B-7659, JANUARY 8, 1940, 19 COMP. GEN. 625

B-7659: Jan 8, 1940

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" ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENT FOR CANADIAN EXCISE TAX STAMPS. WHETHER THE ACCOUNTS ARE IN BANKS WHICH MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE BEEN DESIGNATED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY AS LIMITED GOVERNMENT DEPOSITARIES. 1940: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 15. AS FOLLOWS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO DECISION 11 COMP. IF SUCH LAWS ARE SUSCEPTIBLE OF THE CONSTRUCTION THAT THE TAX SHOULD BE BORNE BY THE PAYEE NEGOTIATING THE CHECK. THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE TAX BY DISBURSING OFFICERS OF THE UNITED STATES FROM PUBLIC FUNDS. WHERE THE CHECKS ARE DRAWN IN FAVOR OF FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS FOR OFFICIAL EXPENDITURES. THERE IS ENCLOSED FOR YOUR EXAMINATION A COPY OF THE SPECIAL WAR REVENUE ACT OF THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT WITH AMENDMENTS TO DATE.

B-7659, JANUARY 8, 1940, 19 COMP. GEN. 625

TAXES, EXCISE - STAMPS ON CHECKS - FOREIGN COUNTRIES - DISBURSING OFFICERS-, PAYEES-, ETC., LIABILITY APPROPRIATED MONEYS, INCLUDING THOSE OF THE STATE DEPARTMENT FOR " CONTINGENT EXPENSES, FOREIGN SERVICE," ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENT FOR CANADIAN EXCISE TAX STAMPS--- REQUIRED BY THE PRESENTLY EXISTING CANADIAN SPECIAL WAR REVENUE ACT--- FOR USE UPON CHECKS DRAWN ON ACCOUNTS IN CANADIAN BANKS BY OFFICIALS OF THE STATE DEPARTMENT, WHETHER THE ACCOUNTS ARE IN BANKS WHICH MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE BEEN DESIGNATED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY AS LIMITED GOVERNMENT DEPOSITARIES, OR FOR USE UPON CHECKS DRAWN ON THE TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES BY THE DISTRICT ACCOUNTING AND DISBURSING OFFICER IN CANADA IN FAVOR OF CANADIAN FIRMS OR NATIONALS IN PAYMENT OF UNITED STATES DOLLAR OBLIGATIONS, SUCH AS RENT, ETC., OR IN PAYMENT OF SALARIES AND ALLOWANCES OF AMERICAN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE FOREIGN SERVICE IN CANADA. CHECK PAYEES-, AND CHECK ISSUING OFFICERS- , EXCISE STAMP LIABILITY DISCUSSED, AND 11 COMP. GEN. 213 UNMODIFIED.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE, JANUARY 8, 1940:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 15, 1939 ( DA 125.6275/117), AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO DECISION 11 COMP. GEN. 213 HOLDING THAT UNDER THE LAWS OF A FOREIGN COUNTRY REQUIRING THE AFFIXING OF EXCISE TAX STAMPS ON CHECKS DRAWN OR NEGOTIATED IN THAT COUNTRY, AND IF SUCH LAWS ARE SUSCEPTIBLE OF THE CONSTRUCTION THAT THE TAX SHOULD BE BORNE BY THE PAYEE NEGOTIATING THE CHECK, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE TAX BY DISBURSING OFFICERS OF THE UNITED STATES FROM PUBLIC FUNDS, EXCEPT IN SUCH CASES IN CANADA, OR ELSEWHERE, WHERE THE CHECKS ARE DRAWN IN FAVOR OF FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS FOR OFFICIAL EXPENDITURES.

THERE IS ENCLOSED FOR YOUR EXAMINATION A COPY OF THE SPECIAL WAR REVENUE ACT OF THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT WITH AMENDMENTS TO DATE, IN WHICH THE FOLLOWING PROVISIONS ARE CONTAINED:

" STAMP DUTIES ON CHEQUES AND CERTAIN OTHER INSTRUMENTS -

CHEQUES

"44.1. NO PERSON SHALL---

"/A) ISSUE A CHEQUE PAYABLE AT OR BY A BANK OR DRAWN UPON OR ADDRESSED TO A BANK AND REQUIRING OR DIRECTING PAYMENT OF A SUM OF MONEY; OR

