Tax Indigenous Peoples

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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

IRS Issues Final Revenue Procedure Addressing Application of General Welfare Exclusion to Tribal Government Programs

On June 3, 2014, the IRS released Revenue Procedure 2014-35 providing final guidance for Indian tribal governments regarding the application of the general welfare exclusion to Indian tribal government programs that provide...more

Federal Rule and Ninth Circuit Opinion Create Huge Opportunities on Indian Land

In a set of comprehensive regulations affecting non-agricultural leasing on Indian land, the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs made sweeping changes and largely exempted property taxes on permanent...more

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

A Precedent-Setting Ninth Circuit Victory for Tribes and Their Business Partners

In a landmark decision, the Ninth Circuit has held that state and local governments lack the power to tax permanent improvements built on non-reservation land that is held in trust by the federal government....more

FIO Focus, Issue No. 45: The Modernization Report: Federal Action May be Warranted

Devoted to exploring the progress of the modernization of the insurance industry, FIO Focus provides information and insights about the organizations and issues that are driving change and influencing the future of the...more

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

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

Taxation on Indian Reservations: To Balance or Not to Balance, That Is the Question

Introduction - The ability of the states to impose a tax upon transactions occurring on an Indian reservation has evolved substantially in the past 50 years. After numerous court decisions, the Indian preemption...more

Fast Food Comes to Indian Country

In-N-Out Burger, the quintessentially Californian burger chain, will open its first restaurant on tribal land in early 2014 at the Morongo Casino on the Morongo Indian Reservation on the heavily trafficked Interstate 10. The...more

Gaming Legal News - August 27, 2013 • Volume 6, Number 18

In This Issue: - “RESERVATION SHOPPING” CIRCA 2013: The term “reservation shopping” has been coined by various anticasino groups, some local governments, and even some gaming tribes to disparage efforts of...more

Ninth Circuit Decision Creates New Tax Opportunities and Challenges in Indian Country

Since the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Mescalero Apache Tribe v. Jones, it has been clear that state and local tax authorities could not assess property tax on permanent improvements located on tribal trust land when...more

Tax Issues on the Navajo Nation

Recent Updates - Effective January 1, 2013, the Sales Tax for goods and services delivered on the Navajo reservation increased from 4% to 5% of gross receipts. Services are so broadly defined that, unlike many states,...more

Gaming Legal News - July 24, 2013 • Volume 6, Number 16

In This Issue: - THE GRATON GODZILLA INVADES SAN FRANCISCO BAY: The Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria Tribe is on track to soon open its huge casino and resort in Rohnert Park, California, at a site adjacent...more

Second Circuit Holds That States May Tax Non-Indian Property On An Indian Reservation

On July 15, 2013, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that a state may impose a generally applicable personal-property tax on property owned by non-Indians but leased to an Indian tribe and used for...more

Native Title Taxation Measures Pass In Final Sitting Week (Australia)

SUMMARY - In its final sitting week, the Commonwealth Parliament passed three pieces of legislation which include important measures aimed at clarifying the taxation treatment of payments and benefits provided under...more

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

IRS Issues Guidance for Native Americans Regarding Tribal Trust Settlements

The IRS recently issued guidance in the form of Notice 2013-1, available here, that provides guidance on federal tax treatment of certain per capita payments made to members of Indian tribes. The background for the Notice is...more

California Reintroduces Bill to Legalize Sports Betting

For the second year in a row, the California State Legislature will consider Senate Bill 190 to legalize sports betting within the state. Last year’s Senate Bill 1390 passed in the California State Senate, but stalled in...more

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

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

Legal Alert: IRS Provides Disaster Relief for Plan Participants

Executive Summary: In addition to the other various employee benefit plan relief provided as a result of Hurricane Sandy, on November 16 the Internal Revenue Service announced, in Announcement 2012-44, that certain...more

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

Gaming Legal News - August 23, 2012 • Volume 5, Number 19

In This Issue: - TRIBAL CASINO BANKRUPTCIES – THE TRAIN IS LEAVING THE STATION by Dennis J. Whittlesey: There long has been a legal debate as to whether businesses owned and operated by Indian tribes could either...more

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

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