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Welch opposes Afghan taxes

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Reps. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Walter Jones (R-N.C.) have introduced bipartisan legislation to prevent the Afghan government from taxing American companies delivering U.S. aid to Afghanistan.

The Stop Taxing American Assistance to Afghanistan Act (H.R. 936) would bar future assistance to Afghanistan unless US contractors and subcontractors delivering aid are exempt from taxation by the government of Afghanistan. According to the Washington Post, the Afghan government recently sent overdue tax bills to U.S. contractors working in the country.

"It is absurd for the Aghan government to suggest taxing America's effort to rebuild their country," Welch said. "While that may make sense in Hamid Karzai's world, it makes no sense to the American taxpayer. This legislation will make sure America is not taxed on the assistance it provides to Afghanistan."

The calls to tax U.S. contractors come despite bilateral agreements that exempt US-based companies from such taxation. In recent months, the Afghan government has warned contractors in the country that failure to pay what it deems overdue tax bills could result in arrest or confiscation of goods.

H.R. 936 was referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

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