A-9080, AUGUST 14, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 111

A-9080: Aug 14, 1925

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SHOULD BE COVERED INTO THE TREASURY TO THE CREDIT OF MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS ONLY IF AND WHEN THE ALIEN IS REGULARLY ADMITTED. AFTER SIX MONTHS FROM THE TIME THE AMOUNT IS DEPOSITED WITH THE GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES AT THE PORT. 1925: THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION AND DECISION BY THIS OFFICE THE QUESTION WHETHER HEAD TAXES COLLECTED FROM IMMIGRANTS WHO FAIL TO BE ADMITTED TO THIS COUNTRY UPON ARRIVAL AT THE PORT IN THE UNITED STATES SHOULD BE REFUNDED FROM THE SPECIAL FUND ACCOUNT IN THE TREASURY AUTHORIZED TO BE ESTABLISHED BY DECISION OF THIS OFFICE DATED MARCH 12. THE SPECIFIC CLAIM PRESENTED IS THAT OF PASQUALE HOST. SAID AMOUNT WAS THUS COLLECTED FROM HIM TO PAY THE HEAD TAX IN THE EVENT HE SHOULD BE ADMITTED.

A-9080, AUGUST 14, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 111

ACCOUNTING - REFUND OF HEAD TAX - BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION HEAD TAXES COLLECTED BY TRANSPORTATION COMPANIES AS A PART OF PASSAGE MONEY FROM IMMIGRANTS SEEKING ADMISSION TO THIS COUNTRY, AND IN TURN DEPOSITED BY THE TRANSPORTATION COMPANIES WITH THE GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES AT THE PORT IN THE UNITED STATES PENDING DETERMINATION OF THE RIGHT OF THE ALIEN TO ENTER, SHOULD BE COVERED INTO THE TREASURY TO THE CREDIT OF MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS ONLY IF AND WHEN THE ALIEN IS REGULARLY ADMITTED, AND IF THE ALIEN FAILS OF ADMISSION, TO THE CREDIT OF THE SPECIAL FUND ACCOUNT, AFTER SIX MONTHS FROM THE TIME THE AMOUNT IS DEPOSITED WITH THE GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES AT THE PORT. REFUND OF THE HEAD TAX TO IMMIGRANTS WHO FAIL OF ADMISSION SHOULD BE MADE FROM THE SPECIAL FUND ACCOUNT IN THE TREASURY AND NOT FROM THE APPROPRIATION "REGULATING IMMIGRATION.'

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, AUGUST 14, 1925:

THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION AND DECISION BY THIS OFFICE THE QUESTION WHETHER HEAD TAXES COLLECTED FROM IMMIGRANTS WHO FAIL TO BE ADMITTED TO THIS COUNTRY UPON ARRIVAL AT THE PORT IN THE UNITED STATES SHOULD BE REFUNDED FROM THE SPECIAL FUND ACCOUNT IN THE TREASURY AUTHORIZED TO BE ESTABLISHED BY DECISION OF THIS OFFICE DATED MARCH 12, 1924, 3 COMP. GEN. 612, OR FROM THE APPROPRIATION "REGULATING IMMIGRATION.'

THE SPECIFIC CLAIM PRESENTED IS THAT OF PASQUALE HOST, COVERING REFUND OF $8 PAID BY HIM TO THE TRANSPORTATION COMPANY THAT BROUGHT HIM TO THE UNITED STATES. SAID AMOUNT WAS THUS COLLECTED FROM HIM TO PAY THE HEAD TAX IN THE EVENT HE SHOULD BE ADMITTED, AND WAS IN TURN DEPOSITED BY THE TRANSPORTATION COMPANY, TOGETHER WITH AN AMOUNT SUFFICIENT TO COVER RETURN PASSAGE, WITH THE GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES AT THE PHILADELPHIA PORT. HOST ARRIVED AT THE PORT SEPTEMBER 2, 1923, BUT WAS NOT ALLOWED TO ENTER AND WAS THEREAFTER DEPORTED. THE AMOUNT OF THE HEAD TAX REMAINED IN A SPECIAL DEPOSIT ACCOUNT OF THE GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES AT THE PORT UNTIL AUGUST 29, 1924, WHEN IT WAS DEPOSITED IN THE SPECIAL FUND ACCOUNT IN THE TREASURY AUTHORIZED TO BE ESTABLISHED AS ABOVE INDICATED.

THEREAFTER THE CLAIM WAS PRESENTED TO THE COMMISSIONER GENERAL OF THE BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, WHO FORWARDED IT TO THIS OFFICE FOR DIRECT SETTLEMENT AND CONTENDED THAT THE AMOUNT COLLECTED BY THE TRANSPORTATION COMPANY TO COVER THE HEAD TAX IN THE PRESENT CASE SHOULD NOT BE CLASSED AS A TAX WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 5, 1917, 39 STAT. 875, IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE CLAIMANT WAS LATER DENIED ADMISSION TO THE UNITED STATES, AND THAT THE REFUND SHOULD BE MADE FROM MONEYS DEPOSITED IN THE SPECIAL FUND ACCOUNT RATHER THAN FROM THE APPROPRIATION FOR "REGULATING IMMIGRATION, 1925," 43 STAT. 240.

SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 5, 1917, 39 STAT. 875, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF WHICH THE HEAD TAX WAS LEVIED, PROVIDES:

THAT THERE SHALL BE LEVIED, COLLECTED, AND PAID A TAX OF $8 FOR EVERY ALIEN, INCLUDING ALIEN SEAMEN REGULARLY ADMITTED AS PROVIDED IN THIS ACT, ENTERING THE UNITED STATES * * *. THE SAID TAX SHALL BE PAID TO THE COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS OF THE PORT OR CUSTOMS DISTRICT TO WHICH SAID ALIEN SHALL COME, OR, IF THERE BE NO COLLECTOR AT SUCH PORT OR DISTRICT, THEN TO THE COLLECTOR NEAREST THERETO, BY THE MASTER, AGENT, OWNER, OR CONSIGNEE OF THE VESSEL, TRANSPORTATION LINE, OR OTHER CONVEYANCE OR VEHICLE BRINGING SUCH ALIEN TO THE UNITED STATES, OR BY THE ALIEN HIMSELF IF HE DOES NOT COME BY A VESSEL, TRANSPORTATION LINE, OR OTHER CONVEYANCE OR VEHICLE OR WHEN COLLECTION FROM THE MASTER, AGENT, OWNER, OR CONSIGNEE OF THE VESSEL, TRANSPORTATION LINE, OR OTHER CONVEYANCE, OR VEHICLE BRINGING SUCH ALIEN TO THE UNITED STATES IS IMPRACTICABLE * * *.

THE ACT OF MAY 28, 1924, 43 STAT. 240, MAKING APPROPRIATION FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1925, UNDER THE TITLE "BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION" PROVIDES:

REGULATING IMMIGRATION; FOR ENFORCEMENT OF THE LAWS REGULATING IMMIGRATION OF ALIENS INTO THE UNITED STATES, INCLUDING * * * REFUNDING OF HEAD TAX * * * UPON PRESENTATION OF EVIDENCE SHOWING CONCLUSIVELY THAT COLLECTION WAS MADE THROUGH ERROR OF GOVERNMENT OFFICERS * * *.

THE ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN TO HOLD THE ENTIRE AMOUNT OF THE TRANSPORTATION COMPANY'S DEPOSIT, INCLUDING BOTH THE AMOUNT TO COVER HEAD TAX AND THE RETURN PASSAGE MONEY, IN A SPECIAL DEPOSIT ACCOUNT PENDING DETERMINATION AS TO WHETHER THE ALIEN WILL BE ADMITTED OR DEPORTED; THAT IF ADMITTED THE HEAD TAX IS DEPOSITED AS A MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPT; AND THAT IF NOT ADMITTED THE ENTIRE AMOUNT, INCLUDING THE AMOUNT OF THE HEAD TAX, IF NOT REFUNDED WITHIN THE SIX MONTHS' PERIOD DURING WHICH HELD IN THE SPECIAL DEPOSIT ACCOUNT, IS DEPOSITED IN THE SPECIAL FUND ACCOUNT IN THE TREASURY, SUBJECT TO THE ALIEN'S CLAIM FOR REFUND.

THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 15, 1917, SUPRA, EXPRESSLY PROVIDES THAT THE HEAD TAX OF $8 IS PAYABLE FOR ALIENS "REGULARLY ADMITTED AS PROVIDED IN THIS ACT.' THE DEPOSIT MADE IN ADVANCE BY THE ALIEN TO THE TRANSPORTATION COMPANY AND IN TURN BY THE TRANSPORTATION COMPANY TO THE AUTHORITIES AT THE PORT TO COVER THE AMOUNT OF THE HEAD TAX IN CASE THE ALIEN IS ADMITTED IS A TENTATIVE PAYMENT, AND IS NOT REQUIRED TO BE COVERED IN AS A MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPT. 3 COMP. GEN. 491. THERE ARE SOME CASES IN WHICH THE ALIENS REGULARLY ADMITTED ARE NOT SUBJECT TO THE HEAD TAX, AND IT IS WHEN SUCH TAXES ARE COLLECTED IN THOSE CASES AND COVERED IN AS REQUIRED BY LAW THAT THE REFUND THEREOF IS TO BE MADE UNDER THE APPROPRIATION "REGULATING IMMIGRATION" SPECIFICALLY MADE AVAILABLE THEREFOR.

IN THE INSTANT CASE THE AMOUNT TO COVER THE HEAD TAX, ALONG WITH THE AMOUNT TO COVER RETURN TRANSPORTATION, WAS DEPOSITED AND COVERED INTO THE SPECIAL FUND, WHICH WAS PROPER IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE ALIEN WAS NOT ADMITTED, AND THE REFUND WAS NOT MADE WITHIN THE SIX MONTHS' PERIOD DURING WHICH IT WAS HELD IN THE SPECIAL DEPOSIT ACCOUNT. 3 COMP. GEN. 612.

THE ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE IN THIS CASE APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN AUTHORIZED AND THE REFUND OF THE $8 DUE PASQUALE HOST SHOULD BE MADE FROM THE SPECIAL FUND ACCOUNT, AND NOT UNDER THE APPROPRIATION "REGULATING IMMIGRATION.'