B-176459, AUG 17, 1972

B-176459: Aug 17, 1972

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SINCE THE CIRCUMSTANCES HERE ARE SIMILAR TO THOSE REVIEWED IN DECISION. THE COSTS IN QUESTION ARE CLOSING COSTS IN THE AMOUNT OF $589.50 ON THE RESIDENCE PURCHASED BY MR. FOR THE FACT THAT THEY WERE INCLUDED IN THE PURCHASE PRICE OF THE RESIDENCE. VEIRS WERE PAID TO THE SELLER OF THE RESIDENCE. ON BEHALF OF THE PURCHASER AND THAT THOSE CHARGES WERE NOT ITEMS THAT WERE MORTGAGED OR PAID OVER A LONG PERIOD OF TIME. WE HELD: "THE CLOSING COSTS WHICH WERE ADDED TO THE PURCHASE PRICE ARE CLEARLY DISCERNIBLE AND SEPARABLE FROM THE PRICE ALLOCABLE TO THE REALTY. ALTHOUGH THE SELLER MAY HAVE ACTUALLY PERFORMED THE ACT OF INITIALLY PAYING THE COSTS. AMOUNTS AT LEAST EQUAL TO THE AMOUNT OF HIS CLAIM THE VOUCHER WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.

B-176459, AUG 17, 1972

CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE - PURCHASE OF RESIDENCE - EXPENSES DECISION REGARDING THE CLAIM OF THOMAS W. VEIRS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF CERTAIN COSTS INCIDENT TO THE PURCHASE OF A RESIDENCE AT HIS NEW OFFICIAL STATION FOLLOWING HIS TRANSFER AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY FROM CINCINATTI, OHIO, TO WASHINGTON, D.C. SINCE THE CIRCUMSTANCES HERE ARE SIMILAR TO THOSE REVIEWED IN DECISION, B -174527, JULY 5, 1972 (52 COMP. GEN. ), THE ENCLOSED VOUCHER MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF CLAIMANT FURNISHES EVIDENCE INDICATING THAT HE PAID, AS DOWN PAYMENT OR AT SETTLEMENT, AMOUNTS AT LEAST EQUAL TO THE AMOUNT OF THIS CLAIM.

TO MR. JOHN SORGE:

WE REFER TO LETTER OF JULY 3, 1972, FROM MR. GEORGE A. POST, FORWARDING FOR OUR ADVANCE DECISION THE VOUCHER OF MR. THOMAS W. VEIRS IN WHICH HE CLAIMS REIMBURSEMENT FOR CERTAIN COSTS INCIDENT TO HIS PURCHASE OF A RESIDENCE AT HIS NEW OFFICIAL STATION FOLLOWING HIS TRANSFER AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY FROM CINCINNATI, OHIO, TO WASHINGTON, D.C. MR. POST INFORMALLY REQUESTED THAT OUR RESPONSE BE DIRECTED TO YOU AS THE AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER INVOLVED.

THE COSTS IN QUESTION ARE CLOSING COSTS IN THE AMOUNT OF $589.50 ON THE RESIDENCE PURCHASED BY MR. VEIRS IN THE VICINITY OF HIS NEW OFFICIAL STATION WHICH WOULD BE ALLOWABLE UNDER 5 U.S.C. 5724AA)(4) AND SECTION 4.2 OF THE EMPLOYEE RELOCATION ALLOWANCE REGULATIONS, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED AUGUST 17, 1971, BUT FOR THE FACT THAT THEY WERE INCLUDED IN THE PURCHASE PRICE OF THE RESIDENCE.

DOCUMENTS SUPPLIED BY MR. VEIRS INCLUDE A LETTER FROM THE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSAL FUNDING CORPORATION WHICH INDICATES THAT EACH OF THE CHARGES BEING CLAIMED BY MR. VEIRS WERE PAID TO THE SELLER OF THE RESIDENCE, LEVITT AND SONS, INC., ON BEHALF OF THE PURCHASER AND THAT THOSE CHARGES WERE NOT ITEMS THAT WERE MORTGAGED OR PAID OVER A LONG PERIOD OF TIME.

IN THE DECISION OF JULY 5, 1972, B-174527, 52 COMP. GEN. , COPY ENCLOSED, WHICH ALSO INVOLVED THE PURCHASE OF A RESIDENCE IN THE VICINITY OF WASHINGTON, D.C., FROM LEVITT AND SONS, INC., WE HELD:

"THE CLOSING COSTS WHICH WERE ADDED TO THE PURCHASE PRICE ARE CLEARLY DISCERNIBLE AND SEPARABLE FROM THE PRICE ALLOCABLE TO THE REALTY. ALTHOUGH THE SELLER MAY HAVE ACTUALLY PERFORMED THE ACT OF INITIALLY PAYING THE COSTS, THE DOWN PAYMENT AND THE AMOUNT PAID AT CLOSING BY THE PURCHASER FROM HIS OWN FUNDS EXCEEDED THE AMOUNT OF THOSE COSTS AND THE SELLER REGARDS THEM AS HAVING BEEN, IN EFFECT, PAID BY THE PURCHASER. ALSO, THE PURCHASER HAS SUPPLIED DOCUMENTATION OF THE AMOUNT OF THE COSTS AND OF HIS LIABILITY FOR THEM. IN THE LIGHT OF THE FACTS IN THIS CASE, WE BELIEVE THE CONDITIONS OF SUBSECTIONS 4.1F AND 4.3A OF OMB CIRCULAR NO. A- 56, SUPRA, MAY BE CONSIDERED AS HAVING BEEN MET."

MR. VEIRS' CLAIM APPEARS TO INVOLVE FACTS SIMILAR TO THOSE CONSIDERED IN THE DECISION OF JULY 5. THEREFORE, IF HE FURNISHES EVIDENCE INDICATING THAT HE PAID, AS DOWN PAYMENT OR AT THE TIME OF SETTLEMENT, AMOUNTS AT LEAST EQUAL TO THE AMOUNT OF HIS CLAIM THE VOUCHER WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.