A-13480, APRIL 1, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 785

A-13480: Apr 1, 1926

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1926: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 11. SOMETIMES A TENDER IS MADE IN CASH. COLLECTIONS ARE FORWARDED DAILY BY MAIL TO THE COLLECTORS' OFFICES. WHEN CASH IS INVOLVED IT IS USUALLY FORWARDED UNINSURED IN THE FORM IN WHICH RECEIVED WITH THE OTHER REMITTANCES BY REGISTERED MAIL. CASH COLLECTIONS ARE INFREQUENT AND COMPRISE SMALL INDIVIDUAL AMOUNTS. IS THOUGHT THESE SMALL UNINSURED CASH REMITTANCES WOULD BE BETTER SAFEGUARDED IF REMITTED IN THE FORM OF MONEY ORDERS MADE PAYABLE TO THE COLLECTORS OF INTERNAL REVENUE. YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 3639 OF THE REVISED STATUTES THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY MAY BY REGULATION AUTHORIZE DEPUTY COLLECTORS OF INTERNAL REVENUE.

A-13480, APRIL 1, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 785

PUBLIC FUNDS - EXPENSES IN TRANSMITTING OR DEPOSITING THE PURCHASE OF POSTAL MONEY ORDERS BY DEPUTY COLLECTORS OF INTERNAL REVENUE FROM PERSONAL FUNDS MAY BE AUTHORIZED ADMINISTRATIVELY BY THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, WHERE THE USE OF POSTAL MONEY ORDERS AFFORDS THE NECESSARY AND PRACTICABLE METHOD OF TRANSMITTING CASH COLLECTIONS FOR DEPOSIT AS REQUIRED BY LAW; AND THE DEPUTY COLLECTORS MAY BE REIMBURSED THE COST THEREOF UPON PROPER EVIDENCE OF THE EXPENDITURE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, APRIL 1, 1926:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 11, 1926, AS FOLLOWS:

DEPUTY COLLECTORS OF INTERNAL REVENUE MAKE COLLECTIONS OF DELINQUENT TAXES IN THE FORM OF CHECKS OR MONEY ORDERS MADE PAYABLE TO THE COLLECTORS OF INTERNAL REVENUE. SOMETIMES A TENDER IS MADE IN CASH, USUALLY A SMALL AMOUNT FROM A PERSON WITHOUT BANK CONNECTIONS, WHICH IF NOT ACCEPTED IN THIS FORM MIGHT OTHERWISE BECOME LOST TO THE GOVERNMENT. COLLECTIONS ARE FORWARDED DAILY BY MAIL TO THE COLLECTORS' OFFICES. WHEN CASH IS INVOLVED IT IS USUALLY FORWARDED UNINSURED IN THE FORM IN WHICH RECEIVED WITH THE OTHER REMITTANCES BY REGISTERED MAIL. CASH COLLECTIONS ARE INFREQUENT AND COMPRISE SMALL INDIVIDUAL AMOUNTS. DEPUTIES IN TRAVELING AROUND THEIR DISTRICTS DO NOT ALWAYS KEEP THEMSELVES PROVIDED WITH THE NECESSARY BLANK FORMS TO INSURE SHIPMENTS OF MONEYS THROUGH THE GOVERNMENT CONTRACTOR, CAUSING MONEYS TO BE PLACED IN THE MAILS WITHOUT ADEQUATE PROTECTION. IS THOUGHT THESE SMALL UNINSURED CASH REMITTANCES WOULD BE BETTER SAFEGUARDED IF REMITTED IN THE FORM OF MONEY ORDERS MADE PAYABLE TO THE COLLECTORS OF INTERNAL REVENUE.

ACCORDINGLY, YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 3639 OF THE REVISED STATUTES THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY MAY BY REGULATION AUTHORIZE DEPUTY COLLECTORS OF INTERNAL REVENUE, WHEN NECESSARY TO ACCEPT TAX PAYMENTS IN CASH AND WHO FOR SOME REASON ARE NOT IN A POSITION TO INSURE ITS TRANSMITTAL BY REGISTERED MAIL IN THAT FORM TO THE COLLECTORS OF INTERNAL REVENUE, TO PURCHASE THEREWITH POSTAL MONEY ORDERS PAYABLE TO THE COLLECTORS. IF THIS MAY BE DONE LEGALLY AND SINCE ALL COLLECTIONS MUST BE DEPOSITED INTO THE TREASURY INTACT, WILL IT BE PERMISSIBLE FOR THE DEPUTIES TO PAY THE MONEY ORDER FEES FROM THEIR PERSONAL FUNDS AND BE REIMBURSED THEREFOR FROM THE APPROPRIATIONS OF THE BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE?

