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Memorandum of Disapproval of Bill for the Relief of Mr. and Mrs. Robert B. Hall.

September 02, 1958

I AM WITHHOLDING my approval from H. R. 8184, "For the relief of Mr. and Mrs. Robert B. Hall."

The bill would direct the Secretary of the Treasury to pay the sum of $1,300 to Mr. and Mrs. Robert B. Hall, Los Angeles, California, in full settlement of their claims against the United States for refund of an overpayment of their federal income-tax liability for the calendar year 1950.

The records of the Treasury Department show that the taxpayers filed a timely joint income-tax return for 1950 and that, on March 1, 1955, the taxpayers filed an untimely claim for refund in the amount of $1,303.50. The claim for refund alleged that no part of the proceeds from the sale in 1950 of certain inherited property was includible in gross income and also that the taxpayers failed to take certain deductions for the year 1950. This claim for refund was filed almost one year after the expiration of the three-year period of limitations prescribed by law for filing such claims and, therefore, the claim was rejected.

The amount of the taxpayer's overpayment for the year 1950 has never been verified by the Internal Revenue Service. Such verification would require a determination of the fair market value of certain property at the time it was inherited by Mr. Hall, and would also require a determination as to the validity of certain deductions claimed by the taxpayers.

The taxpayers believe that the statute of limitations should be waived in their case because Mr. Hall was stationed in Germany as an officer in the Armed forces from January 1950 to May 1953, and because Mr. Hall received inexpert advice concerning his 1950 tax return. These circumstances do not seem to justify the taxpayers' failure to file a claim for refund until March 1, 1955.

The statutory period of limitations, which Congress has included in the revenue system as a matter of sound policy, is essential for finality in tax administration. Granting special relief in this case would discriminate 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.


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 Mr. and Mrs. Robert B. Hall. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/233982

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