Kathleen M. Nilles

Kathleen M. Nilles

Holland & Knight LLP

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Latest Publications


Courts Continue Trend of Recognizing Tribal Immunity in Bankruptcy Proceedings

Judge Christopher S. Sontchi of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware (Court) issued a decision on Feb. 28, 2017, that has important – and positive – significance for Native American tribal governments, their...more

3/22/2017 - Avoidance Casinos Chapter 11 Commercial Bankruptcy Debtors Motion to Dismiss Native American Issues Preferential Transfers Sovereign Immunity Tribal Corporations Tribal Governments Trustees

Six Tips for Tribal Governments to Reduce Tribal Member Taxes in 2017

As the Republican-led Congress and White House move forward on the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and major tax-reform legislation, there are several new opportunities that may benefit tribal governments and their...more

2/1/2017 - Affordable Care Act Charitable Donations Gaming Revenues General Welfare Exclusion Health Insurance Healthcare Indian Gaming Internal Revenue Code (IRC) IRS Low-Income Issues Native American Issues Premium Subsidies Tax Code Tax Rates Tribal Governments Trump Administration

A Comparison of Trump and House GOP Tax Reform Proposals

With Republicans in control of the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives and the White House starting in 2017, the federal government is now better positioned to move forward on comprehensive tax reform, with...more

11/29/2016 - Alternative Minimum Tax Business Taxes Capital Gains Corporate Taxes Depreciation Estate Tax Foreign Subsidiaries Gift Tax GST Life Insurance Mortgage Interest Net Investment Income Net Operating Losses Personal Exemptions S-Corporation Subpart F Tax Credits Tax Deductions Tax Rates Tax Reform Trump Administration

Legislative Opportunities for Tribal Governments Under the Trump Administration

With the advent of a Republican-controlled White House and Congress, many who work in Washington, D.C., on behalf of Indian tribes may be tempted to adopt a defensive posture. But while it always is important to defend tribal...more

11/21/2016 - Affordable Care Act Bonds E-Commerce Employee Benefits Excise Tax Health Insurance Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Internet Retailers LIHTC Low-Income Issues Medicaid Native American Issues NDAA NLRA NLRB Pensions Proposed Legislation Sovereign Immunity Tax Deductions Tax Reform Tribal Governments Trump Administration

FinCEN Assesses Significant Penalty Against Casino for Bank Secrecy Act Violations

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) assessed on July 15 a civil money penalty in the amount of $2.8 million against Hawaiian Gardens Casino Inc., d/b/a The Gardens Casino, for Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) regulatory...more

7/19/2016 - Anti-Money Laundering Bank Secrecy Act BSA/AML Casinos Civil Monetary Penalty Cooperative Compliance Regime Currency Transaction Reports (CTR) Financial Sector FinCEN Gambling IRS Native American Issues Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs)

Three Key Takeaways from NAFOA's 34th Annual Conference

The Native American Finance Officers Association (NAFOA) held its 34th annual conference on April 17-20, 2016, at the Gila River Indian Community's Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort in Phoenix. NAFOA is a national non-profit...more

4/22/2016 - Affordable Care Act Distribution Rules Energy Projects General Welfare Exclusion Indian Tribal Trusts IRS Native American Issues Oil & Gas Renewable Energy Reporting Requirements Tribal Economic Development Projects Tribal Lands

Five Things Tribal Leaders Can Do in 2016 to Reduce Taxes on Tribal Members

Contrary to popular misconception, individual members of Indian tribes do pay federal income taxes on their income, including on most of the income derived from Indian tribal or reservation sources. Some also pay state income...more

1/7/2016 - Affordable Care Act Federal Taxes Gaming Revenues General Welfare Exclusion Internal Revenue Code (IRC) IRS State Taxes

IRS Amends TED Bond Volume Cap Rules to Accommodate Draw-Down Loans

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2015-83 on Dec. 4, 2015, a change that will make it easier for Indian tribal governments to use tribal economic development (TED) volume cap for "draw-down" loan structures in...more

12/8/2015 - American Recovery and Reinvestment Act IRS Loans Native American Issues Tax Exemptions Tribal Economic Development Projects Tribal Governments

A Tribal Financial Executive’s Guide to Deferred Per Capita Plans

With the top tax bracket at nearly 40 percent, Indian tribes making substantial per capita distributions are asking what they can do to reduce their members’ tax liabilities. One option to consider is a deferred per capita...more

9/14/2015 - 401k Deferred Compensation Income Taxes Indian Gaming IRS Savings Accounts Tax Liability Tax Planning Tax Rates Tax-Deferred Exchanges Tribal Governments

IRS Issues Guidance on Tribal General Welfare Exclusion and Safe Harbors - Notice 2015-34 Provides Instruction on the Tribal...

On April 16, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") released Notice 2015-34, its first guidance on general welfare since President Obama signed the Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act (the "Act") into law in September...more

4/22/2015 - General Welfare Exclusion IRS Native American Issues

Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act: New Law Supersedes IRS Guidance - H.R. 3043 Allows Tribes More Latitude in Social Programs

On Sept. 26, 2014, President Obama signed into law a measure that excludes from taxable income various general welfare payments to members of Indian tribes. One of the last pieces of legislation agreed upon by the...more

10/7/2014 - General Welfare Exclusion IRS Native American Issues Tribal Governments

FinCEN Doubles Down on Casinos with Heightened Regulatory Expectations - Casino Managers and Tribal Gaming Commissioners Need to...

