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The income tax law of the United States is Section II, of the Act to reduce tariff duties, and provide revenue for the Government, and for other purposes, which was approved by President Wilson, October 3, 1913. The income tax section of that Act has ten thousand words, which are printed in thirty-three paragraphs. Those paragraphs are arranged in fourteen groups, the first paragraph of each of which groups is prefixed by a capital letter, and all of which groups are arranged in alphabetical order, from A to N, inclusive, and are designated as “subsections” in the statute and in this pamphlet. Subsection A comprises two paragraphs, which are designated at their respective heads, as Subdivision 1, and Subdivision 2, respectively. None of the other subsections contains any designations of the paragraphs of which it is composed; except Subsection G and Subsection I. The first three paragraphs of Subsection G are designated by the letters a, b and c, respectively; while its fifth paragraph is designated by the letter d; and its fourth paragraph, and its sixth and last paragraph, are undesignated by any letter or number. Subsection I comprises five paragraphs, the first of which is undesignated, except by the letter I, which refers to them all; while its second, third, fourth and fifth paragraphs are designated as “Sec. 3167, Sec. 3172, Sec. 3173, and Sec. 3176, respectively. Each of sixteen of the thirty-three paragraphs is composed partly of affirmative sentences, and partly of one or more of forty “Provisos,” which are scattered through those sixteen paragraphs.
This division of the ten thousand words of statutory language into subsections, subdivisions, paragraphs and provisos, is partly reasonable and partly arbitrary and partly fortuitous. Most of the sentences into which those ten thousand words are divided, are very long and ex