B-156245, MAR. 22, 1965, 44 COMP. GEN. 577

B-156245: Mar 22, 1965

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YOU REQUESTED OUR DECISION ON THE FOLLOWING QUESTION: WHEN CITY TAXES ARE WITHHELD FROM JURY FEES. IS THE EMPLOYEE REQUIRED TO REFUND TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT THE GROSS AMOUNT OF JURY FEES. OR THE NET AMOUNT RECEIVED AFTER THE CITY TAX IS WITHHELD? CAVALLARO WAS ON JURY DUTY FOR 9 DAYS COVERING THE PERIOD MAY 7 THROUGH MAY 17. THE EMPLOYEE WAS DUE THE GROSS SUM OF $81.00. THE ACTUAL AMOUNT PAID WAS $79.68. SINCE PHILADELPHIA CITY WAGE TAX OF $1.32 WAS WITHHELD. JURY FEES ARE REQUIRED TO BE REFUNDED TO THE UNITED STATES BY VIRTUE OF SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 29. THE AMOUNT "RECEIVED" BY THE EMPLOYEE ON ACCOUNT OF JURY SERVICE WAS CLEARLY THE GROSS SUM OF $81. THAT SHE WAS REQUIRED TO PAY A CITY WAGE TAX ON THIS SUM DOES NOT SERVE TO DIMINISH THE FEE SHE RECEIVED FOR HER JURY SERVICE.

B-156245, MAR. 22, 1965, 44 COMP. GEN. 577

COURTS - JURORS - FEES - GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES IN STATE COURTS - WAGE TAXES DEDUCTIONS FROM FEES RECEIVED BY A FEDERAL EMPLOYEE SERVING ON JURY DUTY IN A STATE COURT FOR A CITY WAGE TAX DOES NOT DIMINISH THE FEES RECEIVED FOR THE JURY SERVICE AND TO REQUIRE REFUND OF ONLY THE NET SUM RECEIVED BY THE EMPLOYEE WOULD BE TANTAMOUNT TO PAYMENT BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF THE CITY WAGE TAX; THEREFORE, IN THE ABSENCE OF AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT OF WAGE TAXES OR OTHER ALLOWANCES IN SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 29, 1940, 5 U.S.C. 30P, INCIDENT TO STATE JURY DUTY, THE GROSS AMOUNT RECEIVED BY THE EMPLOYEE MUST BE REFUNDED.

TO JOHN B. REALE, TREASURY DEPARTMENT, MARCH 22, 1965:

BY LETTER OF FEBRUARY 17, 1965, TRANSMITTED TO THIS OFFICE BY LETTER OF MARCH 2, 1965, FROM MR. HUME, YOU REQUESTED OUR DECISION ON THE FOLLOWING QUESTION:

WHEN CITY TAXES ARE WITHHELD FROM JURY FEES, IS THE EMPLOYEE REQUIRED TO REFUND TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT THE GROSS AMOUNT OF JURY FEES, OR THE NET AMOUNT RECEIVED AFTER THE CITY TAX IS WITHHELD?

IN CONNECTION WITH THE QUESTION RAISED, YOU SET FORTH THE FOLLOWING SPECIFIC CASE:

EILEEN T. CAVALLARO WAS ON JURY DUTY FOR 9 DAYS COVERING THE PERIOD MAY 7 THROUGH MAY 17, 1963. AT THE DAILY RATE OF $9,00, THE EMPLOYEE WAS DUE THE GROSS SUM OF $81.00. THE ACTUAL AMOUNT PAID WAS $79.68, SINCE PHILADELPHIA CITY WAGE TAX OF $1.32 WAS WITHHELD.

JURY FEES ARE REQUIRED TO BE REFUNDED TO THE UNITED STATES BY VIRTUE OF SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 29, 1940, 5 U.S.C. 30P., WHICH PROVIDES THAT:

THERE SHALL BE CREDITED AGAINST THE AMOUNT OF COMPENSATION PAYABLE BY THE UNITED STATES TO ANY EMPLOYEE SPECIFIED IN SECTION 30N OF THIS TITLE FOR SUCH PERIOD AS SUCH EMPLOYEE MAY BE ABSENT ON ACCOUNT OF JURY SERVICE IN THE COURT OF ANY STATE ANY AMOUNTS WHICH SUCH EMPLOYEE MAY RECEIVE FROM SUCH STATE ON ACCOUNT OF SUCH JURY SERVICE.

IN THE EXAMPLE CITED, THE AMOUNT "RECEIVED" BY THE EMPLOYEE ON ACCOUNT OF JURY SERVICE WAS CLEARLY THE GROSS SUM OF $81. THAT SHE WAS REQUIRED TO PAY A CITY WAGE TAX ON THIS SUM DOES NOT SERVE TO DIMINISH THE FEE SHE RECEIVED FOR HER JURY SERVICE; AND TO REQUIRE REIMBURSEMENT OF ONLY THE NET SUM RECEIVED BY THE EMPLOYEE WOULD BE TANTAMOUNT TO THE GOVERNMENT PAYING THE CITY WAGE TAX ON THE JURY FEES RECEIVED BY HER. THE 1940 ACT DOES NOT PROVIDE AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT OF WAGE TAXES OR OTHER ALLOWANCES TO A FEDERAL EMPLOYEE INCIDENT TO HIS SERVICE AS A JURYMAN IN EITHER A FEDERAL OR A STATE COURT. CF. 21 COMP. GEN. 1148; 20 ID. 550, CONCERNING TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES INCURRED BY FEDERAL EMPLOYEES IN CONNECTION WITH THEIR SERVICE AS JURORS.

ACCORDINGLY, ANSWER TO THE QUESTION PRESENTED IS THAT THE GROSS AMOUNT OF JURY FEES RECEIVED BY FEDERAL EMPLOYEES IS REQUIRED TO BE REFUNDED TO THE GOVERNMENT RATHER THAN THE NET AMOUNT AFTER DEDUCTIONS FOR CITY WAGE TAXES.

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