B-181910, MAR 17, 1975

B-181910: Mar 17, 1975

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

ENTITLEMENT OF EMPLOYEE TO TEMPORARY QUARTERS FOR HIMSELF AND HIS WIFE DID NOT TERMINATE WHEN DAUGHTER MOVED INTO NEW RESIDENCE SINCE THERE WAS NO INTENTION ON EMPLOYEE'S PART THAT DAUGHTER WAS TO OCCUPY NEW RESIDENCE AND HER STAY WAS ONLY TEMPORARY. OSBORN - TEMPORARY QUARTERS ALLOWANCE: WE HAVE BEEN ASKED BY AN AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER IN THE NORTH ATLANTIC REGION OF THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE (IRS) TO RENDER AN ADVANCE DECISION ON A CLAIM OF MR. ON MAY 19 THEIR HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE LOADED FOR DELIVERY AND BEGAN MOVEMENT TOWARD THE NEW RESIDENCE. OSBORN WAS HOSPITALIZED WITH A HEART ATTACK AND MRS. WHO IS MARRIED AND LIVES IN LOS ANGELES. WHICH WAS SUBMITTED SUBSEQUENT TO THE COMPLETION OF THE ORIGINAL TRAVEL VOUCHER.

B-181910, MAR 17, 1975

ALTHOUGH EMPLOYEE'S MINOR, DEPENDENT DAUGHTER, SENT TO STAY WITH FRIEND AT HIS NEW STATION UNTIL HIS HEALTH PERMITTED HIM TO MOVE TO NEW STATION, MOVED INTO NEW RESIDENCE WHILE HER ELDER MARRIED SISTER COULD STAY WITH HER AND REJOINED FRIEND WHEN ELDER SISTER LEFT, ENTITLEMENT OF EMPLOYEE TO TEMPORARY QUARTERS FOR HIMSELF AND HIS WIFE DID NOT TERMINATE WHEN DAUGHTER MOVED INTO NEW RESIDENCE SINCE THERE WAS NO INTENTION ON EMPLOYEE'S PART THAT DAUGHTER WAS TO OCCUPY NEW RESIDENCE AND HER STAY WAS ONLY TEMPORARY. SEE B-175913, JUNE 19, 1972, AND OTHER DECISIONS CITED.

LEO G. OSBORN - TEMPORARY QUARTERS ALLOWANCE:

WE HAVE BEEN ASKED BY AN AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER IN THE NORTH ATLANTIC REGION OF THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE (IRS) TO RENDER AN ADVANCE DECISION ON A CLAIM OF MR. LEO G. OSBORN, AN IRS EMPLOYEE, FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TEMPORARY QUARTERS ASSOCIATED WITH HIS MOVING FROM AUSTIN, TEXAS, TO PATCHOGUE, LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK, INCIDENT TO A TRANSFER OF STATION.

FROM MAY 7 TO 13, 1972, MR. AND MRS. OSBORN WENT ON A HOUSE-HUNTING TRIP AND SUCCEEDED IN MAKING ARRANGEMENTS TO RENT A HOUSE IN PATCHOGUE. ON MAY 19 THEIR HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE LOADED FOR DELIVERY AND BEGAN MOVEMENT TOWARD THE NEW RESIDENCE. ON THAT SAME DATE, MR. OSBORN WAS HOSPITALIZED WITH A HEART ATTACK AND MRS. OSBORN AND THEIR MINOR, DEPENDENT DAUGHTER MOVED INTO TEMPORARY QUARTERS IN AUSTIN. MR. OSBORN MOVED TO THOSE TEMPORARY QUARTERS WHEN HE LEFT THE HOSPITAL AND ON JUNE 18, MR. AND MRS. OSBORN MOVED FROM THOSE TEMPORARY QUARTERS.

ON JUNE 6 THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS ARRIVED AT PATCHOGUE. ON THE SAME DATE THE OSBORN'S ELDER DAUGHTER, WHO IS MARRIED AND LIVES IN LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, AND WHO CAME TO ASSIST HER FAMILY UPON HER FATHER'S HEART ATTACK, TOOK THE FAMILY CAR AND DROVE THE MINOR, DEPENDENT DAUGHTER TO PATCHOGUE, ARRIVING ON JUNE 8. UPON ARRIVING THE DAUGHTERS, PURSUANT TO PREARRANGED PLANS, STAYED WITH A FRIEND OF THEIR PARENTS.

