Bermuda Tax Issue Grows Hotter.
Congress debates offshore tax advantages and ergonomic standards ergonomic standards Occupational medicine A series of guidelines developed by OSHA–to address activities in the workplace with a high risk for injury proposed by OSHA OSHA
Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a branch of the US Department of Labor responsible for establishing and enforcing safety and health standards in the workplace. .
A group representing U.S. subsidiaries of foreign companies has joined in opposing H.R. 4192, a bill that would place additional taxes on U.S.-based insurance companies operating in Bermuda.
The bill is the work of U.S. Reps. Nancy Johnson Nancy Lee Johnson (born January 5 1935, Chicago, Illinois) is an American politician.
Johnson was a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from 1983 to 2007, representing first the 6th district and later the 5th District of Connecticut following the , R-Conn., and Richard Neal
Richard Edmund Neal , D-Mass., who seek to close what they describe as a "tax loophole" for U.S. insurance companies with affiliates in Bermuda. By moving their headquarters to Bermuda or by being acquired by a Bermuda insurer, the companies can escape a 35% U.S. income-tax rate and state rates as high as 5%.
But the bill would affect more than the insurance industry, people in and out of the industry said. In a letter to Rep. Bill Archer, R-Texas, chairman of the House Ways and Means WAYS AND MEANS. In legislative assemblies there is usually appointed a committee whose duties are to inquire into, and propose to the house, the ways and means to be adopted to raise funds for the use of the government. This body is called the committee of ways and means. Committee, the Organization for International Investment's executive director, Todd Malan, said his "members are concerned that this bill sets dangerous policy precedents and violates important international tax policy principles followed by the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. ."
Archer oversees tax issues before the House, including H.R. 4l92, which is opposed by Bermuda-based insurers such as Ace Ltd. and XL Capital Ltd.
The organization, based in Washington, describes itself as the exclusive representative of the largest U.S. subsidiaries of companies based abroad. Part of its mission is to maintain an open environment for international companies in the United States. Its membership includes insurance companies, but they are a minority. Thus, "our concerns are based on considerations much broader than the targeted objectives of the bill regarding the insurance industry," Malan wrote to Archer.
What Malan doesn't like about the bill is that it "seeks to use the U.S. tax code to address a perceived 'unfair competitive advantage' of firms operating in another country."
He said that "as the largest source of foreign direct investment to the rest of the world, the United States should be very careful in the use of tax code to intervene in global competition."
The most compelling argument against H.R. 4192, Malan said, "is that it is not necessary."
Insurance industry representatives agreed that the bill affects more than the insurance industry and saw this as a plus in fighting its passage, making the voice of opposition louder and increasing the chances of defeating the bill.
Ergonomics ergonomics, the engineering science concerned with the physical and psychological relationship between machines and the people who use them. The ergonomicist takes an empirical approach to the study of human-machine interactions. Proposal Draws Fire
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's proposed ergonomics rule might be illegal and would interfere with state workers' compensation workers' compensation, payment by employers for some part of the cost of injuries, or in some cases of occupational diseases, received by employees in the course of their work. laws and administration, U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi Michael Bradley "Mike" Enzi (born February 1 1944) is a conservative Republican United States Senator from Wyoming. Before his election to the U.S. Senate in 1996, Enzi had been a businessman, who at one time owned family shoe stores. , R-Wyo., said during a Senate hearing on the national impact of the proposal.
Enzi, chairman of the Senate Employment, Safety and Training subcommittee, and several witnesses expressed fear that the proposed OSHA "work restriction protection" requirement would make employers pay compensation to workers removed from work or restricted temporarily because of repetitive-motion injuries.
Enzi noted that the Occupational Health and Safety Act prohibits OSHA from interfering with workers' comp regulated by the states, as he insisted the proposed rule would do.
But Charles Jeffress, assistant secretary for occupational safety and health with the U.S. Department of Labor, denied that the rule would result in the federal government interfering with how the states administer workers' comp or that the department was exceeding its statutory authority.
Jeffress said the current proposal would require employers to report and correct situations that endanger the health and welfare of workers.
The proposal would require that "workers who experience covered [musculoskeletal disorders Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) can affect the body's muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments and nerves. Most-work related MSDs develop over time and are caused either by the work itself or by the employees' working environment. ] receive a prompt response from their employer, including an evaluation of the injury and access to follow-up by a health-care professional, if necessary," Jeffress told the subcommittee.
Additionally, the proposal would provide work-restriction protection for an employee when the company or its health-care professional has determined that the worker needs a change of routine because of musculoskeletal disorders, he said.
Most other witnesses before the panel took turns blasting the OSHA proposal and its authority.
Robert Aurbach, general counsel for the New Mexico New Mexico, state in the SW United States. At its northwestern corner are the so-called Four Corners, where Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah meet at right angles; New Mexico is also bordered by Oklahoma (NE), Texas (E, S), and Mexico (S). Workers' Compensation Administration, saw the proposal as wreaking "havoc with the quid pro quo [Latin, What for what or Something for something.] The mutual consideration that passes between two parties to a contractual agreement, thereby rendering the agreement valid and binding. in every state and territorial workers' compensation system."
Additionally, it would create "dual filing of [worker] claims" through OSHA and the state, he warned. "At a minimum, I believe the...provisions should be held back. Congress has never authorized OSHA to substitute its judgment regarding post-injury for that of the state," Aurbach said.