Upcoming Tribal Activities
Tribal Consultation on the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 Corporate Transparency Act (CTA), Wednesday, April 21, 2021 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET
This meeting will focus on the CTA. The goal of this meeting is to learn more about Tribal specific processes, issues, and concerns related to the CTA, including business formation, registration, and ongoing compliance; transmission of relevant data to and from FinCEN, including any relevant technological issues that should be considered; and the best methods for future Tribal engagement with FinCEN, including how best to communicate and disseminate information. We respectfully request that each tribe register one primary leader or designee leader to provide comments. Others are welcome to register as listen-only participants. Please register.
April 13, 2021 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund
Tribal Consultation on the $10 billion in Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund to Tribal governments to be used to carry out critical capital projects directly enabling work, education, and health monitoring, including remote options, in response to the public health emergency with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The deadline for written comments is 11:59 p.m. ET, Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information please read the Dear Tribal Leader Letter
April 15, 2021 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Homeowner Assistance Fund
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 provides approximately $9.961 billion to the Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF). This includes a five percent set aside (approximately $498 million) for tribes, tribally designated housing entities (TDHE), and the Department of Hawaiian Homelands to be distributed in the same manner as the Emergency Rental Assistance program distributed earlier in 2021. The Department of the Treasury is seeking your input on the uses of the fund by Tribal governments or their TDHEs in providing assistance to keep homeowners stably and safely housed.
The deadline to submit comments is Friday, April 16, 2021 11:59 p.m. ET. Comments can be sent to email@example.com.
For more information please read the Dear Tribal Leader Letter
April 30, 2021 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tribal Consultation and Listening Session on the Treasury Tribal Advisory Committee’s Dual Taxation Report
Tribal Consultation and Listening Session (Listening Session is if we have heard from all primary Tribal leaders or designees who wish to comment and time permits) on the findings and recommendations recently released in the Treasury Tribal Advisory Committee’s (TTAC) Dual Taxation Report adopted by the TTAC December 9, 2021
The report .
The deadline for written comments to be submitted is 11:59 p.m. ET June 28, 2021 and should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please register here: https://ustreasury.zoomgov.com/meeting/register/vJIsd-2vpzwoEr8qIuSI6RE4ntdmhlJcvT0
For more information please read the Dear Tribal Leader Letter
The Department will conduct four separate consultation sessions on March 31 and April 1, 2021 to hear from tribal leaders and representatives from across the United States on the distribution of $20 billion in Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Funds to tribal governments under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
THE DEADLINE FOR WRITTEN COMMENTS HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO FRIDAY, APRIL 9 AT 11:59 p.m. COMMENTS SHOULD BE SENT TO TribalARPconsult@treasury.gov.
The Department of the Treasury is seeking your input on the following:
1. The formula the Department should use to determine each Tribe’s share of funds
2. Allowable expenditures for funds distributed to each Tribe.
For more information or to register, please open the Dear Tribal Leader Invitation for Tribal Consultation on Coronavirus State, Local Tribal Relief Fund.
The U.S. Departments of the Treasury and Veterans Affairs, the Social Security Administration and the Small Business Administration invite primary tribal leaders or their designees to participate in consultations on April 6, 7 or 8 2021 regarding their respective tribal consultation policies. For more information or to register, please read the Dear Tribal Leader letter included below.
State Small Business Credit Initiative for Tribes (SSBCI)
The amounts allocated to each tribe will be announced in mid- to late April, after which each Tribe must notify Treasury of the intent to apply by June 11, 2021. Tribes must file this notice to participate in the application process; however, the notice is not binding and tribes have the option not to submit an application later. Applications are due on December 11, 2021. Treasury encourages all Tribes to learn more about the program and apply to participate. To that end, we are developing a number of consultations and engagements to assist in the process. As soon as we have finalized the form and process for submitting the Notice of Intent to Apply we will reach out to tribal governments to submit the Notice. Please continue to check Treasury's website on the SSBCI Program for updated information.
Past Tribal Activities
Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Funds, March 31 and April 1, 2021
Treasury hosted four Tribal consultation sessions on the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Funds to Tribal governments under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 on March 31 and April 1, 2021
In total, over 1,650 individuals attended the nearly 14 hours of consultations. Eighty-five tribal leaders provided their input on the program. Additionally, the Department received over 150 written comments from Tribal governments and stakeholders during the comment period.
