A-67516, JANUARY 28, 1936, 15 COMP. GEN. 673

A-67516: Jan 28, 1936

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TRAVELING EXPENSES - ACTUAL - USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE - STATE GASOLINE TAX PAYMENTS PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED OF THE PURCHASE PRICE. OF GASOLINE CONSUMED IN THE PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE OF A FEDERAL EMPLOYEE AUTHORIZED TO USE SAID MODE OF TRAVEL UPON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS WHERE TAX-FREE SALES ARE REFUSED BY DEALERS. PROVIDED RECEIPTS FOR SUCH PURCHASES ARE PROCURED IN DUPLICATE AS REQUIRED BY GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE GENERAL REGULATIONS NO. 73. AS FOLLOWS: THERE IS QUOTED BELOW AN EXCERPT FROM A REPORT RECEIVED BY THE COMMISSION FROM ONE OF ITS ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS IN THE FIELD CONCERNING A RULING BY STATE OFFICIALS IN WASHINGTON AND CALIFORNIA CONCERNING THE COLLECTION OF STATE TAXES ON GASOLINE PURCHASED BY FEDERAL EMPLOYEES AUTHORIZED TO USE A PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILE ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS.

A-67516, JANUARY 28, 1936, 15 COMP. GEN. 673

TRAVELING EXPENSES - ACTUAL - USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE - STATE GASOLINE TAX PAYMENTS PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED OF THE PURCHASE PRICE, INCLUDING THE STATE TAX, OF GASOLINE CONSUMED IN THE PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE OF A FEDERAL EMPLOYEE AUTHORIZED TO USE SAID MODE OF TRAVEL UPON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS WHERE TAX-FREE SALES ARE REFUSED BY DEALERS, PROVIDED RECEIPTS FOR SUCH PURCHASES ARE PROCURED IN DUPLICATE AS REQUIRED BY GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE GENERAL REGULATIONS NO. 73, 10 COMP. GEN. 579.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE CHAIRMAN, UNITED STATES EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION COMMISSION, JANUARY 28, 1936:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 8, 1935, AS FOLLOWS:

THERE IS QUOTED BELOW AN EXCERPT FROM A REPORT RECEIVED BY THE COMMISSION FROM ONE OF ITS ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS IN THE FIELD CONCERNING A RULING BY STATE OFFICIALS IN WASHINGTON AND CALIFORNIA CONCERNING THE COLLECTION OF STATE TAXES ON GASOLINE PURCHASED BY FEDERAL EMPLOYEES AUTHORIZED TO USE A PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILE ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS, IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 12 OF STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS:

"ON MY LAST TRIP TO PORTLAND I WAS ADVISED BY AN ATTENDANT AT ONE OF THE SERVICE STATIONS OF THE STANDARD OIL COMPANY OF CALIFORNIA THAT THE BUREAU OF LICENSES OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON HAD MADE A RULING THAT HEREAFTER THE USE OF FORM NO. 44 WOULD BE RECOGNIZED ONLY ON CARS BEARING A FEDERAL LICENSE, AND WOULD NOT BE RECOGNIZED FOR PERSONALLY OWNED CARS, EVEN WHEN SUCH CARS WERE BEING USED ON OFFICIAL DUTY FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

"I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO READ THE CIRCULAR OF INSTRUCTIONS TO THE STATION ATTENDANT MENTIONED, AND UPON MY RETURN TO SEATTLE CONFERRED WITH THE PRESIDENT OF THE SEATTLE FEDERAL BUSINESS ASSOCIATION, WHO HAD NOT PREVIOUSLY HEARD OF THIS DEVELOPMENT.

"AT HIS SUGGESTION I THEN CONFERRED WITH ONE OF THE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STANDARD OIL COMPANY OF CALIFORNIA IN THEIR DISTRICT OFFICE HERE, AND FROM HIM I LEARNED THAT THE RULING OF THE WASHINGTON BUREAU OF LICENSES WAS BASED UPON THE BELIEF THAT THE USE OF THE TAX EXEMPTION BLANKS HAD BEEN ABUSED BY FEDERAL EMPLOYEES, BOTH IN CONNECTION WITH THE OPERATION OF AUTOMOBILES AND MOTOR BOATS. HE ALSO STATED THAT THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA HAD ADOPTED THE SAME RULING AND THAT THE STATE OF OREGON WAS ABOUT TO DO SO.'

THE COMMISSION HAS FOUND THAT IT HAS BEEN IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT TO PERMIT EMPLOYEES UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS TO USE A PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILE IN CONNECTION WITH OFFICIAL TRAVEL AND THAT IT HAS PROVEN MORE ECONOMICAL TO AUTHORIZE SUCH TRAVEL ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS. IN ORDER THAT THERE MAY BE NO MISUNDERSTANDING CONCERNING THE REIMBURSEMENT OF EMPLOYEES TRAVELING ON THIS BASIS IN WASHINGTON AND CALIFORNIA, IT IS REQUESTED THAT YOU ADVISE WHETHER SUCH EMPLOYEES MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR THE STATE TAX PAID ON GASOLINE PURCHASED FOR OFFICIAL USE.

WHERE EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES TRAVELING UPON OFFICIAL BUSINESS ARE AUTHORIZED TO USE THEIR PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILE UPON AN ACTUAL-EXPENSE BASIS, CREDIT WILL NOT BE DISALLOWED FOR OTHERWISE PROPER PAYMENT TO THE EMPLOYEE OF THE PURCHASE PRICE INCLUDING THE STATE TAX, OF GASOLINE CONSUMED IN HIS PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE UPON OFFICIAL BUSINESS, WHERE IT IS SHOWN THAT THE FAILURE TO MAKE USE OF EXEMPTION FORM 44 IS DUE TO THE REFUSAL OF THE DEALER TO HONOR SUCH FORM, AND PROVIDED THE TRAVELER PROCURES RECEIPTS IN DUPLICATE IN ACCORDANCE WITH GENERAL REGULATIONS 73, OF JULY 17, 1930, 10 COMP. GEN. 579.