B-164863, AUG. 7, 1968

B-164863: Aug 7, 1968

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IF WHEN YOU WERE STATIONED IN PARIS. YOU WERE CONSIDERED "AS RESIDING IN THE UNITED STATES" FOR INCOME TAX PURPOSES. YOU ARE NOT CONSIDERED "AS RESIDING IN THE UNITED STATES" FOR THE PRIVILEGES GRANTED UNDER PUBLIC LAW 89-516. IN PERTINENT PART 5 U.S.C. 5724A READS AS FOLLOWS: "UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE PRESIDENT MAY PRESCRIBE * * * APPROPRIATIONS * * * ARE AVAILABLE FOR THE REIMBURSEMENT OF ALL OR PART OF THE FOLLOWING EXPENSES OF AN EMPLOYEE FOR WHOM THE GOVERNMENT PAYS EXPENSES OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION UNDER SECTION 5724 (A) OF THIS TITLE: "/4) EXPENSES OF THE SALE OF THE RESIDENCE * * * OF THE EMPLOYEE AT THE OLD STATION AND PURCHASE OF A HOME AT THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION REQUIRED TO BE PAID BY HIM WHEN THE OLD AND NEW OFFICIAL STATIONS ARE LOCATED WITHIN THE UNITED STATES.

B-164863, AUG. 7, 1968

TO MR. PATRICK E. BRETT:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 1, 1968, REQUESTING REVIEW OF GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF JUNE 18, 1968, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED BY YOU IN THE PURCHASE OF A DWELLING HOUSE AT ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA, INCIDENT TO THE TRANSFER OF YOUR OFFICIAL STATION FROM PARIS, FRANCE, TO GRAVELLY POINT, VIRGINIA, AS A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY.

YOU ASK WHY, IF WHEN YOU WERE STATIONED IN PARIS, FRANCE, YOU WERE CONSIDERED "AS RESIDING IN THE UNITED STATES" FOR INCOME TAX PURPOSES, YOU ARE NOT CONSIDERED "AS RESIDING IN THE UNITED STATES" FOR THE PRIVILEGES GRANTED UNDER PUBLIC LAW 89-516.

PUBLIC LAW 89-516, 80 STAT. 323, NOW CODIFIED AS 5 U.S.C. 5724A, AUTHORIZES THE REIMBURSEMENT OF CERTAIN RELOCATION EXPENSES UPON THE TRANSFER OF THE OFFICIAL STATION OF AN EMPLOYEE INCLUDING SOME EXPENSES ASSOCIATED WITH THE SALE OF A RESIDENCE AT THE OLD AND PURCHASE OF A RESIDENCE AT THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION. IN PERTINENT PART 5 U.S.C. 5724A READS AS FOLLOWS:

"UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE PRESIDENT MAY PRESCRIBE * * * APPROPRIATIONS * * * ARE AVAILABLE FOR THE REIMBURSEMENT OF ALL OR PART OF THE FOLLOWING EXPENSES OF AN EMPLOYEE FOR WHOM THE GOVERNMENT PAYS EXPENSES OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION UNDER SECTION 5724 (A) OF THIS TITLE:

"/4) EXPENSES OF THE SALE OF THE RESIDENCE * * * OF THE EMPLOYEE AT THE OLD STATION AND PURCHASE OF A HOME AT THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION REQUIRED TO BE PAID BY HIM WHEN THE OLD AND NEW OFFICIAL STATIONS ARE LOCATED WITHIN THE UNITED STATES, ITS TERRITORIES OR POSSESSIONS, THE COMMONWEALTH OF PUERTO RICO, OR THE CANAL ZONE. * * *"

YOU WILL NOTE THEREFROM THAT THE CONTROLLING FACT IS THE LOCATION OF THE "OFFICIAL STATIONS.' YOUR OLD OFFICIAL STATION WAS NOT LOCATED WITHIN THE UNITED STATES, ITS TERRITORIES OR POSSESSIONS, THE COMMONWEALTH OF PUERTO RICO, OR THE CANAL ZONE. CONSEQUENTLY THERE EXISTS NO STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR THE REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSES INCURRED BY YOU IN THE PURCHASE OF A RESIDENCE AT YOUR NEW OFFICIAL STATION. DETERMINATIONS UNDER THE INCOME TAX LAWS OF AN INDIVIDUAL'S RESIDENCE FOR TAX LIABILITY PURPOSES ARE IMMATERIAL INSOFAR AS PUBLIC LAW 89-516 BENEFITS ARE CONCERNED. SEE, ALSO, SECTION 11.3 IN BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, PERTAINING TO "ACTUAL RESIDENCE.'

NEITHER THE IMPLEMENTING REGULATIONS -- SECTION 4 OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56 -- NOR OUR OFFICE MAY AUTHORIZE REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES WHEN SUCH REIMBURSEMENT, AS IN YOUR CASE, IS PRECLUDED BY STATUTE.

THEREFORE UPON REVIEW THE CONCLUSION STATED IN OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF JUNE 18, 1968, MUST BE SUSTAINED.