CEO 74-39 -- November 1, 1974
MEANING WITHIN CH. 74-177, LAWS OF FLORIDA
To: W. A. Bert Smith, Bradenton
Prepared by: Patricia Butler
While the term "gross income" is not defined in Ch. 74-177, Laws of Florida, nor elsewhere in the Florida Statutes, the use of "gross income" in s. 112.3145(1)(a), F. S., in conjunction with a reference to federal income tax, evinces intent by the Legislature that gross income have the same meaning for financial disclosure purposes as for purposes of federal income tax. Therefore, "gross income" as used in CE Form 1 and Ch. 74-177, supra, is defined as given in the Internal Revenue Code at 26 U.S.C.A. s. 61(a). However, this definition is subject to exclusions noted in s. 112.3145(1)(a), supra, and in ss. 106.08 and 111.011, F. S. Further federal guidelines for items excluded or included appear at 26 U.S.C.A. ss. 101-123.
What income is included within the term "gross income" for the purposes of question 1 of CE Form 1?
Section 112.3145(a), F. S., as amended by Ch. 74-177, Laws of Florida, requires disclosure -- with certain specified exceptions -- of "the source of all income that constitutes ten percent (10%) or more of such person's gross income for the preceding taxable year." (Emphasis supplied.) The term "gross income" is not defined in Ch. 74-177, supra, nor does it appear to be defined elsewhere in the Florida Statutes. However, inasmuch as there is no personal income tax imposed by the State of Florida, it is clear that the reference in s. 112.3145(a), supra, to "the preceding taxable year" has in mind the income tax imposed by the Federal Government.
Thus, it is reasonable to assume, unless and until otherwise clarified by the Legislature or the courts, that by the use of the term "gross income" in conjunction with a reference to the Federal income tax, the Legislature intended that such term have the same meaning as it has for purposes of the Federal income tax. Note, however, that s. 112.3145(1)(a) excludes from gross income dividends or interest; moneys received from guardianship, child support, retirement, or disability compensation; and other compensation derived from any level of government service, or any contribution as defined by ss. 106.08 and 111.011, F. S. Subject to these exclusions, the term "gross income" is defined as follows in the Internal Revenue Code at 26 U.S.C.A. s. 61(a):
(a) General definition. -- Except as otherwise provided in this subtitle, gross income means all income from whatever source derived, including (but not limited to) the following items:
1. Compensation for services, including fees, commissions, and similar items;
2. Gross income derived from business;
3. Gains derived from dealings in property;
8. Alimony and separate maintenance payments;
10. Income from life insurance and endowment contracts;
12. Income from discharge of indebtedness;
13. Distributive share of partnership gross income;
14. Income in respect of a decedent; and
15. Income from an interest in an estate or trust.
Further guidelines as to items specifically included in or excluded from gross income appear at 26 U.S.C.A. ss. 101-123, as well as in the rules and regulations of the Internal Revenue Service.