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SUGAR REFINING COMPANIES

(19831.)

Special tax-Sugar refineries.

Provisions of section 27, act of June 13, 1898, apply to sugar refineries and not to

sugar factories.

TREASURY DEPARTMENT,

OFFICE OF COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE,

Washington, D. C., August 4, 1898.

SIR: I received your letter of the 28th ultimo, in regard to section 27 of the act of June 13, 1898, imposing a tax on the gross annual receipts, in excess of $250,000, of persons, firms, corporations, and companies carrying on or doing the business of refining sugar.

You state that you expect to start your beet-sugar factory at Chino, Cal., this month, and as you are sugar producers and not sugar refiners, and do not purchase raw sugars for the purpose of refining them, in contrast with other refiners of raw sugar, but make sugar directly from beets by continuous process, and sell these sugars directly to the consumers, you do not think that you come within the provisions of the law referred to.

It is the opinion of this office that your view is correct, and that the provisions of section 27 referred to do not apply to beet-sugar factories operated as, you state, your factory is, where sugar is made directly from beets, and there is no refining except in the process of manufacture. I think the law intended to tax receipts of sugar refineries and not sugar factories.

Respectfully, yours,

N. B. SCOTT, Commissioner.

Mr. HENRY T. OXNARD,

President Oxnard Beet Sugar Company, Grand Island, Nebr.

(20201.)

Keturns of gross receipts by sugar refining companies.

Sugar refining companies, refining sugar in one collection district and having their principal (home) offices in another collection district, to make returns of their gross receipts in each such districts, respectively.

TREASURY DEPARTMENT,

OFFICE OF COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE,

Washington, D. C., October 17, 1898. GENTLEMEN: I am in receipt of your letter of the 12th instant, requesting that you be advised as to the collection district in which returns should be filed by your company of its gross receipts.

You state that your company is incorporated under the laws of New Jersey and has its principal office in that State, at Jersey City, while the entire refining plant of the company is in Yonkers, N. Y., where the principal office in that State is located.

In reply, you are informed that in such cases a return should be made in each collection district in which the company, having a principal office, transacts its business; and that where the company's receipts derived from such business and covered by the returns so made are also included in the return made in the district in which the principal (home) office is located, the receipts so included should be so specified in order that the same may be verified and the proper allowance therefor made.

Respectfully, yours,

G. W. WILSON, Acting Commissioner.

NATIONAL SUGAR REFINING COMPANY, Yonkers, N. Y.

TELEGRAPHIC MESSAGES.

(19704.)

Stamp tax-Telegraphic dispatches.

Exemption in favor of dispatches sent by State officers in discharge of their official

duties.

TREASURY DEPARTMENT,

OFFICE OF COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE,

Washington, D. C., July 16, 1898.

SIR: Your letter of the 11th instant, in regard to telegraphic dispatches signed by State officers, has been received.

Section 17 of the act of June 13, 1898, provides as follows:

It is the intent hereby to exempt from the stamp taxes imposed by this act such State, county, town, or other municipal corporations in the exercise only of functions strictly belonging to them in their ordinary governmental, taxing, or municipal capacity.

If the sender of a dispatch is in the discharge of a duty in carrying out governmental functions required by law in operating the machinery of the government, the exemption applies; but if the act is simply that which the officer does individually in the interest of a private person or outside party to serve such private person or outside party individually, then the stamp-tax law applies.

Respectfully, yours,

N. B. SCOTT, Commissioner.

Mr. WILLIAM A. KETCHAM, Attorney-General, Indianapolis, Ind.

(19794.)

Stamp tax-Railroad telegraphic messages.

Telegraphic messages of railroad companies concerning the affairs and service of the companies, when exempt.

TREASURY DEPARTMENT,

OFFICE OF COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE,

Washington, D. C., July 28, 1898.

SIR: I have your letter of the 22d instant, stating that Mr. L. S. Thorne, vice-president and general manager of the Texas and Pacific

Railway Company, asks you to obtain a ruling from this office as to whether telegraphic communications, as described by him, and the conditions under which sent, are exempt from stamp tax under the war-revenue law or otherwise, as follows:

Telegrams sent over railway wires without any tolls being collected, relating strictly to railway business, particularly messages sent by one company to a connecting line company by their own employees, over their own telegraphic lines owned by the respective companies, referring particularly to the handling of trains, delivery of freight, or other such business in which both companies are interested, which messages are handled over the railway wires of the two companies, neither company making charge against the other company for telegrams so sent.

Reference is made particularly to routine business, such as telegraphic notices from one dispatcher's office to the dispatcher's office of a connecting line, as to the arrival of United States mail and passenger trains, special trains of live stock, and perishable freight; the movement of special trains, including trains of Government troops and supplies, etc., which notices it is necessary for railway companies to give and receive in order to properly handle such business.

In reply, I have to say that you are no doubt aware that, under date of the 14th instant, this office ruled, in a letter to the Western Union Telegraph Company, that all messages of railroad officials and employees sent from stations on their respective railroads to places beyond the same must be stamped. It seems to be apparent that this ruling does not provide for the joint and mutual business of connecting railroad lines, such as described in your letter.

