A-64374, AUGUST 22, 1935, 15 COMP. GEN. 151

A-64374: Aug 22, 1935

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ARE REQUIRED TO PAY A CUBAN TAX OF 6 1/2 PERCENT ON FIRST -CLASS TRANSPORTATION. 1 1/2 PERCENT ON THIRD-CLASS TRANSPORTATION WHEN TRANSPORTATION IS PURCHASED WITH CASH. 5 PERCENT ON FIRST-CLASS TRANSPORTATION AND 2 PERCENT ON TOURIST-CLASS TRANSPORTATION WHEN TRANSPORTATION IS SECURED ON AN EXCHANGE ORDER WHICH INCLUDES GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS ORDINARILY USED FOR THE PURCHASE OF TRANSPORTATION OF MILITARY PERSONNEL AND THEIR DEPENDENTS. THE QUESTION IS THUS RAISED AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THIS CUBAN TAX CAN PROPERLY BE INCLUDED AS AN ITEM OF TRAVEL EXPENSE AND. IN THIS CONNECTION ATTENTION IS INVITED TO YOUR DECISION OF DECEMBER 13. WHEREIN IT WAS HELD. THAT THE "TAX IMPOSED BY A FOREIGN GOVERNMENT IS A PROPER CHARGE IN CONNECTION WITH TRANSPORTATION FURNISHED AN OFFICER OF THE UNITED STATES ON OFFICIAL TRAVEL.'.

A-64374, AUGUST 22, 1935, 15 COMP. GEN. 151

TAX - TRANSPORTATION - NAVY THE TAX IMPOSED BY THE CUBAN GOVERNMENT ON TRANSPORTATION, BEING A NECESSARY PART OF THE COST OF SUCH TRANSPORTATION, MAY BE PAID UNDER THE APPROPRIATION CHARGEABLE WITH THE TRANSPORTATION.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, AUGUST 22, 1935:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 1, 1935, REQUESTING DECISION AS FOLLOWS:

UNDER THE LAWS OF CUBA, PERSONS, INCLUDING THOSE IN THE MILITARY SERVICE AND THEIR DEPENDENTS, TRAVELING FROM CUBAN PORTS TO THE UNITED STATES, OR TO OTHER POINTS, ARE REQUIRED TO PAY A CUBAN TAX OF 6 1/2 PERCENT ON FIRST -CLASS TRANSPORTATION, 3 1/2 PERCENT ON TOURIST-CLASS TRANSPORTATION, AND 1 1/2 PERCENT ON THIRD-CLASS TRANSPORTATION WHEN TRANSPORTATION IS PURCHASED WITH CASH; AND 5 PERCENT ON FIRST-CLASS TRANSPORTATION AND 2 PERCENT ON TOURIST-CLASS TRANSPORTATION WHEN TRANSPORTATION IS SECURED ON AN EXCHANGE ORDER WHICH INCLUDES GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS ORDINARILY USED FOR THE PURCHASE OF TRANSPORTATION OF MILITARY PERSONNEL AND THEIR DEPENDENTS.

SINCE THE NAVY DEPARTMENT HERETOFORE HAS NOT INCLUDED THIS CUBAN TAX ON TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS ISSUED FOR AUTHORIZED TRAVEL OF NAVAL PERSONNEL AND THEIR DEPENDENTS FROM CUBAN PORTS, THE AMOUNT OF THE TAX INVOLVED HAS BEEN COLLECTED FROM THE TRAVELERS BY THE CUBAN AGENTS. THE QUESTION IS THUS RAISED AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THIS CUBAN TAX CAN PROPERLY BE INCLUDED AS AN ITEM OF TRAVEL EXPENSE AND, IF SO, WHETHER OR NOT SUCH CHARGES CAN PROPERLY BE PAID FROM THE CURRENT NAVAL APPROPRIATIONS FOR TRANSPORTATION OF NAVAL PERSONNEL AND INCLUDED IN TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS WHEN ISSUED FOR THE TRAVEL OF NAVAL PERSONNEL AND THEIR DEPENDENTS INVOLVING TRAVEL FROM CUBAN PORTS.

