B-34217, MAY 15, 1943, 22 COMP. GEN. 1042

B-34217: May 15, 1943

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IS REQUIRED TO PAY THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSE INCIDENT TO THE TRANSFER OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS. 1943: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 30. EMPLOYEES OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION UPON THE OCCASION OF SHIPMENT OF PERSONAL PROPERTY IN CONNECTION WITH TRANSFER BETWEEN OFFICIAL STATIONS UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 8588 AS AMENDED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9122 HAVE BEEN REQUIRED TO ARRANGE AND PAY FOR THEIR OWN LOCAL HAULING TO AND FROM RAIL FREIGHT STATIONS AND IN SOME INSTANCES TO ARRANGE AND PAY FOR CROSS COUNTRY HAULING BY VAN. REIMBURSEMENT CLAIMS SUBMITTED BY EMPLOYEES IN SUCH CASES ARE SUPPORTED BY THE CARRIER'S PAID BILL FOR TRANSPORTATION. IS TO THE EFFECT THAT NO EXEMPTION FROM PAYMENT OF TAX ON TRANSPORTATION OF PROPERTY MAY BE OBTAINED BY EMPLOYEES WHO SHIP PROPERTY AT THE ULTIMATE EXPENSE OF THE UNITED STATES.

B-34217, MAY 15, 1943, 22 COMP. GEN. 1042

TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES - INCLUSION OF FEDERAL TRANSPORTATION OF PROPERTY TAX IN AMOUNTS REIMBURSED WHERE A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE, UPON CHANGE OF STATION, IS REQUIRED TO PAY THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSE INCIDENT TO THE TRANSFER OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS, RATHER THAN BEING PERMITTED TO EFFECT SHIPMENT ON GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING OR PURCHASE ORDER, OTHERWISE PROPER REIMBURSEMENT AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 6, EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 8588, AS AMENDED, OF TRANSPORTATION EXPENSE "ACTUALLY AND NECESSARILY INCURRED" MAY INCLUDE AMOUNTS EXPENDED BY THE EMPLOYEE FOR THE PROPERTY TRANSPORTATION TAX IMPOSED BY SECTION 620 OF THE INTERNAL REVENUE ACT OF 1942.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS, MAY 15, 1943:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 30, 1943, AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 620 OF THE REVENUE ACT OF 1942, PUBLIC LAW 753, 77TH CONGRESS, APPROVED OCTOBER 21, 1942, ADDS TO THE INTERNAL REVENUE CODE A NEW SECTION, NO. 3475, EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 1, 1942, WHICH IMPOSES A TAX OF THREE PERCENTUM UPON AMOUNTS PAID FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF PROPERTY WITHIN THE UNITED STATES AND EXEMPTS AMOUNTS PAID BY OR TO THE UNITED STATES OR ANY AGENCY OR INSTRUMENTALITY OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF PROPERTY.

EMPLOYEES OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION UPON THE OCCASION OF SHIPMENT OF PERSONAL PROPERTY IN CONNECTION WITH TRANSFER BETWEEN OFFICIAL STATIONS UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 8588 AS AMENDED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9122 HAVE BEEN REQUIRED TO ARRANGE AND PAY FOR THEIR OWN LOCAL HAULING TO AND FROM RAIL FREIGHT STATIONS AND IN SOME INSTANCES TO ARRANGE AND PAY FOR CROSS COUNTRY HAULING BY VAN. REIMBURSEMENT CLAIMS SUBMITTED BY EMPLOYEES IN SUCH CASES ARE SUPPORTED BY THE CARRIER'S PAID BILL FOR TRANSPORTATION, WITH THE FEDERAL PROPERTY TAX INDICATED THEREON AS A SEPARATE ITEM. INFORMATION FURNISHED BY MR. D. S. BLISS, DEPUTY COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE IN A LETTER DATED MARCH 13, 1943, COPY ENCLOSED, IS TO THE EFFECT THAT NO EXEMPTION FROM PAYMENT OF TAX ON TRANSPORTATION OF PROPERTY MAY BE OBTAINED BY EMPLOYEES WHO SHIP PROPERTY AT THE ULTIMATE EXPENSE OF THE UNITED STATES. YOUR DECISION IS THEREFORE REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER EMPLOYEES PROPERLY MAY BE REIMBURSED FROM THE SALARIES AND EXPENSES APPROPRIATION FOR THIS ADMINISTRATION, WITHIN THE LIMITATIONS PRESCRIBED IN THE CITED EXECUTIVE ORDERS, FOR AMOUNTS EXPENDED BY THEM FOR FEDERAL TRANSPORTATION TAX INCLUDED IN CHARGES FOR TRANSPORTATION OF PERSONAL PROPERTY WHICH IS AUTHORIZED TO BE SHIPPED BY THE EMPLOYEES UPON CHANGE OF OFFICIAL STATION AT THE EXPENSE OF THE UNITED STATES.