Upon full consideration, I am of the opinion that section 18 of the war-revenue law authorizes and requires the exemption from stamp taxation of all messages of railroad companies concerning all "the affairs and service of the company," and of such messages, by and to connecting companies, in respect to the joint and mutual business of each, such as described in your letter.

It would seem to be a matter of good public policy in the interest of the public and for the safety of passengers that such free communication should be had between connecting companies as to all joint and mutual business in which there is a joint interest and responsibility to the public. This office rules, therefore, that such messages are within the exemption of the second proviso of section 18, and do not require to be stamped. It should be definitely understood, however, that messages to a connecting line, in relation to the business of one line alone, are not included in the exemption.

Respectfully, yours,

Mr. S. GUTHRIE,

N. B. SCOTT, Commissioner.

Representing Texas and Pacific Railway Co., Washington, D. C.

(19795.)

Stamp tax-Telegraphic money orders.1

Money orders sent by telegraph or express-Instructions.

TREASURY DEPARTMENT,

OFFICE OF COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE,

Washington, D. C., July 29, 1898.

SIR: It is known that the Western Union and other telegraph companies do a somewhat extensive business in the way of telegraphing money orders. These are all taxable at the rate of 2 cents for each order, being orders for the payment of a sum of money. It is suggested that you detail one of your deputies to ascertain if these orders are being duly stamped. Also please ascertain if the large express companies doing a money-order business are paying the tax on the same. It also would be well to notify banks transferring money by telegraphic order that all such orders are liable to a tax at the rate of 2 cents, in addition to the tax on the dispatch or telegram.

Respectfully, yours,

N. B. SCOTT, Commissioner.

Mr. C. H. TREAT, Collector Second District, New York, N. Y.

(20060.)

Stamp tax-Telegrams.

Exemption from stamp tax of telegrams of foreign diplomatic officers residing in this

country.

TREASURY DEPARTMENT,

OFFICE OF COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE,

Washington, D. C., September 15, 1898. SIR: In response to your verbal request, I inclose you herewith copy of a letter written to Mr. Arthur T. Brice, cashier Riggs National Bank, Washington, D. C., in which checks and drafts of ambassadors, ministers, or other members of the foreign diplomatic corps residing in this country were exempted from tax when the checks or drafts of such diplomatic agents were made in the course of the conduct of business as such agents, or made in connection with the expenses incidental to their residence here as such agents.

As this ruling does not provide for the case of telegrams, this office will now hold that telegrams of ambassadors, ministers, or other members of the foreign diplomatic corps residing in this country, including consuls-general, consuls, vice consuls, and their chancellors and secretaries, will be exempt from the stamp tax on telegrams when such telegrams are made in the course of the conduct of business as such officers, or when they are of a purely private or personal nature, subject to the same exception as in the former ruling-that where such persons become

This refers to domestic money orders only.

engaged in commerce or trade, then telegrams relating to such commerce or trade would become taxable as in the case of other residents of the United States.

Respectfully, yours,

Mr. M. MAREAN,

N. B. SCOTT, Commissioner.

Manager Western Union Telegraph Company, Washington, D. C.

(20066.)

Stamp tax-Telegraphic messages.

Telegraph messages of associated steamship lines, or fast freight lines operating over railroads, not entitled to exemption from stamp tax under section 18, act of June 13, 1898.

TREASURY DEPARTMENT,

OFFICE OF COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE,

Washington, D. C., September 17, 1898. SIR: I have the telegram of Mr. Thos. F. Clark, acting vice president Western Union Telegraph Company, asking for a ruling upon the following points:

(1) Are messages of the officials of steamship companies whose ships ply between United States ports, when those messages are sent under Western Union franks, exempt from revenue stamps under the Commissioner's ruling as to messages of railroad officials so sent when such steamship companies are owned or controlled by railroad companies?

(2) If yes, would the same ruling apply to similar messages of officials of steamship companies that are not owned or controlled by railroad companies and whose ships ply between United States ports?

(3) Does the Commissioner's ruling cover the messages of fast freight lines sent under Western Union franks, whether issued direct or by request of the railroad companies owning or controlling such lines!

In reply, I have to say the law will not, in my opinion, admit of an extension of the exemption provision of section 18 to include either the messages of officers of steamship companies which may be owned or controlled by railroad companies, or of officers of fast freight lines operating over railroads. The law has been heretofore as liberally construed by this office as seemed necessary to give effect to the legis lative intent. If additional associated enterprises are supposed to be also entitled to the same exemption, the legislative warrant must be specifically given therefor.

The fact that an individual holds a telegraph frank has no bearing upon the question of liability or nouliability to stamp tax of the message sent by such frank holder.

Respectfully,.yours,

Mr. M. MAREAN,

N. B. SCOTT, Commissioner.

Manager Western Union Telegraph Company, Washington, D. C.

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