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Veto of Bill for the Relief of Alfred Hanzal.

February 21, 1958

To the House of Representatives:

I return herewith, without my approval, H. R. 1495, entitled "An Act for the relief of Alfred Hanzal." This bill would authorize and direct the Secretary of the Treasury to pay the sum of $322.67 to Alfred Hanzal, San Antonio, Texas. The payment of such sum would be in full settlement of all claims of Alfred Hanzal against the United States for refund of taxes which he erroneously paid under the federal Insurance Contributions Act with respect to his remuneration (as owner of the Milam Building Barber Shop, San Antonio) during the period beginning January 1, 1937, and ending March 31, 1947, and which cannot now be refunded to him by the Internal Revenue Service because of the expiration of the applicable period of limitation.

The available information indicates that Alfred Hanzal paid taxes of $322.67 for the period January 1937 through March 1947 on his own earnings from his business which he erroneously reported under the federal Insurance Contributions Act. In 1947 Mr. Hanzal was informed by the Internal Revenue Service that, under the then applicable law, an employer was not authorized to pay social security taxes on his own earnings and that it would not benefit him to continue payments. Mr. Hanzal therefore ceased making such payments. At the time he was informed of his error, Mr. Hanzal could have filed a claim for refund of the taxes paid by him within the preceding four-year period of limitations prescribed by section 3313 of the Internal Revenue Code. Mr. Hanzal did not file such a claim although he did file a claim for refund of social security taxes erroneously paid on the wages of his father whom he employed in his business. This claim was allowed in 1947.

In addition to limiting the time within which it is possible for the Government to collect additional taxes or for a taxpayer to obtain refunds of tax overpayments, the Congress has determined it to be a sound policy to limit the period within which Social Security earning credit entries can be deleted or corrected except in the event of fraud or other limited and inapplicable circumstances. By virtue of this provision of law, Mr. Hanzal was assured Social Security protection from 1945 on, notwithstanding the fact that his payments were in error. Since a substantial benefit was received for the payments, their purpose was fulfilled and refund appears unnecessary on equitable grounds.

Also, the granting of special relief in this case, where a refund was not claimed in the time and manner required by law, would, in the absence of special circumstances which do not appear to exist here, constitute a discrimination against others 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

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Veto of Bill for the Relief of Alfred Hanzal. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/234479

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