« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
“ The assessment and collection of local taxes are entirely the subjects of municipal law and regulations of the government of the country in which the property subjected to such taxes may be situated, and the assessment and collection of taxes by the Spanish authorities in Cuba upon property in that island can not properly be made a subject of interference by this Government."
Mr. F. W. Seward, Acting Sec. of State, to Mr. Acosta y Foster, April 8,
1878, 122 MS. Dom. Let. 403. See Mr. Frelinghuysen, Sec. of State, to Mr. Foster, min. to Spain, Dec. 19,
1883, instructing the latter to make an earnest remonstrance” to the Spanish Government against the exaction by the authorities in Cuba, from an American firm, of certain arrearages, in derogation of
"compromise arrangement” which had been effected, through the efforts of the United States, in respect of an obnoxious tax" which was considered to be specially injurious to American mercantile interests in the island. (MS. Inst. Spain, XIX. 459.)
“ Your despatch of the 4th of October last, (No. 213) in relation to the will and personal effects of Mr. Robert Apple left in Vienna at the time of his death in Italy, has been received.
“ Your proceedings in the matter are approved, and your suggestions in regard to the general question have also received attentive consideration. I am disposed to think that there is no substantial difference in the meaning of the words, ' dues, taxes or charges’ used in the treaty of 1829, and the term 'duties' employed in that of 1818. Like the word “steuern 'which you give as that used in the German text of the treaty of 1848, the word “duties’ is a comprehensive term, its meaning in the connection in which it is there used, being "tax, toll, impost, or customs'; and there seems to be no just ground for supposing that it was understood in any other than this comprehensive sense by the negotiators of the treaty in question. Be that as it may, however, the case of Mr. Apple's representatives is not conceived to be one that calls for a discussion of the question. That gentleman's act in making the deposit of his last will, and, as it would appear, of the bulk if not the whole of his estate in an Austrian bank, with certainly no better security than he might have been assured of from a like deposit in San Francisco or New York, seems to have been one of deliberate choice on his part; and when an American citizen thus chooses to collect his fortune together, take it to a foreign country and there deposit it with his will, disposing of it beyond his own life; and in the course of distribution after his death, it becomes subject to the taxes and charges incident to such distribution, under the municipal laws of the country where the property may be, that circumstance does not, it is believed, present a question that should deeply concern this Government.
“ You will therefore confine your future efforts in behalf of Mr. Apple's representatives, to the exercise of such unofficial good offices as it may be convenient for you to render. The extent to which these unofficial aids may become necessary and proper is also left to your judgment and discretion."
Mr. Evarts, Sec. of State, to Mr. Kasson, min. to Austria-Hungary, Jan.
17, 1880, MS. Inst. Austria-Hungary, III. 80.
“ Citizens of the United States in Colombia are exempted from paying any tax from which the subjects or citizens of another power are exempt, both by the favored nation'clause of our treaty of 1846 with Colombia, and by the general principle of the law of nations which justifies this Government in insisting that there shall be no undue discrimination against citizens of the United States wherever they may be resident.”
Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to Mr. Walker, chargé at Bogota, April 28,
1888, For. Rel. 1888, I. 422-423. The imposition by Mexico of a tax unduly discriminating against citizens
of the United States, if not a breach of the treaty between the United States and Mexico, is an unfriendly act to be noticed by the United States. (Mr. Cass, Sec. of State, to Mr. Forsyth, min. to Mexico, June 23, 1858, MS. Inst. Mex. XVII 194; same to same, July 15, 1858, id. 199.)
Foreigners “are not bound ... to work personally on the roads, their obligation in this last respect is limited to the payment of the corresponding road tax. .. Foreigners are bound to respect the police regulations and orders; to pay the local imposts and the established taxes upon trade, industry, professions, property or possession thereof, as also such imposts and taxes as may be established thereafter, or when those first mentioned shall have been increased or diminished."
Circular of the Guatemalan ministry of foreign relations, Sept. 13, 1888,
For. Rel. 1888, I. 167–168.
"If by the law of Austria the owner of property wrongfully taxed is required to bear the expense of correcting the error of the officials levying the tax, he can not complain unless the law discriminated against him as a foreigner.”
Mr. Gresham, Sec. of State, to Mr. Hill, Aug. 22, 1893, 193 MS. Dom. Let.
The Haitian Chambers having passed a law compelling every foreigner in business to make to the President of the Republic an application for a license on a certain stamped paper and to pay therefor five dollars, the United States objected to the requirement on the ground that under the treaty between the two countries citizens of the United States were entitled to pay no higher taxes in Haiti than Haitians in the same business. The Haitian Government relinquished the claim for the fee, but insisted that the application for license should be made to the President, maintaining that this was a matter which the treaty did not affect. The decision of the Haitian Government on this question was accepted by the United States. The ground, it was said, on which the United States had contested the license fee was that it violated the treaty stipulation that American citizens engaged in business in Haiti should not be obliged to pay “ any contributions whatever ” other or higher than those paid by natives, and it was held that neither this nor any other provision of the treaty would justify the United States “in contesting the Haitian requirement that American citizens shall make applications for licenses to conduct business."
Mr. Hill, Acting Sec. of State, to Mr. Terres, chargé, Sept. 21, 1899, For.
Rel. 1899, 405.
