick pay ¦ +-------------------+---------+--------------------------¦ ¦5/17/82 to 10/16/82¦7,042.77 ¦50-percent sick pay ¦ +-------------------+---------+--------------------------¦ ¦9/82 ¦420.00 ¦Clothing allowance ¦ +-------------------+---------+--------------------------¦ ¦10/82 ¦17,651.50¦Outgoing lump-sum benefits¦ +--------------------------------------------------------+

OPINION

We must consider whether the amounts petitioner received under the so-called ‘sick pay‘ provisions are excludible from his gross income. This is an issue of first impression. Section 104(a)(1) of the Code excludes from the broad section 61 definition of gross income those ‘amounts received under workmen's compensation acts as compensation for personal injuries or sickness.‘

STERRETT,* CHABOT, PARKER, WHITAKER, KORNER, SHIELDS, HAMBLEN, COHEN, CLAPP, SWIFT, JACOBS, GERBER, WRIGHT, PARR, WELLS, RUWE, and WHALEN, JJ., agree with this opinion.

WILLIAMS, J., did not participate in the consideration of this case.