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One Supreme Court Case Could Mess Up Chunks of the Tax Code

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Justices will debate the meaning of ‘income’ under the 16th Amendment

A sweeping ruling by the Supreme Court could upend many rules affecting partnerships, multinational companies and bond investors. Photo: mandel ngan/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

WASHINGTON—A case that could punch holes in the federal tax code heads to the Supreme Court on Tuesday. 

The court will hear arguments in Moore v. U.S., which challenges a piece of the 2017 tax law that imposed a one-time levy on profits that companies had accumulated outside the U.S. But its implications could reach much further, providing the justices an opportunity to define what Congress can tax under the Constitution—and what it can’t. 

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