October 13, 2015
For Immediate Release
Contact: Elen Asatryan
tel: (818) 500-1918

ANCA Welcomes Congressman Ted Lieu’s Advocacy for a U.S.-Armenia Double Tax Treaty

Los Angeles, CA – The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region (ANCA-WR) is expressing its appreciation to Congressman Ted Lieu for authoring a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew in support of a U.S.-Armenia Double Tax Treaty.

The accord, if concluded, would, by limiting the prospect of double taxation, remove a major barrier to the growth of US – Armenia bilateral Ted Lieu_August Recess Meeting Phototrade and investment – a major goal of the ANCA.

In August of this year senior Armenian National Committee of America officials met with U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew in Washington, DC to press for a new U.S.-Armenia Double Tax Treaty. The current treaty governing double taxation issues between the two countries is the 1973 U.S.-U.S.S.R. Tax Treaty, an outdated forty year-old accord. The ANCA strongly believes that the lack of a double tax treaty between the United States and Armenia creates legal uncertainty that deters potential U.S. investors, diverts investment flows and disadvantages American businesses seeking to invest in the Republic of Armenia.

“Our many ANCA supporters in California’s 33rd Congressional District greatly appreciate Congressman Lieu’s leadership in seeking to bolster economic ties between the United States and Armenia,” said ANCA-WR Chair Nora Hovsepian. “We are pleased that Congressman Lieu is so actively supportive of updating a tax treaty that, if adopted by the U.S. Senate, would serve to facilitate the flow of investment between America and Armenia.  It is our hope that the Obama Administration responds positively to Congressman Lieu’s principled support for this critical initiative,” added Hovsepian.

In his letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Lew, Congressman Lieu asserted that a “modern tax treaty [between the U.S. and Armenia] could facilitate the growth of commercial relations, enhance job creation in both countries and provide Armenia with greater regional autonomy.” The Congressman’s letter went on to state that he is encouraged that “the United States already has a number of tax treaties with relatively small countries, such as Estonia, Jamaica, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta and Slovenia.”

According to an ANCA fact sheet widely distributed to White House officials and members of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives, the lack of a working U.S.-Armenia Double Tax Treaty represents a serious impediment to the development of U.S.-Armenia economic relations.

The ANCA believes the Obama Administration’s continued inaction and delay on a Double Tax Treaty, 25 years after Armenia’s independence, sends the wrong message to potential investors and all stakeholders in the growth of U.S.-Armenia economic relations.  The ANCA contends that a double tax treaty would help reinforce the longstanding friendship of the American and Armenian peoples, further anchoring Armenia to the West and providing Yerevan with greater strategic options in dealing independently with regional powers.

The ANCA, after consulting with some of the most experienced and well-respected international tax experts in the United States, has concluded that the actual process of negotiating a Double Tax Treaty between the U.S.-Armenia should be very straight-forward and would likely largely follow the U.S. Model Income Tax Convention of 2006, updated by more recent features of U.S. tax treaty policy such as provisions for mandatory arbitration.  Armenia has broad experience in negotiating tax treaties with other countries.

The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.

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Photo Caption: ANCA Western Region Representatives meet with Congressman Lieu during the August Recess. From Left to Right: ANCA WR Government Affairs Director Tereza Yerimyan, ANCA WR Chair Nora Hovsepian, Representative Ted Lieu CA-33, Ayk Dikijian, Joseph Kaskanian.