B-196485 Jan 15, 1980

B-196485: Jan 15, 1980

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Endorsement of both parties of a Treasury check made out to joint payees is an absolute requirement for negotiation purposes. Such matters are for IRS consideration. Landrum: This is in response to your September 4. This Office cannot determine your share of the proceeds of the check nor are we authorized to issue a new check. These matters are 'for IRS consideration only. The law in this instance is quite clear. Parties of a Treasury check made out to joint payees is an absolute requirement for negotiation purposes. 51 Comp. 1977 Copies of these decisions are enclosed). We have no authority to allow your claim. Issue a refund check in the name of one of the two joint signers (husband and wife) of a tax return if it appears that the refund is for taxes attributable to and paid by the one making such a request.

B-196485 Jan 15, 1980

Endorsement of both parties of a Treasury check made out to joint payees is an absolute requirement for negotiation purposes. GAO has no authority to split a joint tax refund or to determine what part of the refund should belong to the husband and what to the wife. Such matters are for IRS consideration. See 51 Comp.Gen. 668 (1972).

Mr. Clifford Landrum 1396 Country Club Drive Mineola, Texas 75773

Dear Mr. Landrum:

This is in response to your September 4, 1979, letter requesting-your share of check no. 9,125,417 dated February 23, 1945, drawn on the Treasurer of the United States to the order of yourself and your former wife, Mildred L. Landrum, as joint payers. This check, which you cannot negotiate by indorsement with your signature only, apparently represents Internal Revenue Service (IRS) payment of an income tax refund to you and Mildred Landrum. This Office cannot determine your share of the proceeds of the check nor are we authorized to issue a new check. These matters are 'for IRS consideration only.

The law in this instance is quite clear. Endorsement of both , parties of a Treasury check made out to joint payees is an absolute requirement for negotiation purposes. 51 Comp. Gen. 668 (1972); B-187957, July 1, 1977 Copies of these decisions are enclosed). This Office has no authority to split a joint tax refund onto determine what part of , the refund should belong to the husband and what to the Knife. While we recognize that you there advised in a 1947 letter from the Treasury Department to submit this matter to our Office, we have no authority to allow your claim.

However, pursuant to Internal Revenue Ruling 67-431, 1967-2 C.B. 411, the IRS, Cay, if requested, issue a refund check in the name of one of the two joint signers (husband and wife) of a tax return if it appears that the refund is for taxes attributable to and paid by the one making such a request. See also Internal Revenue Rulings 74-611, 1974-9 C.B. 399, and 75-368, 1975-2 C.B. 480. If you do decide to pursue this matter with the IRS, you should send the check in question (which we are returning to you) along with a detailed explanation or the facts concerning the unavailability of your ex-wife, and if available, a copy of the relevant tax return to indicate the portion of your tax overpayment which may be attributable solely to you. We are returning all documents which you have submitted to our Office.

Sincerely yours

Milton J. Socolar General Counsel

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