Treasury is reviewing both written and oral Tribal comments. Please continue to check this website for future updates.
Treasury hosted two consultations on the allocations of amounts reserved for Tribal governments from the Coronavirus Relief Fund established by the CARES Act in 2020 on Thursday, March 18, 2021 and a carryover consultation on March 23, 2021. Over 620 tribal leaders and stakeholders participated in the three consultations, and Treasury received 69 comment letters on the issue. Updates will be posted in the future.
Treasury held two Tribal Consultations on Tuesday, April 14, 2020 related to tribal concerns on provisions of the CARES Act.
Payroll Protection Program (jointly with the U.S. Small Business Administration): 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET
Result: Guidance was subsequently updated to allow for tribal participation in the program. For more information, please visit SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program website.
Employer Retention Credit: 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET
Result: FAQs were updated to clarify tribal government participation in these credits.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) did not directly address the application of the paid leave provisions or the leave credits to tribal governments. The Department of Labor (DOL) retains jurisdiction regarding the paid leave provisions in the FFCRA and IRS cannot provide answers related to DOL rules regarding the requirements to provide paid leave. However, on November 25, 2020 IRS, with the help of Treasury, updated FAQs to provide additional information on the use of sick and family leave credits, including the availability of the credits for tribal governments. Specifically, FAQ numbers 5, 19(g,) 50(a) 51(b) and 51(c) confirm that tribal governments that provide paid sick and medical leave, pursuant to the FFCRA, are eligible to claim the tax credits for qualified leave wages, assuming that they are otherwise qualified employers and other rules apply.
Employer Retention Credit. Questions had arisen as to whether and under what conditions tribal governments could claim this credit. The government had previously communicated that tribal governments were eligible for the credit if they otherwise met the requirements. However, outstanding questions regarding the application of the requirements for the credit by tribal governments and other tribal entities remained. Subsequently, additional FAQs on the Employer Retention Credit were posted on IRS.gov that confirmed tribal governments are eligible to use the Employer Retention Credit. Specifically, FAQs 2, 18, 21 and 21(a) answer the outstanding questions related to tribal governments’ and certain tribal entities’ eligibility for the credit.
The Treasury Department and Bureau of Indian Affairs hosted two Tribal Consultations on the CARES Act tribal relief funds on April 2 and April 9, 2020. Over 1,700 tribal leaders and stakeholders participated.
Tribal leaders and stakeholders are encouraged to send written comments by April 13, 2020 to email@example.com.
Tribal Consultation on Income Tax Treatment of Corporations Chartered under Tribal Law
Telephone Consultation: Thursday, October 10, 2019, 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET
Tribal Consultation on Opportunity Zones Regulations
Telephone Consultation: Monday, October 21, 2019 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET
Designees will be required to complete and send in a Proxy Form for the specific Tribal Consultation.
Treasury Tribal Consultation Policy
The deadline for written comments has been extended to Thursday, April 15, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. Comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Public comments are welcomed at email@example.com
Point of Contact for Tribal Consultation (POCTC)
U.S. Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20220
Treasury Department Progress Reports on Tribal Consultations and Activities
2018 Consultation Report
2017 Consultation Report
2016 Consultation Report
2015 Consultation Report
2014 Consultation Report
2013 Consultation Report
2012 Consultation Report
2011 Consultation Report
2010 Consultation Report
- On December 4, 2017, Point of Contact for Tribal Consultation (POCTC), Beverly Babers conducted an in-person Tax Reform Listening Session. Tribal leaders presented issues and recommendations on matters related to taxation and economic development in Indian Country. The session was attended by several high-level Treasury officials and over 60 Tribal Leaders.
- On April 24 – 25, 2017, Point of Contact for Tribal Consultation (POCTC), Beverly Babers and IRS Director of Indian Tribal Governments & Tax Exempt Bonds Christie Jacobs participated in the 35th Annual Conference of the Native American Financial Officers Association (NAFOA) at San Francisco, California. Ms. Babers and Ms. Jacobs addressed the General Session on the topic “General Welfare Exclusion Roundtable: Implementation & Policy Improvements.” During the session, Ms. Babers announced that as a result of the Tribal listening session on December 15, the IRS will modify interim guidance on the direct pay lease income to include lease income from HEARTH Act leases.
While attending the April 25, NAFOA event, Ms. Babers and Ms. Jacobs met with tribal leaders for a discussion about restructuring tribal debt and the administration of the Bankruptcy Code in Indian Country. Also attending was Mr. Dante Desiderio, the Executive Director of NAFOA.
On April 18, 2017, Point of Contact for Tribal Consultation (POCTC) Beverly Babers and the IRS Director of Indian Tribal Governments & Tax Exempt Bonds Christie Jacobs met with Peter Hahn, Treasurer of the Seminole Nation (Florida), Liz Malerba, Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs for the United South and Eastern Tribes (USET) and consultant tax attorneys about tax issues in Indian country. The specific discussion surrounded tribal leases relative to the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Home Ownership Act of 2012 (HEARTH Act).
On March 22, 2017, Point of Contact for Tribal Consultation (POCTC) Beverly Babers conducted a telephonic meeting with the leadership of the Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN). Members of the AFN expressed support for the Native American New Markets Tax Credit program (CDFI) and requested technical assistance with applications.
On March 15, 2017, Point of Contact for Tribal Consultation (POCTC) Beverly Babers met with Mr. Kitcki Carroll, Executive Director of the United South and Eastern Tribes (USET) Sovereignty Protection Fund, Liz Malerba, USET Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs, and Michael Willis, USET tax counsel, for a discussion about the role of the Treasury Tribal Advisory Committee (TTAC) and Treasury’s priorities for Indian country.
On February 14, 2017, Point of Contact for Tribal Consultation (POCTC) Beverly Babers participated in the Financial Literacy and Education Commission (FLEC) public meeting roundtable on “Native Access to Capital Credit and Approaches that Increase Financial Security.” Along with Ms. Babers, the Director of Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund Annie Donovan spoke at the forum. Also participating IRS Director of Indian Tribal Governments & Tax Exempt Bonds Christie Jacobs.
On December 20, 2016, Point of Contact for Tribal Consultation (POCTC) Beverly Babers held a telephonic meeting with the appointed members of the Treasury Tribal Advisory Committee (TTAC) for an update about the status of TTAC’s first meeting. Under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), the TTAC can meet when all members have been appointed. At this juncture, six of the seven committee members have been appointed.
On December 15, 2016, the Point of Contact for Tribal Consultation (POCTC), Beverly Ortega Babers, senior Treasury officials, and the Internal Revenue Service hosted a telephonic listening session for all Tribes to discuss the income tax treatment of leases as it relates to The Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Home Ownership Act (the HEARTH Act). The HEARTH Act creates a voluntary, alternative land leasing process available to tribes by amending the Indian Long-Term Leasing Act of 1955.
- On September 26 and 27, 2016, Treasury Point of Contact for Tribal Consultation (POCTC) Beverly Ortega Babers and the Tribal Affairs office along with senior members of the IRS and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI fund) participated in the White House 8th Tribal Nations Conference and the White House Council on Native American Affairs Sub-group meetings with the Nation’s Tribal Leaders.
On September 19, 2016, Treasury Point of Contact for Tribal Consultation (POCTC) Beverly Ortega Babers participated in the 2016 NAFOA Fall Finance & Tribal Economies Conference at Charlotte, North Carolina. Ms. Babers was accompanied by an IRS Tribal Affairs official to discuss tax issues and the establishment of the Treasury Tribal Advisory Committee (TTAC).
On July 27, 2016, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Management & Budget and the newly-appointed Point of Contact for Tribal Consultation (POCTC), and Treasury officials met with members of the IHS Tribal Self-Governance Advisory Committee (TSGAC) to discuss the application of the employer shared responsibility provisions to tribal employers and HIS TSGAC proposals for administrative relief to address their concerns.
On June 2, 2016, Treasury officials participated in the IHS Tribal Self-Governance Advisory Committee (TSGAC) Quarterly Meeting to discuss the application of the employer shared responsibility provisions to tribal employers and other tax-related matters.
On May 13, 2016, Treasury officials conducted a tribal consultation conference call following up from the December 1, 2015, tribal consultation to discuss the application of the employer shared responsibility provisions to tribal employers. Tribal leaders were invited to send their specific questions about ACA, including on the employer shared responsibility provisions to the Treasury officials.
On May 9, 2016, Treasury officials met with members of the IHS Tribal Self-Governance Advisory Committee (TSGAC) to discuss the application of the employer shared responsibility provisions to tribal employers and HIS TSGAC proposals for administrative relief to address their concerns.
On March 31, 2016, Treasury officials participated in the IHS Tribal Self-Governance Advisory Committee (TSGAC) Quarterly Meeting to discuss the application of the employer shared responsibility provisions to tribal employers and the excise tax on high-cost employer sponsored health coverage, as well as other tax-related matters.
On February 8, 2016, Treasury officials met with the Board of Directors of the United South and Eastern Tribes to discuss several tax-related matters.
On January 20, 2016, Treasury and IRS officials participated in a session of the Board of Directors of the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) titled Employer Mandate Update. The discussion focused on the application of the employer shared responsibility provisions to tribal employers. The NIHB represents all 566 federal recognized Tribes.
On January 19, 2016, Treasury officials consulted with tribal leaders at the 2016 Winter Legislative Summit of the National Indian Gaming Association.
On December 21, 2015, House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-Michigan) appointed Eugene Magnuson, Treasurer for the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, as a member of the Treasury Tribal Advisory Committee (TTAC).
On December 4, 2015, Treasury and IRS issued new guidance that allows Indian tribal governments greater flexibility to use bond volume cap allocations for Tribal Economic Development Bonds in circumstances involving "draw-down" loans in which bonds are issued in phases over time, rather than drawn down all at once. This more flexible approach will give Indian tribal governments up to three years to use these bond volume cap allocations if they issue at least 10% of the total bond amount within the first six months and 50% of the total bond amount within two years.
See Notice 2015-83, available at this link, which amends Notice 2012-48, 2012-31 I.R.B. 102 (July 30, 2012) for full details.
On December 1, 2015, Treasury hosted a phone consultation regarding the applicability of the Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions of the Affordable Care Act to tribal employers. The call was arranged in response to requests from a number of tribal leaders and organizations and received 235 callers. Tribal leaders and tribal government specialists engaged in constructive dialogue with Deputy Assistant Secretary Elaine Buckberg, and other representatives of the Treasury Department and IRS. Tribal governments and the specialists who are working with them to implement these provisions of the ACA are encouraged to visit the IRS web site on ACA Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions. Follow-up questions may be addressed to a tribe's IRS Indian Tribal Government Specialist (details are posted at this link).
On September 23, 2015, Treasury issued a final Tribal Consultation Policy, released in the Federal Register, outlining the guiding principles for all Treasury bureaus and offices engaging with Tribal Governments on matters with tribal implications. The final policy supersedes the interim tribal consultation released on December 3, 2015. While the policy was being reviewed and finalized, Treasury has operated under the interim consultation policy.
In releasing the interim policy, Treasury solicited comments from Indian tribal governments and tribal organizations. The written comments and other feedback received via ongoing tribal consultation were very helpful in developing Treasury’s final tribal consultation policy. The final policy incorporates several changes, which are discussed in the preamble to the Federal Register notice publishing the final policy. The policy is available here.
On September 18th, 2015, the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service issued final guidance regarding per capita distributions made to members of Indian tribes from funds held in trust by the Secretary of the Interior. Developed in response to requests from tribal nations, the guidance concludes that per capita payments to tribal members from such trust accounts generally are not subject to taxation. The notice is available at this link.
The Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act of 2014 (H.R. 3043), signed into law by President Obama last September, requires the Treasury Department to established a Tribal Advisory Committee (TTAC).Committee members will advise the Secretary on matters related to the taxation of Indians, the training of Internal Revenue Service field agents, and the provision of training and technical assistance to Native American financial officers. The Committee charter has been filed. We expect Committee members will establish initial bylaws after all TTAC members have been appointed.
- On December 4, 2014, Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Koskinen met with tribal leaders to listen to their comments, suggestions and concerns relating to federal taxation and government-to-government relations with the IRS. Tribal presidents, chairmen and other official representatives discussed an array of tribal tax issues with the Commissioner. Much of the focus was on the recently enacted Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act, which codified a recent IRS revenue procedure on the subject and established a Tribal Advisory Committee at the Secretary of the Treasury’s level to advise the Department on tribal tax issues. Both the Commissioner and the tribal leaders agreed that the IRS must continue to honor and build on its recent success in meeting its federal trust responsibility towards Indian tribes. They also agreed that Treasury’s recent release of its interim Tribal Consultation Policy, which will apply to all Bureaus of the Treasury including IRS, will provide a solid foundation to ensure IRS engagement with tribes on a government-to-government basis and respect for tribal sovereignty.