"/B) PRESENT TO A BANK FOR PAYMENT A CHEQUE AS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPH (C) (II) OF THE LAST PRECEDING SECTION; UNLESS THERE IS AFFIXED THERETO AN ADHESIVE EXCISE OR POSTAGE STAMP OF THE VALUE HEREINAFTER SPECIFIED,OR UNLESS THERE IS IMPRESSED THEREON BY MEANS OF A DIE AN EXCISE STAMP OF THE VALUE OF---

"/I) THREE CENTS, IF THE AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR WHICH THE CHEQUE IS DRAWN DOES NOT EXCEED ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS;

"/II) SIX CENTS, IF THE AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR WHICH THE CHEQUE IS DRAWN EXCEEDS ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS.

" BILLS OF EXCHANGE AND PROMISSORY NOTES

"45.1.SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS HEREINAFTER SET OUT, NO PERSON SHALL---

"/A) TRANSFER A BILL OF EXCHANGE OR PROMISSORY NOTE TO A BANK IN SUCH MANNER AS TO CONSTITUTE THE BANK THE HOLDER THEREOF; OR

"/B) DELIVER A BILL OF EXCHANGE OR PROMISSORY NOTE TO A BANK FOR COLLECTION; OR

"/C) WHEN SELLING FOREIGN EXCHANGE, ISSUE FOR THE PURPOSE A BILL OF EXCHANGE DRAWN UPON A PERSON OUTSIDE OF CANADA ACCORDING TO THE TENOR OF THE BILL; UNLESS THERE IS AFFIXED THERETO AN ADHESIVE EXCISE OR POSTAGE STAMP OF THE VALUE HEREINAFTER SPECIFIED, OR UNLESS THERE IS IMPRESSED THEREON BY MEANS OF A DIE AN EXCISE STAMP OF THE VALUE OF---

"/I) THREE CENTS IF THE AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR WHICH THE BILL OR NOTE IS DRAWN DOES NOT EXCEED ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS;

"/II) SIX CENTS IF THE AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR WHICH THE BILL OR NOTE IS DRAWN EXCEEDS ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS.

" RECEIPTS TO BANKS

"47. NO PERSON SHALL SIGN A RECEIPT FOR MONEY PAID TO HIM BY A BANK CHARGEABLE AGAINST A DEPOSIT OF MONEY TO HIS CREDIT, UNLESS THERE IS AFFIXED THERETO AN ADHESIVE EXCISE OR POSTAGE STAMP OF THE VALUE HEREINAFTER SPECIFIED, OR UNLESS THERE IS IMPRESSED THEREON BY MEANS OF A DIE AN EXCISE STAMP OF THE VALUE OF---

"/I)THREE CENTS IF THE AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR WHICH THE RECEIPT IS GIVEN DOES NOT EXCEED ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS;

"/II) SIX CENTS IF THE AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR WHICH THE RECEIPT IS GIVEN EXCEEDS ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS. 1932-33, C. 50, S. 5.

" CANCELLATION OF STAMPS

"48. EVERY ADHESIVE STAMP AFFIXED AS REQUIRED BY THE PROVISIONS OF THIS PART SHALL BE CANCELLED AS FOLLOWS:

"/A) IN THE CASE OF A CHEQUE, BY THE BANK AT WHICH THE CHEQUE IS PAYABLE, AT OR BEFORE THE TIME OF PAYMENT;

"/B) IN THE CASE OF A BILL OF EXCHANGE, OR PROMISSORY NOTE BY THE BANK, AT THE TIME OF TRANSFER, DELIVERY, OR ISSUE AS THE CASE MAY BE;

"/C) IN THE CASE OF A PROMISSORY NOTE, CHEQUE, OR OTHER BILL OF EXCHANGE MADE OR DRAWN OUT OF CANADA BY THE BANK, BEFORE PAYMENT OR PRESENTMENT FOR PAYMENT;

"/D) IN THE CASE OF A RECEIPT, BY THE BANK, AT OR BEFORE THE TIME THE MONEY IS PAID;

"/E) IN THE CASE OF A BILL OF EXCHANGE DRAWN UPON A PERSON OUTSIDE OF CANADA ACCORDING TO THE TENOR OF THE BILL, BY THE PERSON SELLING AT OR BEFORE THE TIME OF ISSUE. 1922, C. 47, S. 6; 1923, C. 70, S. 1; 1925, C. 26, S. 3.

