Indigenous Peoples Tax

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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

Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities (ACT) Presents its Report of Recommendations on June 8, 2016

On June 8, 2016, the 21 members of the ACT presented its 15th report of recommendations to the IRS in a public meeting in Washington, DC. The ACT report addressed five issues...more

Massachusetts Gaming Update: Commission Rejects Application for Resort Casino in Brockton

The wait is over and the decision is in. On Thursday, April 28, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted 4-1 against awarding a commercial license to Mass Gaming & Entertainment, LLC to build a resort casino in Brockton....more

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

Supreme Court Unanimously Holds that Omaha Tribe’s Reservation Not Diminished by 1882 Statute

On March 22, 2016, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Nebraska v. Parker. In this case, Nebraska challenged the Omaha Indian Tribe’s right to enforce a Department of Interior-approved liquor ordinance on parts of the...more

If Two’s A Party, Is Three A Crowd? MGC Community Hearing on Proposed Brockton Casino

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (“MGC”) hosted a community meeting on March 1, 2016 to hear public input regarding Mass Gaming & Entertainment, LLC’s proposal to build a $677 million commercial casino in Brockton. As...more

State, Local Taxes on Tribal Leases Vulnerable After California Court Order

Indian country may be close to another victory against state and local taxes. On Feb. 8, 2016, a California district court issued an order that signals it is likely to invalidate Riverside County's imposition of a possessory...more

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

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

North Carolina Legislative Report

The General Assembly convened for the 2015 legislative session on January 14. Lawmakers returned to Raleigh on January 28 to begin the session in earnest. The MVA Public Affairs Legislative Report on North Carolina will be...more

Third Time’s a Charm: Governor Bentley and Legislature Reach Budget/Tax Compromise

Summary - Governor Robert Bentley called a second special session of the Alabama Legislature on Tuesday, September 9 at 5 p.m. to address the FY 2016 General Fund budget and associated revenue measures. After meeting for...more

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

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. Still No Budget as Statutory Adjournment Date Nears - As the legislative session ticks toward...more

IRS Issues Notice Addressing Impact of the Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act of 2014 on Existing IRS Guidance

On April 16, 2015, the IRS released Notice 2015-34 clarifying the effect of the Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act of 2014, Pub. L. No. 113-168, 128 Stat. 1883 (2014) (the “Act”), which added new Section 139E to the...more

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

Michigan Tax Update: Ballot Initiative Good for Tribes

The Michigan legislature has approved a ballot initiative that will be submitted for voter approval in May 2015. If approved, the initiative will impact Tribes in two important ways...more

State of North Dakota Intervenes in Wyoming’s and Independent Producers’ Challenge to Hydraulic Fracturing Rule

The state of North Dakota moved to intervene yesterday in the state of Wyoming’s challenge to the Bureau of Land Management’s new hydraulic fracturing regulations. North Dakota—like Wyoming—asserts that the hydraulic...more

ACA Deadlines Do Apply to American Indians, But There are Many Exemptions

Under the Affordable Care Act, most Americans are now required to either maintain minimum health insurance coverage, get an exemption, or pay a tax penalty. ...more

Legal Developments in Indian Country in 2014

2014 was a year that featured many positive legal developments for tribes. From the favorable Supreme Court decision in the Bay Mills case written by Justice Sotomayor (who continues to be a leader on the Court for tribal...more

U.S. Supreme Court Update - February 2015

Court Considers Constitutionality of Maryland's Personal Income Tax - On 11/12/14, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the constitutionality of Maryland's personal income tax in Comptroller of the Treasury...more

U.S. Supreme Court Update - January 2015

Briefs Filed in Three State Tax Cases Set for Oral Argument - Merits briefs were filed in each of the three state tax cases on the Court's docket for the October 2014 Term. In Comptroller of the Treasury of Maryland v....more

Tax Law Alert: The Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 Extends Expired or Expiring Provisions

Congress this week passed the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 (the Act), which is expected to be signed by President Obama at any time. The Act renews or extends a number of expired or expiring provisions. Some of the...more

Senate Passes Extenders Legislation For Calendar Year 2014

In the annual ritual of last minute legislative action, the Senate has passed the renewal of nearly all of the so-called Extenders legislation by a vote of 76 to 16, which will make the tax incentives applicable to calendar...more

Employment Income not Substantively Connected to a Reserve is Taxable

In Baldwin et al v the Queen, 2014 TCC 284, the Tax Court of Canada had an opportunity to consider section 87 of the Indian Act and when employment income is “situated on a reserve” for tax purposes....more

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

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