Tax Indigenous Peoples

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CFPB and Navajo Nation Partner in UDAAP Action Against Companies Involved in Alleged Tax Refund Scheme

On April 14, the CFPB along with the Navajo Nation jointly announced an enforcement action against two companies and their respective owners (Defendants) for running an alleged tax-refund scheme, marking the CFPB’s “first...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

HUD announces competition for new Promise Zones

Today, HUD announced the process and criteria for selecting 6 urban communities and at least 1 rural and 1 tribal community to participate in the Promise Zone initiative. The 6 urban communities will be designated by HUD, and...more

Native American Business Law Alert: Significant Tax and Applicable Law Ambiguity in Proposed Revisions for Indian Lands...

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is proposing to revise the process for obtaining and administering rights-of-way (ROWs) on Indian lands. While the proposed regulations seek to make improvements and clarifications...more

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

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