" PENALTIES

"49. NO CHEQUE OR OTHER BILL OF EXCHANGE SHALL BE ISSUED OR PAID BY A BANK UNLESS THERE IS AFFIXED THERETO AN ADHESIVE STAMP OR IMPRESSED THEREON BY MEANS OF A DIE, A STAMP OF THE REQUISITE VALUE ACCORDING TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS PART. 1920, C. 71, S. 1.

"50. EVERY PERSON WHO ISSUES A CHEQUE PAYABLE AT OR BY A BANK TO WHICH THERE IS NOT AFFIXED AN ADHESIVE STAMP OR ON WHICH THERE IS NOT IMPRESSED BY MEANS OF A DIE, A STAMP OF THE REQUISITE VALUE ACCORDING TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS PART SHALL BE LIABLE TO A PENALTY NOT EXCEEDING FIFTY DOLLARS. 1923, C. 70, S. 1.

"51. EVERY PERSON WHO---

"/A) TRANSFERS A BILL OF EXCHANGE OR PROMISSORY NOTE TO A BANK IN SUCH MANNER AS TO CONSTITUTE THE BANK THE HOLDER THEREOF; OR

"/B) DELIVERS A BILL OF EXCHANGE OR PROMISSORY NOTE TO A BANK FOR COLLECTION; OR

"/C) PRESENTS TO A BANK FOR PAYMENT A CHEQUE AS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPH (C) (II) OF SECTION FORTY-THREE OF THIS ACT; OR

"/D) WHEN SELLING FOREIGN EXCHANGE ISSUES A BILL OF EXCHANGE DRAWN UPON A PERSON OUTSIDE OF CANADA ACCORDING TO THE TENOR OF THE BILL; TO WHICH THERE IS NOT AFFIXED AN ADHESIVE STAMP OR ON WHICH THERE IS NOT IMPRESSED BY MEANS OF A DIE, A STAMP OF THE REQUISITE VALUE ACCORDING TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS PART SHALL BE LIABLE TO A PENALTY NOT EXCEEDING IN THE CASES OF PARAGRAPHS (A), (B) AND (C), FIFTY DOLLARS, AND IN THE CASE OF PARAGRAPH (D), ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS. 1920, C. 71, S. 1; 1925, C. 26, S. 3.

"52. EVERY PERSON WHO SIGNS A RECEIPT FOR MONEY PAID TO HIM BY A BANK CHARGEABLE AGAINST A DEPOSIT OF MONEY IN THE BANK TO HIS CREDIT TO WHICH THERE IS NOT AFFIXED AN ADHESIVE STAMP OR ON WHICH THERE IS NOT IMPRESSED BY MEANS OF A DIE, A STAMP OF THE REQUISITE VALUE ACCORDING TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS PART, SHALL BE LIABLE TO A PENALTY NOT EXCEEDING FIFTY DOLLARS. 1923, C. 70, S. 1.

"53. 1. EVERY BANK WHICH ISSUES, PAYS, PRESENTS FOR ACCEPTANCE OR PAYMENT, OR ACCEPTS PAYMENT OF A CHEQUE OR OTHER BILL OF EXCHANGE OR PROMISSORY NOTE UPON WHICH A STAMP OF THE REQUISITE VALUE ACCORDING TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS PART HAS NOT BEEN AFFIXED OR IMPRESSED, SHALL BE LIABLE TO A PENALTY OF ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS.

"2. THIS SECTION SHALL NOT APPLY TO THE PRESENTMENT FOR ACCEPTANCE OF A BILL OF EXCHANGE DRAWN OUTSIDE OF CANADA. 1922, C. 47, S. 7; 1925, C. 26, S. 3.

"55. EVERY BANK WHICH TAKES OR ACCEPTS A RECEIPT FOR MONEY PAID BY THE BANK CHARGEABLE AGAINST A DEPOSIT OF MONEY AT THE CREDIT OF THE PERSON SIGNING THE RECEIPT ON WHICH A STAMP OF THE VALUE REQUIRED BY THIS PART HAS NOT BEEN AFFIXED OR IMPRESSED, SHALL BE LIABLE TO A PENALTY OF ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS. 1915, C. 8, S. 12.'

