24 January 1916

In Brushaber v. Union Pacific Railroad Co., the Supreme Court of the United States declares the federal income tax constitutional.

Brushaber v. Union Pacific Railroad Co. (240 U.S. 1) was a United States Supreme Court case that dealt with the constitutionality of the federal income tax imposed by the Revenue Act of 1913. Charles Brushaber, the plaintiff, argued that the income tax was unconstitutional because it violated the Constitution’s provisions regarding direct taxes.

The Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, upheld the constitutionality of the income tax. The court held that the tax was an indirect tax and did not need to be apportioned among the states based on population, as direct taxes would have. This decision played a significant role in establishing the constitutionality of the federal income tax.