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Every one of the ninety-six national banks that have, during the fiscal year, ceased to be depositaries of the public moneys of the United States and fiscal agents of the government, have paid over their balances promptly, without a single exception.
There are yet unsettled claims for public moneys standing against the Venango National Bank of Franklin, Pennsylvania, and the First National Bank of Selma, Alabama.
CLASSIFICATION OF SECURITIES HELD IN TRUST.
Pledged for the redemption of circulating notes: Registered coin-interest six per cents.. 8236, 647, 150 Coupon coin-interest six per cents....
20, 200 Registered coin-interest five per cents. 87, 651, 250 Coupon coin-interest five per cents.....
10, 000 Registered currency-interest six per cents.. 18,523, 000 Total to secure circulating notes...
$342, 851, 600 Pledged for the prompt payment of public moneys: Registered coin-interest six per cents .... 816,877, 350 Coupon coin-interest six per cents
1,918, 300 Registered coin-interest five per cents.. 3, 880, 950 Coupon coin-interest five per cents.
1, 442, 750 Registered currency-interest six per cents.
1, 304, 000 One personal bond...
Total to secure public moneys...
25, 453, 350
Total securities held in trust for national banks......
368, 304, 950
SECURITIES HELD IN TRUST FOR NATIONAL BANKS.
To assure the redemption of their circulating notes : United States stocks at date of last report, June 30, 1868. $341, 495, 900 Deposited in fiscal year...
816, 596, 250 Withdrawn in fiscal year.
15, 240, 550
1,355, 700 Amount held June 30, 1869..
342, 851, 600 To assure the payment of government deposits: United States stocks..
.825, 423, 350 A personal bond..
INTEREST PAID TO NATIONAL BANKS ON STOCKS HELD FOR THEM IN
Interest on coupon bonds has been paid to national
banks, during the year, by three hundred and ninetysix drafts for coin, amounting to....
$255, 741 00 Interest on registered stocks has been drawn, on such
stocks held by the Treasurer in trust for national banks, by the various banks entitled to receive the same, at the various offices at which it was, at their own request, made payable, during the fiscal year, amounting in the aggregate to.
21, 419, 114 67
Total amount paid.....
21, 674, 855 67
NATIONAL BANK DEPOSITARIES.
The business transactions between the treasury of the United States and the several national banks that have been designated as depositaries of the public moneys and financial agents of the government have been, during the fiscal year, as follows: Balance brought from last year's account.
$23,057, 167 07 Receipts during the fiscal year...
115, 371, 786 80
Total balance and receipts..
138, 428,953 87
Payments during the fiscal year...
$129, 553, 812 14
8,875, 141 73
Total payments and balance to new account........ 138, 428,953 87
All these collections have been promptly paid as required, in the ways, in the manner, and at the points, as directed by this office; and in most cases without any expense to the government, as appears by the following statement: Through expresses at government expense.
815, 371, 266 61 Without expense to the government...
114, 182, 545 53
Total payments during the year........
129, 553, 812 14
The foregoing statements show that while these banks had deposited in the treasury of the United States, to insure the prompt payment of the moneys belonging to the government, stocks of the United States, of the par value of $25,423,350, the government deposits were only 88,875,141 73. The securities at their market value being more than three to one of the amount of deposits.
DUTY COLLECTED FROM NATIONAL BANKS.
The semi-annual duty paid to the Treasurer by national banks, dur. ing the year preceding January 1, 1869, is as follows:
For the term of six months preceding July 1, 1868: On circulation...
81,476,116 76 On deposits.
1,323, 878 31 On capital..
149, 358 SO
2, 949, 353 87 Less amount uncollected from failed banks..
$2, 948, 877 79 For the term of six months preceding January, 1869: On circulation...
$1,479, 277 84 On deposits...
1, 333, 357 60 On capital..
149, 767 41
2, 962, 402 85
Total amount of duties for the year...
5, 911,280 64
The unpaid duty of banks in liquidation at the beginning of the year was..
$10, 767 20 There was collected of this, during the year.
7, 432 72
Amount of duty due and remaining unpaid...
3, 334 48
EXCESS OF DUTIES PAID, REFUNDED. Claims of excess of duties paid by banks have been audited and paid, in the last fiscal year, under a resolution in relation to national banking associations, approved March 2, 1867, as follows, to wit: For six months preceding July 1, 1865..
$169 27 For six months preceding January 1, 1866..
346 78 For six months preceding January 1, 1869.
The preceding duties were repaid on:
$516 05 172 66
The total receipts for duty in the year preceding January 1, 1869, were ...
85, 911, 280 64 Less amount refunded in fiscal year...
Net amount for the year....
$5,910, 591 93
5, 766, 082 12
Increase of duty this year over last year....
144, 509 81 167, 651 59
Increase for the last two years.
