Memorandum of Disapproval of Bill for the Relief of Raymond Baurkot
[ Released September 9, 1960. Dated September 8, 1960 ]
I HAVE WITHHELD my approval from H.R. 6767, "for the relief of Raymond Baurkot."
This bill would permit the filing of a tax refund claim that was in fact filed after the deadline date set by law.
Public Law 85-859 provided for the refund of internal revenue taxes paid on certain liquors lost as the result of a major disaster occurring prior to the date of enactment, September 2, 1958. It required that claims be filed on or before March 2, 1959- The claimant filed on March 16, 1959 for a refund of $382.10 paid in taxes on beer destroyed in a 1955 flood. He asserted that he had telephoned the branch office of the District Director's office in Easton, Pennsylvania, on February 26, 1959, and was informed by an unidentified person that he had a "couple of months" in which to file.
The Easton branch office has no record of any such request for information from Mr. Baurkot. That office, moreover, does not itself handle alcohol tax problems. Its standard procedure is to refer such inquiries to the Assistant Regional Commissioner's office in Philadelphia which has general supervision over such matters.
Information concerning Public Law 85-859 and its filing requirements were widely disseminated to the liquor industry by the Internal Revenue Service. It appears that the claimant received the Industry Circular published by the Service but thereafter misplaced it. This Circular set forth the March second deadline and specifically provided that inquiries regarding claims should be addressed to the Assistant Regional Commissioner's office.
Under these circumstances I am unable to approve this bill. The statutory period of limitations, which the Congress has included in the revenue system as a matter of sound policy, is essential to the achievement of finality in tax administration. Efficient administration of the tax laws is dependent upon taxpayers meeting statutory deadlines. To grant special relief in this case would be to discriminate against other similarly situated taxpayers and to create an undesirable precedent.
DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER
Dwight D. Eisenhower, Memorandum of Disapproval of Bill for the Relief of Raymond Baurkot Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/235325