A-42523, JUNE 3, 1932, 11 COMP. GEN. 464

A-42523: Jun 3, 1932

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TAXES - FOREIGN - TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE MESSAGES THE TAX IMPOSED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DOMINION OF CANADA UPON OFFICIAL TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE MESSAGES OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES MAY BE CONSIDERED AS A PART OF THE COST OF THE MESSAGE AND PAYABLE FROM THE APPROPRIATION FROM WHICH THE MESSAGE IS PAYABLE. AS FOLLOWS: THE CANADIAN REVENUE ACT CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING PROVISION: "THAT ON EVERY CABLE AND TELEGRAPH OR RADIO MESSAGE ORIGINATING IN CANADA FOR WHICH A CHARGE OF MORE THAN 15 CENTS IS MADE. ON EVERY LONG-DISTANCE TELEPHONE CALL ORIGINATING IN CANADA FOR WHICH A CHARGE OF MORE THAN 15 CENTS IS MADE THE SENDING COMPANY SHALL PAY TO THE CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND A TAX OF 5 CENTS AND MAY CHARGE THE SAME TO THE PERSON PAYING THE REGULAR CHARGES FOR SUCH MESSAGE.'.

A-42523, JUNE 3, 1932, 11 COMP. GEN. 464

TAXES - FOREIGN - TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE MESSAGES THE TAX IMPOSED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DOMINION OF CANADA UPON OFFICIAL TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE MESSAGES OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES MAY BE CONSIDERED AS A PART OF THE COST OF THE MESSAGE AND PAYABLE FROM THE APPROPRIATION FROM WHICH THE MESSAGE IS PAYABLE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE, JUNE 3, 1932:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF MAY 19, 1932, AS FOLLOWS: THE CANADIAN REVENUE ACT CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING PROVISION:

"THAT ON EVERY CABLE AND TELEGRAPH OR RADIO MESSAGE ORIGINATING IN CANADA FOR WHICH A CHARGE OF MORE THAN 15 CENTS IS MADE, EXCEPT PRESS ASSOCIATION DISPATCHES, AND ON EVERY LONG-DISTANCE TELEPHONE CALL ORIGINATING IN CANADA FOR WHICH A CHARGE OF MORE THAN 15 CENTS IS MADE THE SENDING COMPANY SHALL PAY TO THE CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND A TAX OF 5 CENTS AND MAY CHARGE THE SAME TO THE PERSON PAYING THE REGULAR CHARGES FOR SUCH MESSAGE.'

THERE IS NO TREATY PROVISION EXEMPTING OFFICERS OF THIS GOVERNMENT FROM THE PAYMENT OF SUCH TAXES ON OFFICIAL MESSAGES AND REQUEST IS MADE BY THE DISTRICT ACCOUNTING AND DISBURSING OFFICE AT OTTAWA FOR INSTRUCTIONS AS TO THE METHOD YOU DESIRE TO HAVE THE OFFICERS IN CANADA FOLLOW IN ACCOUNTING FOR EXPENDITURES FOR SUCH TAXES.

YOUR EARLY CONSIDERATION OF THIS INQUIRY WILL BE APPRECIATED.

IT IS ASSUMED PUBLIC-SERVICE COMPANIES COLLECTING THE CANADIAN TAX ON OFFICIAL MESSAGES OF THE GOVERNMENT WILL COMPUTE AND INCLUDE THE SAME IN THEIR BILLS AS PART OF THE COST OF THE MESSAGES, AND IT IS PRESUMED, ALSO, THAT A PROPER SHOWING WILL BE MADE IN EACH INSTANCE AS TO WHAT PART OF THE BILL REPRESENTS THE TARIFF COST OF THE MESSAGE AND THE PORTION REPRESENTING THE TAX. NO REASON APPEARS WHY THE MATTER MAY NOT BE SO TREATED IN THE ACCOUNTING FOR PAYMENTS OF THE TAX THUS MADE, IT APPEARING THAT, IN THE FINAL ANALYSIS, THE TAX IMPOSED IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE COST OF THE MESSAGE CHARGEABLE TO THE SAME APPROPRIATION BEARING THE COST OF THE MESSAGE.