YOU WILL NOTE THAT SECTIONS 44 AND 50 OF THE ACT PROVIDE THAT NO PERSON SHALL ISSUE A CHECK PAYABLE AT OR BY A BANK OR DRAWN UPON OR ADDRESSED TO A BANK AND REQUIRING OR DIRECTING PAYMENT OF A SUM OF MONEY UNLESS THERE IS AFFIXED THERETO AN ADHESIVE EXCISE OR POSTAGE STAMP OF THE VALUE SPECIFIED, AND IF AN UNSTAMPED CHECK IS ISSUED, THE PERSON WHO ISSUES IT IS LIABLE TO A PENALTY OF NOT TO EXCEED $50. YOUR ATTENTION IS ALSO INVITED TO OTHER PROVISIONS CONTAINED IN SECTION 44 AND IN SECTION 51, WHICH PROVIDE THAT NO PERSON SHALL PRESENT TO A BANK FOR PAYMENT A CHECK UNLESS THERE IS AFFIXED THERETO AN ADHESIVE EXCISE OR POSTAGE STAMP OF THE VALUE SPECIFIED WITHOUT BECOMING LIABLE TO A PENALTY NOT EXCEEDING $50. THUS, PENALTIES ARE PRESCRIBED BOTH FOR THE ISSUER OF THE CHECK AND THE PERSON WHO PRESENTS A CHECK FOR PAYMENT WITHOUT THE REQUIRED EXCISE STAMPS BEING ATTACHED, AS WELL AS FOR THE BANK WHICH PAYS SUCH CHECK UPON WHICH A STAMP OF THE REQUISITE VALUE HAS NOT BEEN AFFIXED. IT WOULD THEREFORE SEEM THAT AN OFFICIAL OF THIS GOVERNMENT, BY ISSUING AN UNSTAMPED CHECK ON AN OFFICIAL ACCOUNT KEPT IN A CANADIAN BANK OR BY PRESENTING TO A CANADIAN BANK ANY UNSTAMPED CHECK MIGHT BE CONSIDERED TO HAVE VIOLATED THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SPECIAL WAR REVENUE ACT.

AS AN INDICATION OF THE PRACTICE OF THIS GOVERNMENT IN SIMILAR CASES I ENCLOSE COPIES OF LETTERS DATED DECEMBER 3, 1932, AND APRIL 9,1934, RECEIVED FROM THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT RELATING TO THIS SUBJECT.

UNDER USUAL BUSINESS PRACTICE THE ACCEPTED METHOD OF PAYING BILLS, SETTLING ACCOUNTS, OR PAYING FOR SERVICES, ET CETERA, IS BY CHECK. NUMBER OF OFFICERS OF THIS DEPARTMENT IN CANADA HAVE REPORTED THAT THEIR FAILURE TO ATTACH REVENUE STAMPS TO CHECKS ISSUED IN FAVOR OF CANADIAN FIRMS AND INDIVIDUALS IS CAUSING UNFAVORABLE COMMENT AMONG CANADIAN BUSINESS FIRMS BECAUSE IT IS CONSIDERED BY THEM TO BE IN VIOLATION OF THE CANADIAN LAWS AND REGULATIONS. CONSEQUENTLY, I FIND IT NECESSARY TO REQUEST A REVIEW OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE DECISION ABOVE MENTIONED ON ACCOUNT OF THE PRESENT PROVISIONS OF THE SPECIAL WAR REVENUE ACT OF CANADA AND TO ASK THAT I BE ADVISED WHETHER THE CANADIAN EXCISE STAMP TAXES NOW IMPOSED ARE PROPERLY PAYABLE FROM THE APPROPRIATION FOR CONTINGENT EXPENSES, FOREIGN SERVICE, IN THE FOLLOWING CASES:

1. ON CHECKS DRAWN ON A CANADIAN BANK ACCOUNT WHICH IS KEPT IN THE NAME OF AN OFFICIAL OF THIS DEPARTMENT UNDER AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN SECTION V- 11 OF CHAPTER V OF THE FOREIGN SERVICE REGULATIONS;

2. ON CHECKS DRAWN ON OFFICIAL CHECKING ACCOUNTS KEPT IN BANKS IN CANADA WHICH HAVE BEEN DESIGNATED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY AS LIMITED GOVERNMENT DEPOSITARIES AUTHORIZED TO ACCEPT THE OFFICIAL CHECKING ACCOUNTS OF OFFICERS OF THE FOREIGN SERVICE, AS PROVIDED IN 31 U.S.C. SECTION 473 AND SECTION V-11 OF THE FOREIGN SERVICE REGULATIONS;