BASED ON INFORMATION SUPPLIED IN MR. OSBORN'S TRAVEL VOUCHER, IT APPEARS THAT BOTH DAUGHTERS OCCUPIED THE NEW RENTAL HOUSING (I.E., THE PERMANENT QUARTERS) ON JUNE 9. HOWEVER, IN A MEMORANDUM DATED MAY 7, 1974, WHICH WAS SUBMITTED SUBSEQUENT TO THE COMPLETION OF THE ORIGINAL TRAVEL VOUCHER, MR. OSBORN STATES THAT THE DAUGHTERS MOVED INTO THE NEW RESIDENCE ON JUNE 12. ACCORDING TO THE OSBORNS, "THE GIRLS TOOK IT UPON THEMSELVES TO MOVE INTO THE HOUSE ... EVEN THOUGH IT WAS OUR INTENT FOR THEM TO STAY WITH" THE FRIEND. THE MOVE WAS MADE DUE TO A CONFLICT BETWEEN THE OSBORN'S DOG AND THE FRIEND'S CAT.

MR. OSBORN HAS REQUESTED REIMBURSEMENT FOR TEMPORARY QUARTERS FROM MAY 19 TO JUNE 17 FOR HIMSELF AND HIS WIFE AND FROM MAY 19 TO JUNE 5 FOR THEIR DEPENDENT DAUGHTER. THE CERTIFYING OFFICER HAS REQUESTED THAT WE RESOLVE MR. OSBORN'S CLAIM.

WE HAVE HELD THAT A DETERMINATION AS TO WHAT CONSTITUTES "TEMPORARY QUARTERS" IS NOT SUSCEPTIBLE OF ANY PRECISE DEFINITION. SEE B-173326, OCTOBER 27, 1971. THUS, WE HAVE STATED THAT A DETERMINATION AS TO WHETHER OR NOT A PARTICULAR LIVING ARRANGEMENT CONSTITUTES TEMPORARY QUARTERS DEPENDS ON THE FACTS OF EACH CASE, GIVING WEIGHT TO THE EXPRESSED INTENT OF THE EMPLOYEE AS MANIFESTED BY WORDS AND ACTIONS AT THE TIME THE QUARTERS IN QUESTION ARE OCCUPIED. SEE B-173585, SEPTEMBER 17, 1971; 47 COMP. GEN. 84 (1967); B-161816, AUGUST 4, 1967; AND B-162239, AUGUST 28, 1967.

UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 2.5B (RENUMBERED 8.2B EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 1, 1971) OF OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A 56, RELATING TO TEMPORARY QUARTERS ALLOWANCES, WE HAVE CONSISTENTLY HELD THAT AN EMPLOYEE MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES AFTER HE AND HIS FAMILY OCCUPY THE RESIDENCE IN WHICH HE INTENDS TO REMAIN. SEE 46 COMP. GEN. 709 (1967). HOWEVER, WE HAVE ALSO HELD THAT WHERE THERE WAS EVIDENCE IN THE RECORD THAT THE EMPLOYEE INVOLVED HAD REASONABLY DEMONSTRATED HIS INTENT TO USE THE QUARTERS ONLY ON A TEMPORARY BASIS, REIMBURSEMENT COULD BE MADE FOR THE TEMPORARY QUARTERS AND SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES CLAIMED. SEE B- 162531, APRIL 27, 1970; B 168649, JANUARY 20, 1970; AND B-175913, JUNE 19, 1972.

IN OUR VIEW THE STAY OF ONLY A FEW DAYS DURATION IN THE NEW RESIDENCE BY THE OSBORN'S MINOR DEPENDENT DAUGHTER WHICH ENDED WITH THE MINOR DAUGHTER RETURNING TO THE HOME OF THE FRIEND TO WHOM HER PARENTS HAD SENT HER SHOULD NOT BE VIEWED AS EVIDENCE OF AN INTENT ON THE PART OF THE OSBORNS TO MOVE INTO THE NEW RESIDENCE ON A PERMANENT BASIS. IN OTHER WORDS, THE EVIDENCE BEING THAT THE NEW RESIDENCE WAS OCCUPIED BY THE MINOR DAUGHTER ON A TEMPORARY BASIS ONLY FOR AS LONG AS HER ELDER MARRIED SISTER COULD STAY WITH HER IN ORDER TO RELIEVE A PROBLEM BETWEEN FAMILY PETS, IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT THE DWELLING IN QUESTION WAS INTENDED BY THE EMPLOYEE TO BE USED ON A PERMANENT BASIS.

ACCORDINGLY, THE DECISIONS CITED, SUPRA, WOULD BE FOR APPLICATION AND REIMBURSEMENT OF THE CLAIM, IF OTHERWISE PROPER, MAY BE AUTHORIZED.