Homeland Security Act Signed With Tax-Related Provisions

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President Bush signed the Homeland Security Act on November 25. The Act unites various federal agencies into a new Department of Homeland Security. It also introduces a new type of charitable trust and imposes a ban on federal contracts to unpatriotic U.S. companies that try to avoid taxes by incorporating offshore.

Section 835 of the Act, (H.R.5050) sets out criteria that would identify a company as an "inverted domestic corporation" subject to the ban on federal contracts. Companies that meet these criteria are called "corporate expatriates." The Act includes a waiver that allows the Secretary of the Homeland Security Department to make exceptions in certain circumstances, (e.g., to prevent the loss of any jobs in the U.S. or prevent the government from incurring additional costs that otherwise would not occur).

Section 601 of the Act describes the laws that pertain to the new charitable trusts, named "Johnny Michael Spann Patriot Trusts" in honor of the first American to give his life in the war on terrorism. These trusts are set up to benefit the surviving spouses, children, or dependent parents, grandparents, or siblings of members of the Armed Forces and other federal agencies who die in the line of duty in certain activities related to terrorist attacks or efforts to curb international terrorism. Johnny Michael Spann was a CIA officer.

The Act also moves the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) into the Department of Justice (DOJ) and creates a Tax and Trade Bureau to take over BATF functions not transferred to the DOJ.

-Rosemary Schlank

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