B-170065, OCT. 20, 1970

B-170065: Oct 20, 1970

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IS NOT ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES WHEN THERE IS ABSENCE OF A CERTIFICATE OF WEIGHT. DOES NOT FURNISH ANY EVIDENCE TO SHOW THAT WEIGHING FACILITIES WERE UNAVAILABLE AND GIVES ONLY HIS EXPLANATION OF HOW HE DERIVED AN ESTIMATED WEIGHT IS SUPPORTED BY INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE AND MUST BE DENIED. KELL: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 3. IT IS ASSUMED THAT YOU HAVE A RECLAIM VOUCHER BEFORE YOU FOR THE AMOUNT IN QUESTION. COLLINS WAS TRANSFERRED FROM MIAMI. THE ORDERS AUTHORIZED THE USE OF MORE THAN ONE AUTOMOBILE FOR THE REASON THAT THE EMPLOYEE WAS IN MIAMI AND HIS WIFE AND CHILDREN WERE IN GREENVILLE. IT APPEARS FROM THE STATEMENT MADE ON THE VOUCHER THAT THE EMPLOYEE IS CLAIMING REIMBURSEMENT UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM FOR 784 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS WHICH WERE MOVED BY HIM AND HIS WIFE FROM GREENVILLE.

B-170065, OCT. 20, 1970

EMPLOYEE TRANSFER - EXPENSES FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS DECISION ADVISING THAT THE EMPLOYEE OF IRS, WHO MOVED A PORTION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS BY USE OF TWO CARS, INCIDENT TO TRANSFER TO NEW STATION, IS NOT ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES WHEN THERE IS ABSENCE OF A CERTIFICATE OF WEIGHT. CLAIM OF EMPLOYEE WHO ASKS REIMBURSEMENT UNDER COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM, BUT DOES NOT FURNISH ANY EVIDENCE TO SHOW THAT WEIGHING FACILITIES WERE UNAVAILABLE AND GIVES ONLY HIS EXPLANATION OF HOW HE DERIVED AN ESTIMATED WEIGHT IS SUPPORTED BY INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE AND MUST BE DENIED.

TO MISS MILDRED J. KELL:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 3, 1970, REFERENCE ADFF:SB, ENCLOSING A COPY OF SF-1012, TRAVEL VOUCHER FROM JAMES L. COLLINS, AN INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE EMPLOYEE, REQUESTING A DECISION WHETHER AN AMOUNT SUSPENDED THEREON COVERING TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS BY PRIVATE AUTOMOBILE MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES HEREINAFTER RELATED. IT IS ASSUMED THAT YOU HAVE A RECLAIM VOUCHER BEFORE YOU FOR THE AMOUNT IN QUESTION.

BY ORDERS DATED AUGUST 11, 1969, MR. COLLINS WAS TRANSFERRED FROM MIAMI, FLORIDA, TO GOLDSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA. THE ORDERS AUTHORIZED THE USE OF MORE THAN ONE AUTOMOBILE FOR THE REASON THAT THE EMPLOYEE WAS IN MIAMI AND HIS WIFE AND CHILDREN WERE IN GREENVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA.

IT APPEARS FROM THE STATEMENT MADE ON THE VOUCHER THAT THE EMPLOYEE IS CLAIMING REIMBURSEMENT UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM FOR 784 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS WHICH WERE MOVED BY HIM AND HIS WIFE FROM GREENVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA (APPARENTLY THE FAMILY RESIDENCE), TO GOLDSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA. THIS IS ON THE BASIS OF HIS ESTIMATE OF THE CUBIC CAPACITY OF THE VEHICLES USED AS 112 CUBIC FEET, CONVERTED TO POUNDS AT 7 POUNDS PER CUBIC FOOT.

IN YOUR LETTER YOU SAY THAT YOUR PRIMARY CONCERN IS WHETHER MR. COLLINS MAY BE REIMBURSED UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE ITEMS MOVED BASED ON CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT SINCE HE DID NOT OBTAIN THE ACTUAL SCALE WEIGHT OR PROVIDE EVIDENCE TO SHOW THAT WEIGHING FACILITIES ARE UNAVAILABLE AND THAT THE GOODS WERE PROPERLY LOADED FOR TRANSPORTATION. YOU REFER TO SECTION 6.4D(3), BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56 AND IMPLEMENTING REGULATIONS CONTAINED IN INTERNAL REVENUE MANUAL SUPPLEMENT 17G-124 (REV. 1), SECTIONS 22.02.4 AND 5 WHICH SET FORTH THE DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED IN SUPPORT OF CLAIMS FOR REIMBURSEMENT UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM.

YOU SAY THAT THE ABOVE-MENTIONED REGULATIONS PROVIDE FOR THE USE OF CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT IN INSTANCES WHERE NO ADEQUATE SCALES ARE AVAILABLE AND YOU REQUEST OUR OPINION ON THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:

"1. IN THE ABSENCE OF A WEIGHT CERTIFICATE, ON WHAT BASIS CAN AN EMPLOYEE BE REIMBURSED FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE?

"2. IF AN EMPLOYEE CAN BE REIMBURSED, BASED ON CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT, WHAT EVIDENCE IS NECESSARY TO SUPPORT THE CUBIC MEASUREMENTS OF THE VEHICLE?"

WITH RESPECT TO REIMBURSEMENT UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM, SECTION 6.4D(3) OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56 (OCTOBER 12, 1966), APPLICABLE DURING THE PERIOD HERE INVOLVED, PROVIDES IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED. CLAIMS FOR REIMBURSEMENT UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM SHALL BE SUPPORTED BY *** THE ORIGINAL BILLS OF LADING OR CERTIFIED COPIES, OR, IF BILLS OF LADING ARE NOT AVAILABLE, OTHER EVIDENCE SHOWING POINT OF ORIGIN, DESTINATION AND WEIGHT. IF NO ADEQUATE SCALE IS AVAILABLE AT POINT OF ORIGIN, AT ANY POINT EN ROUTE, OR AT DESTINATION, A CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT, BASED ON 7 POUNDS PER CUBIC FOOT OF PROPERLY LOADED VAN SPACE, MAY BE USED. *** "

IN THIS CASE THE EMPLOYEE HAS FURNISHED NO EVIDENCE OF THE LACK OF SCALES TO PERMIT DETERMINATION OF THE ACTUAL WEIGHT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS TRANSPORTED IN THE AUTOMOBILES. MOREOVER, EVEN IF HE DOES SHOW THAT SCALES WERE NOT AVAILABLE WE MAY NOT ACCEPT HIS STATEMENT ON THE VOUCHER ESTIMATING THE WEIGHT AND DESCRIBING THE ARTICLES TRANSPORTED IN THE AUTOMOBILES AS ESTABLISHING THE REASONABLE WEIGHT THEREOF FOR PAYMENT PURPOSES. AS EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF SUCH WEIGHT IT WOULD BE NECESSARY FOR THE EMPLOYEE TO EXPLAIN AS TO HOW HE MEASURED THE CUBIC CAPACITY OF THE AUTOMOBILES. ALSO, HE WOULD HAVE TO SHOW THE VOLUME OCCUPIED BY EACH ARTICLE BASED ON ACTUAL MEASUREMENT OR A UNIFORM TABLE, PREFERABLY PREPARED BY A COMMERCIAL CARRIER. B-162879, DECEMBER 18, 1967, COPY HEREWITH, AND 48 COMP. GEN. 115, 118 (1968).

ACCORDINGLY, BASED ON THE PRESENT RECORD NO AMOUNT MAY BE ALLOWED FOR THAT PORTION OF THE EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TRANSPORTED IN PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILES.