Bilateral Accord Would Prevent Double Taxation of Profits
WASHINGTON—The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) welcomed news that the negotiation of a U.S.-Armenia Double Tax Treaty, a longstanding ANCA policy priority, will be on the agenda of the upcoming U.S.-Armenia Economic Task Force meeting, an annual bilateral gathering taking place in Yerevan, scheduled for November 19.
“An updated U.S.-Armenia Double Tax Treaty is long overdue and badly needed to establish a clear legal framework for investors and individuals that are conducting business activities in both jurisdictions,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “Beyond the immediate benefits of preventing double taxation and removing a key barrier to increased investment, such an accord would, more broadly, reinforce the friendship of the American and Armenian peoples, facilitate the expansion of bilateral economic relations, deepening Armenia’s ties to the West, and providing Yerevan with greater strategic options and independence in dealing with regional powers.”
In August of this year, the ANCA met with Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew regarding the Treasury Department’s role in the further growth of the U.S.-Armenia economic relationship, with a special focus on the mutual benefits of a new U.S.-Armenia Double Tax Treaty.
The Republic of Armenia has repeatedly asked for a new agreement to replace a 1973 U.S.-U.S.S.R. Tax Treaty. This outdated, forty year-old accord, which Yerevan no longer considers in force, was intended as a limited agreement, even by the standards of the 1970s, between two hostile superpowers. It is clearly insufficient to the needs of the present-day economic relationship with Armenia. The lack of a modern treaty, acceptable to all parties, results in a lack of clarity and represents a substantial deterrent for potential U.S. investors. Without an updated Tax Treaty, U.S. businesses will continue to face significant burdens on investment and cross-border services and payments, as well as a lack of transparent information exchange and obstacles to cooperation on tax and related matters.
Prior to the November 19th U.S.-Armenia Economic Taskforce meeting, the first-ever meeting of the newly created U.S.-Armenia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement Council will take place on November 16th and 17th. This inaugural meeting is set to be chaired by the U.S. Trade Representative, Michael Froman, and Armenia’s Minister of Economy Karen Chshmaritian. The signing of a U.S.-Armenia TIFA, the result of nearly a decade of ANCA advocacy and bilateral dialogue, took place this May in Washington.
These meetings follow a recent Partnership Opportunity Delegation visit to Armenia, organized by the State Department’s Office of Global Partnerships, to explore Armenia’s renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors. The 11-member delegation, led by Special Representative Drew O’Brien from the Global Partnerships office, met with U.S. Embassy representatives and held informational discussions with organizations including the Armenia Renewable Resources and Energy Efficiency Fund (R2E2); the Alliance to Save Energy, Armenia; experts who worked on the recently completed USAID Clean Energy and Water program; and the engineering and environmental faculty from a number of academic institutions.
Last week, the Voice of America, Armenian Division interviewed delegation participant, Southern California Edison Public Affairs Director Zanku Armenian regarding solar energy opportunities in the country .
Tell the Obama Administration and Congress that you support a U.S.-Armenia Double Tax Treaty