IN GIVING EFFECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTIONS 3617, 3639, 3653, AND OTHER APPLICABLE SECTIONS OF THE REVISED STATUTES, THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT ISSUED, MAY 15, 1922, DEPARTMENT CIRCULAR NO. 176, PRESCRIBING REGULATIONS GOVERNING DEPOSIT OF PUBLIC MONEYS, ETC. PARAGRAPH 4 OF THIS CIRCULAR PROVIDES:

CASH DEPOSITS. ALL CASH RECEIVED BY COLLECTORS OF INTERNAL REVENUE, COLLECTORS OF CUSTOMS, DEPOSITORY POSTMASTERS, AND OTHER DEPOSITORS OF PUBLIC MONEYS SHALL BE DEPOSITED, IF THE DEPOSITOR IS LOCATED IN THE SAME CITY WITH A FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OR BRANCH, WITH SUCH FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OR BRANCH, AND IN OTHER CASES WITH THE GENERAL NATIONAL BANK DEPOSITARY OR DEPOSITARIES LOCATED IN THE SAME CITY OR TOWN WITH THE DEPOSITOR: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT IF THERE IS NO GENERAL NATIONAL BANK DEPOSITARY LOCATED IN THE SAME CITY OR TOWN WITH THE DEPOSITOR, ALL CASH SHALL BE FORWARDED TO THE FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF THE DISTRICT OR THE NEAREST BRANCH THEREOF.

IT THUS APPEARS THAT WHENEVER A PROPER DEPOSITARY BANK IS AVAILABLE AT THE PLACE WHERE CASH COLLECTIONS ARE MADE BY THE DEPUTY COLLECTOR, THAT OFFICER MAY MAKE DEPOSIT OF SAME IN SUCH DEPOSITARY BANK ON ACCOUNT OF THE COLLECTOR AND TRANSMIT THE DEPOSIT SLIP TO THE COLLECTOR.

IT IS ASSUMED THAT THE QUESTION PRESENTED AS TO THE AUTHORITY TO MAKE REIMBURSEMENT FROM APPROPRIATIONS OF THE BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE TO DEPUTY COLLECTORS TO COVER PAYMENTS OF MONEY-ORDER FEES MADE FROM THEIR PERSONAL FUNDS IN TRANSMITTING CASH COLLECTIONS TO THE COLLECTOR, REFERS ONLY TO INSTANCES, WHERE IT IS NOT POSSIBLE FOR THE DEPUTY COLLECTOR TO MAKE DEPOSIT ON ACCOUNT OF THE COLLECTOR IN A PROPER DEPOSITARY BANK AS ABOVE INDICATED.

WHERE IT IS NECESSARY FOR DEPUTY COLLECTORS TO TRANSMIT COLLECTIONS TO THE COLLECTOR FOR DEPOSIT, AND WHERE THE USE OF POSTAL MONEY ORDERS OFFERS A NECESSARY OR THE MOST PRACTICABLE METHOD OF TRANSMITTING CASH COLLECTIONS, THERE WOULD SEEM TO BE PROVIDED BY SECTIONS 3639 AND 3653, REVISED STATUTES, ADEQUATE AUTHORITY FOR THE ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORIZATION OF THE PURCHASE, IN PROPER INSTANCES, OF THE NECESSARY MONEY ORDERS BY THE DEPUTY COLLECTORS FROM PERSONAL FUNDS AND FOR THE REIMBURSEMENT OF THE DEPUTY COLLECTORS FOR AMOUNTS SO EXPENDED. YOU ARE SO ADVISED.

THE INTERNAL REVENUE APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE FOR OTHER EXPENSES LEGALLY INCURRED BY THE DEPUTY INCIDENT TO COLLECTING AND TRANSMITTING THE INTERNAL REVENUE MAY BE CHARGED WITH THE COST OF REIMBURSEMENT AND IT IS SUGGESTED THAT CLAIM FOR SAME MAY BE SUBMITTED BY DEPUTY COLLECTORS AS A PART OF THEIR REGULAR EXPENSE ACCOUNTS, ATTACHING THERETO THE POSTAL MONEY ORDER RECEIPTS AS NECESSARY EVIDENCE OF THE EXPENDITURE.