A-57090, SEPTEMBER 5, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 195

A-57090: Sep 5, 1934

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TAXES - REFUND TO INDIAN HEIRS THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO PAY TO THE SUPERINTENDENT OF AN INDIAN AGENCY AN AMOUNT DUE THE ESTATE OF A DECEASED INDIAN. WHERE THERE IS NO SHOWING AS TO THE EXISTENCE OF HEIRS OR NEXT OF KIN AND WHETHER THEY ARE RESTRICTED OR UNRESTRICTED. PAYMENT OF AMOUNTS DUE DETERMINED INDIAN HEIRS KNOWN TO BE RESTRICTED MAY BE MADE TO THE SUPERINTENDENT FOR THE REASON THAT THE TAXES TO BE REFUNDED MAY HAVE BEEN PAID IN THE FIRST INSTANCE BY THE SUPERINTENDENT FROM RESTRICTED FUNDS AND SOME ADJUSTMENT BY HIM MIGHT BE NECESSARY BEFORE THE FUNDS ARE PAID TO THE HEIR OR NEXT OF KIN. 11 COMP. 1934: THERE IS BEFORE THIS OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION SUPPLEMENTAL SCHEDULE NO. IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT THE HEIRS OF THE DECEDENT HAVE BEEN DETERMINED OR THAT A LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE HAS BEEN APPOINTED TO CARE FOR THE ASSETS OF THE ESTATE.

A-57090, SEPTEMBER 5, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 195

TAXES - REFUND TO INDIAN HEIRS THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO PAY TO THE SUPERINTENDENT OF AN INDIAN AGENCY AN AMOUNT DUE THE ESTATE OF A DECEASED INDIAN, WARD OF THE GOVERNMENT, WHERE THERE IS NO SHOWING AS TO THE EXISTENCE OF HEIRS OR NEXT OF KIN AND WHETHER THEY ARE RESTRICTED OR UNRESTRICTED. PAYMENT OF AMOUNTS DUE DETERMINED INDIAN HEIRS KNOWN TO BE RESTRICTED MAY BE MADE TO THE SUPERINTENDENT FOR THE REASON THAT THE TAXES TO BE REFUNDED MAY HAVE BEEN PAID IN THE FIRST INSTANCE BY THE SUPERINTENDENT FROM RESTRICTED FUNDS AND SOME ADJUSTMENT BY HIM MIGHT BE NECESSARY BEFORE THE FUNDS ARE PAID TO THE HEIR OR NEXT OF KIN. 11 COMP. GEN. 316, DISTINGUISHED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, SEPTEMBER 5, 1934:

THERE IS BEFORE THIS OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION SUPPLEMENTAL SCHEDULE NO. IT-52876, CERTIFICATE OF OVERASSESSMENT, SHOWING AN OVERPAYMENT IN INCOME TAX FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR 1920 OF $8.78, AND INTEREST THEREON IN THE AMOUNT OF $6.79, DETERMINED BY THE COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE TO BE DUE FOR REFUND TO THE ESTATE OF JOSEPH GIBSON, DECEASED. THE COMMISSIONER PROPOSES TO REFUND THE AMOUNT TO THE SUPERINTENDENT OF FIVE CIVILIZED TRIBES FOR THE ESTATE OF JOSEPH GIBSON.

FROM THE FACTS OF RECORD, IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT THE HEIRS OF THE DECEDENT HAVE BEEN DETERMINED OR THAT A LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE HAS BEEN APPOINTED TO CARE FOR THE ASSETS OF THE ESTATE. BY DECISION OF FEBRUARY 19, 1932 (11 COMP. GEN. 316), IT WAS HELD THAT THERE WAS NO AUTHORITY TO PAY A SUPERINTENDENT OF AN INDIAN AGENCY AMOUNTS DUE FROM THE GOVERNMENT TO THE ESTATE OF A DECEASED INDIAN, WARD OF THE UNITED STATES, UNTIL THE HEIRS HAD BEEN DETERMINED IN ACCORDANCE WITH LAW, OR A LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE APPOINTED TO CARE FOR THE ASSETS OF THE ESTATE. THE RULE ANNOUNCED IN THAT DECISION WOULD APPEAR TO BE FOR APPLICATION HERE.

BY ENDORSEMENT ON PREAUDIT DIFFERENCE STATEMENT DATED JUNE 27, 1934, A HEAD OF DIVISION, INCOME TAX UNIT, BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE, STATES AS FOLLOWS:

TWO OR THREE YEARS AGO IT WAS AGREED TO BY YOUR OFFICE THAT DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE WOULD NOT BE REQUIRED AS TO REFUNDS OF INCOME TAX DUE RESTRICTED INDIANS. HUNDREDS OF CASES HAVE BEEN SO HANDLED WITHOUT EMBARRASSMENT OR LOSS. THE DECISION REFERRED TO BY YOU (11 COMP. GEN. 316) HAD BEEN ISSUED AND WAS CONSIDERED BY ALL CONCERNED AT THE TIME THE ARRANGEMENT WAS MADE. ONE CONSIDERATION MENTIONED IN FAVOR OF IMMEDIATE PAYMENT TO THE SUPERINTENDENT WAS THE QUESTION OF INTEREST ACCRUING DURING THE PERIOD NECESSARY TO SECURE THE EVIDENCE, WHICH FEATURE WAS NOT PRESENT IN THE QUOTED DECISION. THE ITEM IS RESUBMITTED FOR PAYMENT WITH THE REQUEST THAT THE ARRANGEMENT IN EFFECT BE CONTINUED.

WHILE IT IS TRUE THIS OFFICE HAS ACQUIESCED IN THE PROCEDURE OF MAKING PAYMENT TO THE SUPERINTENDENT OF AMOUNTS DUE RESTRICTED INDIANS, SUCH CASES ARE ESSENTIALLY DIFFERENT FROM THE CASE HERE PRESENTED, IN WHICH IT IS PROPOSED TO PAY TO THE SUPERINTENDENT AN AMOUNT DUE THE ESTATE OF A DECEASED INDIAN WITH NO SHOWING AS TO THE HEIRS OR NEXT OF KIN TO WHOM DISTRIBUTION IS TO BE MADE. IN THE MATTER OF PAYMENT OF AMOUNTS DUE KNOWN RESTRICTED INDIANS, THIS OFFICE HAS CONSIDERED THE PAYMENT OF SUCH FUNDS TO THE SUPERINTENDENT OF THE INDIAN AGENCY AS PROPER FOR THE REASON THAT THE TAXES TO BE REFUNDED MAY HAVE BEEN PAID BY THE SUPERINTENDENT FROM RESTRICTED FUNDS AND SOME ADJUSTMENT BY HIM MIGHT BE NECESSARY BEFORE THE FUNDS ARE TURNED OVER TO THE INDIAN. THIS PROCEDURE HAS NO APPLICATION TO THE FACTS IN THE PRESENT CASE WHERE THE PARTIES TO RECEIVE THE AMOUNTS DUE FROM THE GOVERNMENT HAVE NOT BEEN DETERMINED.

ACCORDINGLY, IN THE INSTANT CASE, THE WITHDRAWAL OF FUNDS FROM THE TREASURY FOR THE PURPOSE OF PAYING THEM TO THE SUPERINTENDENT OF FIVE CIVILIZED TRIBES, TO BE HELD BY HIM OR IN A BANK UNTIL THE HEIRS OF THE ESTATE OF JOSEPH GIBSON HAVE BEEN DETERMINED, IS NOT AUTHORIZED.