For the second time in nine months, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Director Jennifer Shasky Calvery has publicly addressed FinCEN's increasing concerns regarding casino compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act...more

6/25/2014 - Anti-Money Laundering Audits Casinos FinCEN Indian Gaming Information Sharing IRS Patriot Act Reporting Requirements SAR Title 31

In Final Guidance, IRS Broadens General Welfare Safe Harbors for Tribal Programs - New Guidance Provides Planning Opportunities...

After receiving more than 120 written comments on how the IRS should apply the general welfare exclusion to Indian tribal government programs, the IRS has issued final guidance detailing how tribal programs may take advantage...more

6/7/2014 - General Welfare Exclusion Internal Revenue Code (IRC) IRS Safe Harbors Tribal Governments

Interim IRS Guidance Confirms Per Capita Distributions from Tribal Trust Resources Are Nontaxable

Notice 2014-17 Is a Positive Development Because It Should Ultimately Result in Consistent IRS Treatment of Tribal Trust Resources, But Several Issues Remain Unresolved. The Notice provides that the IRS and Treasury...more

3/20/2014 - Exclusions Indian Tribal Trusts IRS

Camp Seeks to Block IRS Regulations Limiting Political Activities of 501(c)(4) Organizations

On January 14, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) introduced legislation that would prohibit, for a period of one year, Internal Revenue Service guidance related to social welfare organizations...more

1/24/2014 - 501(c)(4) IRS Non-Profits Political Campaigns Political Contributions

Top 10 Indian Tribal Tax Developments in 2013 and Priorities for 2014

In 2013, courts were active in issues relating to Indian tribes, including ruling on state tax matters and the federal income tax aspects of Section 17 corporations. The top 10 Indian tribal tax developments from 2013...more

1/14/2014 - Casinos General Welfare Exclusion Income Taxes Indian Gaming IRS Native American Issues Tax Exemptions Tribal Corporations Tribal Governments

IRS Proposes New Rules on Indian Fishing Rights Income for Retirement Plans

On November 15, 2013, the Internal Revenue Service published a notice of proposed rule making (NPRM) along with proposed regulations regarding the treatment of certain income derived from Indian fishing rights-related...more

11/20/2013 - 401k Fishing Industry IRS Pensions Retirement Plan

Tax-Exempt Financing Provisions on the Table as Congress Considers Tax Reform

Recent legislative discussions concerning tax reform have included the potential elimination of several federal provisions long considered sacred to state and local governments and untouchable by federal policymakers. Those...more

3/26/2013 - Barack Obama Itemized Deductions Municipal Bonds State and Local Government Tax Exemptions Tax Reform Tribal Governments

Appropriations Hearing on the Bureau of Indian Affairs/Indian Health Service Budget Request

On April 24 at 9:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., and on April 25 at 9:30 p.m., the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies will hold three separate American Indian and Alaska Native Public and...more

3/20/2013 - Native American Issues Testimony

Top 10 Indian Tribal Tax Developments in 2012 and Priorities for 2013

In This Issue: - Fiscal Cliff Concerns: Impact of Expiring Tax Provisions and Rising Tax Rates - General Welfare Tax Planning in the Wake of IRS Guidance Offering Safe Harbors - New Developments in Income from...more

1/9/2013 - American Taxpayer Relief Act Audits Fiscal Cliff Indian Tribal Trusts IRS Safe Harbors Sales & Use Tax Tax Rates Tribal Economic Development Projects Tribal Lands

IRS Proposes General Welfare Exclusion Safe Harbors for Tribal Government Programs

On December 5, 2012, the Internal Revenue Service proposed a revenue procedure that would address the general welfare exclusion from gross income as it applies to tribal government programs. It would also offer a safe harbor...more

12/6/2012 - General Welfare Exclusion IRS Tribal Government Programs

IRS Notice on Per Capita Payments from Tribal Trust Settlement Proceeds Offers Insights and Planning Opportunities

On September 6, 2012, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2012-60, which addresses the federal income tax treatment of per capita payments made from the proceeds of settlements of certain Indian tribal trust...more

9/17/2012 - Indian Tribal Trusts IRS

Expanded Tribal Bond-Issuing Authority: IRS Issues New Guidelines on Tribal Economic Development Bonds

On July 16, 2012, the IRS released Notice 2012-48, which solicits applications for the allocation of available amounts of national bond issuance authority limitation (volume cap) for Tribal Economic Development Bonds (TEDBs)...more

7/26/2012 - IRS

IRS Proposes New Detailed Rules for Tax-Exempt Hospitals on Charity Care, Emergency Care, Billing and Collection

On June 22, 2012, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released for publication in the June 26 Federal Register a proposed rule implementing several of the new requirements for tax-exempt organizations imposed under Section...more

7/2/2012 - Affordable Care Act Hospitals IRS Medicaid Tax Exemptions

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