IN THIS CONNECTION IT MAY BE STATED THAT AS SUGGESTED IN YOUR DECISION DATED NOVEMBER 30, 1942 (B-29349) ACTION IS BEING TAKEN WITH A VIEW TO MAKING AUTHORIZED SHIPMENTS OF PERSONAL PROPERTY OF EMPLOYEES BETWEEN OFFICIAL STATIONS OF THIS ADMINISTRATION AN ADMINISTRATIVE RESPONSIBILITY THROUGH USE OF PURCHASE ORDER AND BILL OF LADING. THE ANTICIPATED ADOPTION OF THIS PROCEDURE WILL OF COURSE ELIMINATE THE QUESTION OF FEDERAL TAX ON AMOUNTS PAID FOR TRANSPORTATION EXCEPT WHERE, BY REASON OF THE PARTICULAR FACTS OR CIRCUMSTANCES INVOLVED IN INDIVIDUAL CASES, IT MIGHT NOT BE FEASIBLE FOR THE ADMINISTRATION TO ASSUME RESPONSIBILITY FOR SHIPMENT.

THE GOVERNING REGULATIONS ISSUED UNDER THE ACT OF OCTOBER 10, 1940, 54 STAT. 1105, DIRECT THAT:

SHIPMENT SHALL BE MADE ON GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING OR PURCHASE ORDER WHENEVER POSSIBLE; OTHERWISE REIMBURSEMENT SHALL BE MADE TO THE EMPLOYEE FOR TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES ACTUALLY AND NECESSARILY INCURRED WITHIN THE LIMITATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THESE REGULATIONS. * * * ( SECTION 6 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 8588 AS AMENDED APRIL 6, 1942, BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9122.)

SINCE BY THE TERMS OF THE TAXING STATUTE REFERRED TO IN YOUR SUBMISSION THE TAX IMPOSED IS REQUIRED TO BE PAID BY THE PERSON MAKING THE PAYMENT SUBJECT TO THE TAX--- THE EMPLOYEE IN THIS INSTANCE--- IT WOULD SEEM OBVIOUS THAT THE TAX THUS PAID IS A PART OF THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES ,ACTUALLY AND NECESSARILY INCURRED" BY THE EMPLOYEE.

ACCORDINGLY, THIS OFFICE WILL NOT QUESTION OTHERWISE PROPER PAYMENTS REPRESENTING REIMBURSEMENT TO TRANSFERRED CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF AMOUNTS EXPENDED BY THEM FOR FEDERAL TRANSPORTATION TAX IN CONNECTION WITH THE TRANSPORTATION OF THEIR HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS, SUCH PAYMENTS TO BE MADE FROM THE APPROPRIATION FOR SALARIES AND EXPENSES OF THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION, ACT OF JUNE 27, 1942, 56 STAT. 420, PUBLIC LAW 630, WHICH IS SPECIFICALLY MADE AVAILABLE FOR EXPENSES INCURRED IN THE "TRANSFER OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND EFFECTS AS PROVIDED BY THE ACT OF OCTOBER 10, 1940, AND REGULATIONS PROMULGATED THEREUNDER.'