312, 161 40 1
ENFORCEMENT OF THE PAYMENT OF DUTIES FROM DELINQUENT KA
TIONAL BANKS. The act entitled “An act to provide a national currency secured by a pledge of United States bonds, and to provide for the circulation and redemption thereof," passed June 3, 1864, declares, in section 41, that in lieu of all existing taxes, every association shall pay to the Treas urer of the United States, in the months of January and July, a duty of one-half of one per centum each half year, from and after the first day of January, eighteen hundred and sixty-four, upon the average amount of its notes in circulation, and a duty of one-quarter of one per centum each half year upon the average amount of its deposits, and a duty of one-quarter of one per centum each half year, as aforesaid, on the average amount of its capital stock beyond the amount invested in United States bonds; and in case of default in the payment thereof by any association, the duties aforesaid may be collected in the manner provided for the collection of United States duties of other corporations, or the Treasurer may reserve the amount of said duties out of the interest, as it may become due on the bonds deposited with him by such de faulting associations. And it shall be the duty of each association, within ten days from the first days of January and July in each year, to make a return, under the oath of its president or cashier, to the Treasurer of the United States, in such form as he may prescribe, of the average amount of its notes in circulation, and of the average amount of its deposits, and of the average amount of its capital stock beyond the amount invested in United States bonds, for the six months next preceding said days of January and July as aforesaid, and in default of such return, and for each default thereof, each defaulting association shall forfeit and pay to the United States the sum of two hundred dollars, to be col lected either out of the interest as it may become due such association on the bonds deposited with the Treasurer, or, at his option, in the manner in which penalties are to be collected of other corporations under the laws of the United States; and in case of such default the amount of the duties to be paid by such association shall be assessed upon the amount of notes delivered to such association by the Comptroller of the Currency, and upon the highest amount of its deposits and capital stock, to be ascertained in such other manner as the Treasurer may deem best.
It will be seen that while there is no difficulty in obtaining from the office of the Comptroller of the Currency all the necessary information by which a proper assessment can be made, and that, too, so that the rates vill be high enough to make the extra assessment of itself a pretty severe penalty and enough to prevent the recurrence of the neg. lect; yet, there is a penalty of two hundred dollars imposed by the law for a neglect on the part of any bank to make a proper return in the proper time; while for the neglect or refusal, on the part of any bank that may have made the return, to pay the duty upon such return, there is no available penalty. The only practical way, under the law, in such cases is, to retain the interest due the defaulting bank on its stocks de posited with the Treasurer.
Now it so happens that the banks are, by law, allowed ten days from the first days of January and July in which to make their returns, and that much of the interest falls due, and is paid, on these very days. Most of the remainder of the interest falls due four months later, to wit, on the first days of May and November. Thus, the remedy or the coercive power to collect the duties is put off either for four or for six months, as
the interest may become due on the stocks of such defaulting banks; and the government is in the mean time wrongfully kept out of its dues.
A very few, but the number may grow larger, unlike the great mass of the banks, seem to care more for the money they may make by retaining the dues of the government for four or six months, than they do for their reputations, and avail themselves of this oversight in the law to defraud the United States. Such banks make their returns regularly, for there is a penalty for the neglect to do so; but, they neglect to pay the duty within the month, as required by the law, because it is their interest not to pay, and because there is no penalty for that neglect.
The forty-first section of the national bank act should, in order to be effective, be so amended as to change the penalty from the non-essential part, for not making a report, to the very important one of enforcing the prompt payment of the duty to the government.
The various modes for the collection of taxes, in their best forms, are more or less offensive to the parties taxed. The process for their assessment and collection should, therefore, be the most simple in form, and the least offensive and vexatious possible to the tax-payers.
It is believed that the national banks are unnecessarily harassed in the matter of the payment of their dues to the government. They are called upon semi-annually by this office to pay one-half of one per cent. on their “circulation,” and one-quarter of one per cent. each on their “deposits” and on their capital stock,” all under the head of “duty." The collections from the three sources named as “duty," during the fiscal year ending with June 30, 1869, amounted in the aggregate to five million nine hundred and eleven thousand two hundred and eighty dil.. lars and sixty-four cents, ($5,911,280 64.) This large amount was paid into the treasury without any expense for its collection to the banks or to the government.
The national banks are also required to pay to the Commissioner of: Internal Revenue a special tax of two dollars upon every thousand: dollars of capital stocks, and a tax of five per cent. on all dividends, and five per cent. on all undistributed sums, or sums made or added during the year to their surplus or contingent funds.
With all the investigation that has so far been had, no accurate result could be arrived at as to the aggregate amount so collected from, the. national banks by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue on the three items mentioned. The collections from national banks are included in, the accounts as kept, with these same items of taxes and various other items of taxes, that have been collected from banks, bankers, trust companies, savings institutions, or of any fire, marine, life, or inland insurance companies.
Enough has, however, been ascertained to warrant the conclusion that the gross amount of taxes so collected by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue from all the national banks does not exceed one-half tho amount collected by the Treasurer as duty from these same banks.
Now it is submitted, whether it would not be better to have the statutes so amended as to make all these collections semi-annually, and to give the collection of the whole six items of tax and of duty from all. national banks, entirely and exclusively, either to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue or to the Treasurer of the United States.
In the last annual statement from this office the fact was stated that one hundred and fifty-seven of the national banks had within that fiscal year failed to comply with the provisions of the twenty-fifth section of the act entitled "An act to provide a national currency," passed June