This month’s action alert is brought to you by the Native American Finance Officers Association (NAFOA). NAFOA is requesting comments on IRS Notice 2011-94 regarding the application of the general welfare exclusion to Indian tribal government programs. The general welfare exclusion allows certain tribal government social welfare program income to be excluded as taxable income. In many cases tribal programs do not qualify as exempt, potentially exposing the tribe and tribal members to tax liability.
NAFOA POLICY ALERT
NAFOA Draft Comments on Tribal General Welfare
On Nov. 15, 2011, the IRS issued Notice 2011-94 regarding the application of the exclusion to Indian tribal government programs. The comments were initially due on February 13, 2012, however, the IRS has extended the time period for submitting comments for an additional 30 days. This extension has given NAFOA, and its partners NCAI, USET, CATG, & ATNI, additional time to develop a draft of consolidated comments based on input already received and time to reach out to the tribal community for additional input on the draft prior to submitting final comments on March 14, 2012.
The guidance solicits comments on the following as examples, but tribes should feel free to submit comments on any cultural, educational, or community-based program.
- Housing (for example, programs providing housing on and off the reservation, with income limits different from those of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development);
- Cultural (for example, programs involving tours of sites that are historically significant to a tribe; language preservation programs; community recreational programs; cultural and social events);
- Education (for example, programs providing tutors or supplies to primary and secondary school students; job retraining programs for adults); and
- Elder programs (for example, programs providing heating assistance or meals).
IRS Comments submitted directly to the IRS should be submitted in writing on or before March 14, 2012 to: Internal Revenue Service, CC:PA:LPD:PR (Notice 2011-94), Room 5203, P.O. Box 7604, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, DC 20044, or electronically to Notice.Comments@irscounsel.treas.gov. Please include “Notice 2011-94” in the subject line of any electronic communications.
See http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=254251,00.html for more information on the notice. Please call Dante Desiderio at 202-631-2003 with any questions.
- Draft Comments can be found here: Please click here