U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA) called on Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on Friday to urge the Obama administration to put pressure on Norway’s government to make reforms to the U.S.-Norway Tax Treaty to protect U.S. offshore construction firms operating on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The OCS is part of the internationally recognized continental shelf of the U.S.
The call for reforms follows changes to Norway’s tax laws that place offshore OCS construction services at a significant competitive disadvantage to their Norwegian-based competitors. Norway began to consider income earned on the OCS to be eligible for tonnage tax benefits in 2007, while applying virtually zero taxes to Norwegian companies. The OCS is considered part of the U.S. for American companies and, as a result, income earned on the OCS is not eligible for benefits.
“It’s just not right that American companies operating off our shores could be at a significant tax disadvantage to one of the most socialist countries in the world,” Boustany said. “We need to fix this right away. Given a fair and level playing field, American businesses can compete with anyone on Earth. I’m proud to lead my colleagues to ensure our companies and the workers they employ are given a fair shot.”
Boustany’s letter, which was signed by the entire bipartisan Louisiana delegation of Sens. David Vitter (R-LA) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Reps. Steve Scalise (R-LA), John Fleming (R-LA), Cedric Richmond (D-LA), Ralph Abraham (R-LA) and Garret Graves (R-LA), requests that Lew revise the U.S.-Norway Tax Treaty by adding a withholding tax that would offset the competitive disadvantage that U.S. companies face.
Source: Ripon Advance
Published: January 2, 2016