[IMGCAP(1)]George M. Cohan (1878–1942) is known to the public as the composer of classic songs like “Give My Regards to Broadway” and “You’re A Grand Old Flag.” To the entertainment business he is one of the legends of Tin Pan Alley and founders of ASCAP. However, to tax lawyers and accountants he is revered due to Cohan v. Commissioner, 39 F. 2d 540 (2d Cir. 1930).

Even though the Cohan rule is now over 80 years old, taxpayers still win with it, as occurred on May 13, 2013, in Heinbockel v. Commissioner, TC Memo 2013-125. We will review this factually interesting case. However, it is worth looking into the Wayback Machine (for you fans of The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show) to review how the composer of “Always Leave Them Laughing When You Say Goodbye” triumphed over the IRS.

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