3. ON CHECKS DRAWN ON THE TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES BY THE DISTRICT ACCOUNTING AND DISBURSING OFFICER IN OTTAWA IN FAVOR OF CANADIAN FIRMS OR NATIONALS IN PAYMENT OF UNITED STATES DOLLAR OBLIGATIONS, SUCH AS RENT OF OFFICES, SALARIES OR ALLOWANCES OF FOREIGN EMPLOYEES, OR OTHER OBLIGATIONS OF THIS GOVERNMENT (22 U.S.C. SECTION 23K) ( FOREIGN SERVICE REGULATIONS, SECTION V-49 TO V-52);

4. ON CHECKS DRAWN ON THE TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES BY THE DISTRICT ACCOUNTING AND DISBURSING OFFICER IN OTTAWA IN PAYMENT OF SALARIES AND ALLOWANCES OF THE VARIOUS AMERICAN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE FOREIGN SERVICE IN CANADA, UNDER THE AUTHORITY CITED IN "3" ABOVE.

I SHALL APPRECIATE YOUR EARLY DECISION ON THE ABOVE QUESTIONS, AS IT IS DESIRED TO ISSUE APPROPRIATE INSTRUCTIONS CONCERNING THESE CANADIAN TAXES WHICH WILL HAVE YOUR CONCURRENCE.

IT APPEARS THAT THE THEN EXISTING PROVISIONS OF THE SPECIAL WAR REVENUE ACT OF THE DOMINION OF CANADA, WHICH WERE ORIGINALLY ENACTED IN 1915, WERE CAREFULLY CONSIDERED BY THE FORMER COMPTROLLER GENERAL AT THE TIME OF HIS DECISION OF DECEMBER 2, 1931 (11 COMP. GEN. 213), REFERRED TO BY YOU. HENCE, THERE WOULD APPEAR FOR CONSIDERATION AT THIS TIME WHETHER, UNDER THE PRESENT PROVISIONS OF THE LAW AND THE MATTERS SET FORTH IN YOUR LETTER AND ITS ENCLOSURES, THE RULES ANNOUNCED IN THAT DECISION ARE FOR APPLICATION TO THE CASES YOU NOW PRESENT.

SECTION 43 OF SAID LAW PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

(A) "BANK" MEANS:

(I) A BANK TO WHICH THE PROVISIONS OF THE BANK ACT APPLY;

(II) A BANK SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE QUEBEC SAVINGS BANK ACT;

(III)ANY OTHER BODY CORPORATE AND ANY DOMINION OR PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT SAVINGS OFFICE, THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES AND EXECUTIVE OFFICERS AND SERVANTS OF A PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT, RECEIVING MONEY WHICH IS REPAID BY HONORING THE CHEQUE, ORDER OR OTHER WRITTEN INSTRUCTIONS OF THE PERSON FROM OR ON WHOSE ACCOUNT THE MONEY WAS RECEIVED;

(IV) ANY ONE RECEIVING MONEY WHICH HE REPAYS BY HONORING THE CHEQUE, ORDER, OR OTHER WRITTEN INSTRUCTIONS OF THE PERSON FROM OR ON WHOSE ACCOUNT THE MONEY WAS RECEIVED;

(C) "CHEQUE" INCLUDES:

(I) ANY ORDER, DOCUMENT, OR WRITING (EXCEPT A BANK NOTE) DRAWN UPON OR ADDRESSED TO A BANK, ENTITLING, OR PURPORTING TO ENTITLE, ANY PERSON, WHETHER NAMED THEREIN OR NOT, TO PAYMENT OF A SUM OF MONEY; AND

(II) ANY DOCUMENT OR WRITING NOT DRAWN UPON OR ADDRESSED TO A BANK IN EXCHANGE FOR WHICH A BANK MAKES PAYMENT OF A SUM OF MONEY;

