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Bill would tax service calls transferred overseas

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Washington, D.C.—A proposed U.S. Senate bill would impose a 25-cent tax and disclosure requirements on call-center calls originating in the U.S. but transferred to overseas agents.

Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), who announced the bill, said it is intended to retain call-center jobs in the U.S. or encourage their return from overseas. The bill does not yet have a Senate number.

The proposed legislation also would require that companies disclose to the caller the overseas call-center transfer and would require regular filings with the Federal Trade Commission certifying compliance.

Schumer’s office cited India, Indonesia, Ireland, Canada, the Philippines and South Africa, in order, as the most popular countries for the outsourcing of call-center queries originating in the U.S., a practice prompted by lower hourly rates in those countries, and an employee willingness to work longer hours.

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