Renewed Calls for US Armenia Tax Treaty

–Treaty Needed to Address Growing Bilateral Commerce and Increased Diaspora Economic Involvement in Armenia

WASHINGTON–DC–In a letter to Treasury Secretary John W. Snow and in correspondence sent to members of Congress–the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) renewed its call for the US government to facilitate the growing levels of US-Armenia trade and investment by negotiating a comprehensive tax treaty with Armenia.

"With the expansion of US-Armenia economic ties–it is more important than ever that our government negotiate a comprehensive and far-reaching tax treaty that will strengthen the US-Armenia economic relationship for many decades to come," said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. "The Department of the Treasury should be working closely with the Armenian government and with American businesses operating in Armenia–including the growing number run by Diaspora Armenia’s–to specifically tailor an agreement that addresses the needs of Americans who divide their careers between the US and Armenia–or who plan to retire to Armenia–in terms of portability of pensions and healthcare and a variety of other concerns."

The US has negotiated tax treaties with over forty nations in order to clarify the taxation of transactions–investmen’s–rents–royalties–management contracts–dividends–interest–and salaries of companies and employees working in both countries. The US has recently exchanged instrumen’s of ratification with three new countries–Ukraine–Luxembourg–and Denmark.

As part of its broader efforts to strengthen US-Armenia bilateral economic relations–the ANCA has been working for more than four years to encourage the US to negotiate a tax treaty with Armenia. Other elemen’s of this effort included helping to secure Armenia’s membership in the World Trade Organization–which took place in February of last year–and the granting to Armenia of Permanent Normal Trade Relations Status (PNTR). Several thousand Armenian Americans have written to the Social Security Administration using the ANCA WebFax program to call for a Social Security Agreement that would help US citizens who work part of the year or plan to retire in Armenia. At the state level–the ANCA-Western Region spearheaded the creation of the California-Armenia Trade Office–which is set to open in Yerevan later this year.

In January of 2002–Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairmen Joe Knollenberg (R-MI) and Frank Pallone (D-NJ) urged then Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill–to help expedite a bilateral tax treaty between the US and Armenia that would effectively eliminate the "double taxation" of income of citizens working in both countries. The appeal came on the eve of an inter-agency US Armenia Task Force meeting–which discussed taxation issues as part of an overall framework to promote bilateral trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.

For an overall review of US Tax Treaties

www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p901.pdf

For the full text of most US Tax Treaties:

www.irs.gov/prod/ ind_info/ treaties.html.

For information about Armenia on the website of the US Department of Commerce:

www.bisnis.doc.gov/bisnis/country/armenia.cfm

To learn about USAID’s private sector aid to Armenia:

www.usaid.gov/am/private.html

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