Memorandum of Disapproval of Bill for the Relief of George P. E. Caesar, Jr.
I AM WITHHOLDING my approval from S. 571, "For the relief of George P. E. Caesar, Junior."
The bill would provide that, notwithstanding any period of limitations or lapse of time, claims, exclusive of interest, for credit or refund of overpayments of income taxes for the taxable years 1951 and 1952 based on exemption from taxation of certain earned income received for personal services rendered outside of the United States may be filed within one year after the date of enactment by George P. E. Caesar, Junior, of Aldie, Virginia, on behalf of himself and Claudia V. Caesar (deceased).
The records of the Treasury Department show that timely joint income tax returns were filed on behalf of the taxpayer and his wife for 1951 and 1952 but that no claims for credit or refund for those years were filed prior to the expiration of the statutory period for filing such claims on March 15, 1955, and March 15, 1956, respectively.
During the years 1951 and 1952 the taxpayer earned certain income for personal services rendered outside of the United States and the taxpayer believes that these earnings should have been excluded from his income under section 116 (a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939. The taxpayer also believes that his failure to file timely claims for refund should be waived because of personal difficulties resulting from the death of his wife and also because an employee who prepared his returns for 1951 and 1952 did not inform him of the necessity for filing claims for refund within the period prescribed by law. The records of the Treasury Department show that the death of the taxpayer's spouse occurred on October 15, 1952, which date was two years and five months prior to the expiration of the period of limitations for filing a claim for 1951 and was three years and five months prior to the expiration of the period of limitations for filing a claim for 1952.
The circumstances of this case are not sufficiently unique to warrant special legislative relief. The statutory period of limitations, which Congress has included in the revenue system as a matter of sound policy, is essential in order to achieve finality in tax administration. Granting special relief in this case, where a refund was not claimed in the time and manner prescribed by law, would constitute a discrimination against other taxpayers similarly situated and would create an undesirable precedent.
Under the circumstances, therefore, I am constrained to withhold my approval of the bill.
DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER
Note: This memorandum was released at the U. S. Naval Base, Newport, R. I.
Dwight D. Eisenhower, Memorandum of Disapproval of Bill for the Relief of George P. E. Caesar, Jr. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/233965