THE LAW: Faith & Taxes

In 1949 Joan Ring of Clayton, Mo., a 17-year-old high-school student, made a pilgrimage to the shrine at Lourdes, France, where the Roman Catholic Church has officially affirmed miracles of healing. Joan, a devout Catholic, had undergone an operation for cancer and was seeking "spiritual help" for recovery. A little more than a year after her visit to Lourdes she had completely recovered. When they filed their joint 1949 income tax, Joan's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Vincent P. Ring, claimed the cost of the trip to Lourdes ($2,787.19) as a medical expense.

Last week the U.S. Tax Court, in a...

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