IT APPEARS TO THE NAVY DEPARTMENT THAT IN CASES OF AUTHORIZED TRAVEL OF NAVAL PERSONNEL AND THEIR DEPENDENTS FROM CUBAN PORTS, THE TRANSPORTATION TAX IMPOSED UNDER THE LAWS OF CUBA CONSTITUTES AN ITEM OF ACTUAL TRAVEL EXPENSE PROPERLY PAYABLE FROM THE CURRENT APPROPRIATIONS PROVIDED FOR TRANSPORTATION OF NAVAL PERSONNEL AND THEIR DEPENDENTS, AND THAT IT ACCORDINGLY WOULD BE PROPER TO INCLUDE SUCH CHARGES ON TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS ISSUED TO COVER NAVAL PERSONNEL AND THEIR DEPENDENTS IN SUCH CASES. IN THIS CONNECTION ATTENTION IS INVITED TO YOUR DECISION OF DECEMBER 13, 1923 (3 COMP. GEN. 372), WHEREIN IT WAS HELD, QUOTING THE SYLLABUS, THAT THE "TAX IMPOSED BY A FOREIGN GOVERNMENT IS A PROPER CHARGE IN CONNECTION WITH TRANSPORTATION FURNISHED AN OFFICER OF THE UNITED STATES ON OFFICIAL TRAVEL.'

YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THE APPROPRIATIONS PROVIDING FOR TRANSPORTATION OF NAVAL PERSONNEL AND THEIR DEPENDENTS ARE AVAILABLE TO COVER THE ABOVE-MENTIONED CUBAN TAX AND, IF SO, WHETHER OR NOT IT WOULD BE PROPER TO INCLUDE SUCH CHARGES IN TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS WHEN ISSUED, OR SHOULD THE STEAMSHIP COMPANY BE REQUESTED TO PAY THE TARIFF IN SUCH CASES AND THEREAFTER BILL THE NAVY DEPARTMENT FOR THE AMOUNTS INVOLVED.

SECTION 12 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922, 42 STAT. 631, PROVIDES THAT, "ACTUAL EXPENSES SHALL BE PAID FOR TRAVEL UNDER ORDERS OUTSIDE THE LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES IN NORTH AMERICA.' SECTION 12 OF THE ACT OF MAY 18, 1920, 41 STAT. 604, AUTHORIZES THE FURNISHING OF TRANSPORTATION IN KIND TO THE WIFE OR DEPENDENT CHILD OR CHILDREN OF OFFICERS AND ENLISTED MEN OF CERTAIN GRADES OF NAVAL PERSONNEL WHEN ORDERED TO MAKE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION.

THE TAX IMPOSED BY A FOREIGN GOVERNMENT ON PURCHASES OF TRANSPORTATION IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE COST OF SUCH TRANSPORTATION. THE CURRENT APPROPRIATION FOR THE NAVAL SERVICE "PAY, SUBSISTENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION OF NAVAL PERSONNEL" COVERS THE NECESSARY COST OF TRANSPORTATION OF NAVAL PERSONNEL AND THEIR DEPENDENTS FOR TRAVEL UNDER PROPER ORDERS IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES. THE TAX IMPOSED BY THE CUBAN GOVERNMENT ON TRANSPORTATION WHEN PURCHASED WITH CASH OR WHEN PROCURED ON REQUEST, BEING A NECESSARY PART OF THE COST OF SUCH TRANSPORTATION, IS CHARGEABLE TO THIS APPROPRIATION AS A PART OF THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION.

ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS ISSUED FOR TRAVEL OF NAVAL PERSONNEL FROM CUBAN PORTS TO THE UNITED STATES AND TO OTHER POINTS SHOULD INCLUDE THE CUBAN TAX THEREON, SUCH BEING AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE COST OF THE TRANSPORTATION. IN VIEW OF THE DIFFERENCE IN THE TAX WHEN THE TRANSPORTATION IS PAID IN CASH AND WHEN TRANSPORTATION AND TAX ARE PAID "ON AN EXCHANGE ORDER" INCLUSIVE OF GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS, PERSONNEL SHOULD BE REQUIRED TO PROCURE TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS FOR TRAVEL FROM CUBAN PORTS.