A stamp tax on a foreign bill of lading is, in substance and effect, equivalent to a tax on the articles included in that bill of lading, and therefore is a tax or duty on exports, and therefore in conflict with Article I., section 9, of the Constitution of the United States, that “ No tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any State.”
An act of Congress is to be accepted as constitutional, unless on examination it clearly appears to be in conflict with provisions of the Federal Constitution.
If the Constitution in its grant of powers is to be able to carry into full effect the powers granted, it is equally imperative that where prohibition or limitation is placed upon the power of Congress, that prohibition or limitation should be enforced in its spirit and to its entirety.
Fairbank v. United States (1901), 181 U. S., 283.
“ Your dispatch No. 25, in relation to the imposition of income
tax upon citizens of the United States residing 19
Germany, has been received and considered with attention.
“To your dispatch are annexed communications from Mr. Leo Wolf, Mr. Wierss, and Mr. Appleton, all claiming to be citizens of the United States residing in different parts of Germany, and objecting to the imposition of this tax; added to which is your correspondence on the question with them, and an opinion of Mr. Jansen, at Berlin, as to the legal aspects of the law of the different German States imposing these several taxes. It appears that each of the persons objecting to the tax is admittedly a resident in that part of the German Empire where he is assessed, and not a mere temporary sojourner for pleasure or otherwise.
Upon examination of the statement of Mr. Jansen, it further appears that taxes on income of aliens appear to be assessed under certain restrictions and within certain limitations upon resident aliens only, although it appears that a person carrying on business is deemed to be a resident immediately upon taking up his residence in any place.
“The real question raised, therefore, by this correspondence, is, whether an income tax may properly be assessed against an alien resident in Germany.
“As a general rule the power to impose taxes is an attribute of sovereignty, and where the person or the property in question is a proper subject of taxation, the species of tax and the amount which should be collected may fairly be left to the state or government exercising this power.
“By the act of March 2, 1867, it was provided
“That there shall be levied, collected, and paid annually upon the gains, profits, and income of every person residing in the United States, or of any citizen of the United States residing abroad, whether derived from any kind of property, rents, interest, dividends, or salaries, or from any profession, trade, employment, or vocation carried on in the United States or elsewhere, or from any other source whatever, a tax,' &c.
“Such provision does not materially differ from the corresponding provision in the previous acts on the same subject. It applies in terms to all persons, aliens as well as citizens residing in the United States, and to all citizens residing beyond the limits of the United States.
“ So far as the subjects of taxation are concerned, the income tax referred to in your correspondence does not appear to differ from the income tax imposed by this Government.
“ On the ground, therefore, that the parties complaining in these cases are all residents of Germany, and so long as the tax is uniform in its operation and can fairly be deemed a tax and not a confiscation or unfair imposition, it is not believed that any successful or consistent representation can be made to the German Government in their behalf.
“ It is true that in some cases a party may be liable to double taxation, but such instances are exceptional, and this fact cannot alter the rule. No income tax, as such, is at present collected in this country.
“ Some of these statements complain of excessive taxation, even under the provisions of the German laws, but such matters would seem more properly to be questions for submission to the German courts.
“ The views of the Department are confined to the particular cases presented in your dispatch.
It is not admitted that an income-tax could be collected from nonresident aliens, nor is the general question of municipal taxation adverted to in the communication of Mr. Kreismann, the consulgeneral, but concerning which no particulars are given, here considered.
The general views expressed in your dispatch on this question are concurred in by the Department.”
Mr. Fish, Sec. of State, to Mr. Davis, min. to Germany, Nov. 21, 1874,
For. Rel. 1875, I. 488–489. See Mr. Davis' dispatch, id. 479.
to Germany, Oct. 13, 1880, MS. Inst. Germany, XVII. 8.
able on any income arising or accruing to any person whomsoever. from a British source;” that “an income arises from a British source which is derived from property or possessions in the Unitedi Kingdom,” or “from a trade or profession carried on in the United Kingdom," or when either it arises from property or possessions the United Kingdom, or it results (e. g. in the case of a trade) from acts done in the United Kingdom.” (Dicey, Conflict of Laws, 800.)
In 1887 the city authorities of Frankfort-on-the-Main sought to levy an income tax on Mrs. Samuel R. Honey, the wife of a citizen of the United States. It appeared that Mrs. Honey was making an extended but temporary sojourn at Frankfort with her daughter, who was attending the school of music, and that she received a monthly allowance from her husband to defray her own and her daughter's expenses. Under the circumstances the authorities came to the conclusion that she was not subject to the tax, but proceeded to levy an income tax on Mr. Honey, on the theory that, as his wife and daughter occupied a dwelling there, he had a domicile at Frankfort. It appeared that Mrs. Honey rented furnished rooms, and that all the furniture in them belonged to the landlord. Mr. Honey was a citizen of the United States and was domiciled at Newport, R. I., where he pursued the profession of the law. He stated that the money which he sent to his wife was derived almost exclusively from the proceeds of his professional income, and that she had no income or estate of her own. Mr. Honey had never resided in Germany and had no property, business, or income there. It appeared that in September, 1887, the Prussian authorities also sought to levy a state income tax upon Mr. Honey. These levies were the subject of discussion between the consul-general of the United States at Frankforton-the-Main and the local authorities, and the matter was ultimately communicated by the legation of the United States at Berlin to the German foreign office, in order that it might be laid before the