IT WOULD SEEM TO BE CLEAR FROM THE FOREGOING PROVISIONS THAT A CHECK DRAWN ON THE TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES BY THE DISTRICT ACCOUNTING AND DISBURSING OFFICER IN OTTAWA MUST BE REGARDED AS A "DOCUMENT OR WRITING NOT DRAWN UPON OR ADDRESSED TO A BANK" SO FAR AS THE LAW IN QUESTION IS CONCERNED. CONSEQUENTLY, SINCE THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 44 OF THE LAW, SET FORTH IN YOUR LETTER, DIRECT THAT A REVENUE STAMP SHOULD BE PLACED ON AN INSTRUMENT OF THAT CHARACTER BY THE PERSON PRESENTING IT TO A BANK FOR PAYMENT, THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE LITTLE ROOM FOR A CONTENTION THAT THE PROVISIONS OF THE LAW REQUIRING THE PERSON ISSUING A CHECK "PAYABLE AT OR BY A BANK OR DRAWN UPON OR ADDRESSED TO A BANK," TO PLACE A REVENUE STAMP THEREON ARE APPLICABLE TO CHECKS DRAWN ON THE TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES OR THAT THE PENALTY PRESCRIBED BY THE TERMS OF THE LAW FOR FAILURE SO TO DO CAN BE IMPOSED UPON OFFICIALS OF YOUR DEPARTMENT WHO MAY DRAW CHECKS ON THE TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES WITHOUT PLACING CANADIAN REVENUE STAMPS THEREON. FURTHERMORE, IT HAS BEEN UNIFORMLY HELD THAT WHERE AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES HAS BEEN PAID BY A GOVERNMENT CHECK REGULARLY DRAWN BY A DISBURSING OFFICER, SUCH OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE HAS RECEIVED PAYMENT IN THE MANNER PROVIDED BY LAW AND THE EXPENSE INCURRED, IF ANY BY THE PAYEE IN CASHING SUCH A CHECK IS NOT A PROPER CHARGE AGAINST THE UNITED STATES. 19 COMP. GEN. 144; 6 ID. 295. WITH RESPECT TO CHECKS DRAWN BY FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS ON ACCOUNTS IN BANKS LOCATED IN CANADA, WHICH BANKS MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE BEEN DESIGNATED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY AS LIMITED GOVERNMENT DEPOSITARIES, IT IS A RULE OF LONG STANDING, AS STATED IN THE DECISION IN 11 COMP. GEN. 213, SUPRA, THAT WHERE ADMINISTRATIVE PERMISSION IS GIVEN A COLLECTING OR DISBURSING OFFICER IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY TO DEPOSIT AND KEEP IN, AND TO DISBURSE PUBLIC FUNDS FROM, A LOCAL BANK, SUCH DEPOSIT IS AT THE OFFICER'S OWN RISK AND EXPENSE, AND THAT ANY AND ALL EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE DEPOSIT AND WITHDRAWALS ARE PROPERLY CHARGEABLE TO HIM WHETHER THEY REPRESENT CHARGES IMPOSED BY THE FOREIGN BANK OR BY THE LAWS OF THE COUNTRY IN WHICH THE BANK IS LOCATED. ALSO, IT HAS BEEN UNIFORMLY HELD, AS STATED IN THE DECISION OF JANUARY 20, 1930, A-30612, TO YOU, THAT THE FACT THAT THE UNITED STATES MAY DERIVE AN INDIRECT BENEFIT FROM THE MAINTENANCE OF A BANK ACCOUNT IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY AND THE USE OF THE SAME FOR THE PAYMENT OF AN OFFICIAL EXPENSE, DOES NOT JUSTIFY THE PAYMENT OF CHARGES INCIDENT TO SUCH AN ACCOUNT UNLESS EXPRESS PROVISION FOR SUCH PAYMENT BE MADE BY LAW.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING AND IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY SPECIFIC LEGISLATION CONCERNING THE MATTER, IT WOULD SEEM THAT THE UNITED STATES SHOULD NOT BE REQUIRED TO BEAR THE EXPENSE INCIDENT TO THE PURCHASE OF CANADIAN REVENUE STAMPS FOR USE UPON ANY OF THE FOUR CLASSES OF CHECKS TO WHICH REFERENCE IS MADE IN YOUR LETTER AND NO REASON IS APPARENT FOR ANY MODIFICATION OF THE RULES STATED IN THE DECISION OF THE FORMER COMPTROLLER GENERAL IN 11 COMP. GEN. 213. ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE APPROPRIATION FOR CONTINGENT EXPENSES, FOREIGN SERVICE, IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF CANADIAN STAMP TAXES UPON SUCH CLASSES OF CHECKS AND THAT PUBLIC FUNDS SHOULD NOT BE USED FOR SUCH PURPOSE UNLESS AND UNTIL THE CONGRESS SHALL EXPRESSLY SO PROVIDE.