On December 3, 2014, the Treasury issued an interim Tribal Consultation Policy, for consultation and comment. This notice was released in the Federal Register. Treasury is seeking comments from tribes on the interim policy by April 2, 2015 and will then consider those comments in revising and finalizing a policy. While the policy is being reviewed and finalized, Treasury will operate under the interim consultation policy. The policy is available for review .
On December 2, 2014, the Treasury Department held a government-to-government consultation on the Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act of 2014 (“Act”). In response to requests from a number of tribal leaders and organizations, this session was held in conjunction with the White House Tribal Nations Conference; over twenty five tribes were represented at the meeting by their leaders or other officials. Tribal leaders engaged in constructive dialogue with Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, Assistant Secretary Mark Mazur, Deputy Assistant Secretary Elaine Buckberg, and other representatives of the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service regarding the process for appointing a Tribal Advisory Committee, pursuant to the Act. Treasury also announced the release of its interim Tribal Consultation Policy at the meeting, requesting that tribal leaders send comments on the interim policy to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 2, 2015.
- On October 28, 2014, Dr. Elaine Buckberg, Treasury Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Coordination and Point of Contact for Tribal Consultation, served as a panelist and delivered remarks in a session on Tribal Tax Parity: Next Steps After a New Federal Law, as part of the National Congress of American Indians’ 2014 Annual Convention and Marketplace in Atlanta, Georgia. The panel discussed the Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act of 2014, which became law in the previous month. In addition, panelists addressed tribal tax issues that Congress will consider during their remaining term and tax reform opportunities anticipated for the next Congress.
- On September 22, 2014, Deputy Assistant Secretary Elaine Buckberg, Treasury Point of Contact for Tribal Consultation, delivered a speech at the Native American Finance Officers Association's Fall Finance & Tribal Economies Conference. During her remarks, which focused on government policies impacting tribal governments, Deputy Assistant Secretary Buckberg outlined a recent announcement that will streamline the process of applying for exemptions to the Affordable Care Act health coverage requirement. She explained that, beginning with returns filed in 2015, individuals who are eligible for services through an Indian health care provider may obtain a hardship exemption from the shared responsibility payment through the tax filing process.
- This approach may be particularly helpful to families where some individuals are members of federally-recognized tribes, and others are not but are still eligible for services at Indian health services facilities. This approach will allow all family members to have the option to use the same tax filing process. Details of how to claim the exemptions are in the draft tax filing instructions released by the IRS on September 19, 2014.
- On August 12, 2014, Treasury submitted a progress report on its tribal consultation policy to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). This report was issued in response to President Obama's Memorandum on Tribal Consultation, which required each agency head to submit a progress report on tribal consultation issues.
- On July 30, 2014, in response to an invitation from the Indian Health Service Tribal Self-Governance Advisory Committee (TSGAC), Deputy Assistant Secretary Elaine Buckberg, Treasury Point of Contact for Tribal Consultation; Kimberly Koch from the IRS Office of the Chief Counsel; and Jonathan Damm, Tax Law Specialist at the IRS Office of Indian Tribal Governments, attended the TSGAC’s 2014 Quarterly Meeting. They discussed the Committee’s request that individuals eligible for a hardship exemption from the Affordable Care Act’s individual responsibility provision based on their eligibility to receive services from the Indian Health Service, be allowed to claim that exemption through the tax filing process. Allowing this exemption to be claimed on a tax return would be consistent with the current process for certain other exemptions, such as the tribal member exemption. Dr. Buckberg said that the Treasury Department and the IRS are actively working to determine whether the streamlined exemption process can be made available for both hardship exemptions. A brief conversation about the importance of this issue followed her remarks.
- On July 23, 2014, Deputy Assistant Secretary Elaine Buckberg, Treasury Point of Contact for Tribal Consultation, held a listening session with tribal leaders in the main Treasury Department building in Washington, D.C. This session was part of an ongoing dialogue to help the federal government better understand and address the needs of tribes in Indian Country. The event brought together 30 tribal leaders and officials who provided feedback on Treasury policies and economic development initiatives. Topics included the General Welfare Doctrine, per-capita distributions made to tribal members from tribal trust accounts, New Markets Tax Credits, and the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund’s study on Native American communities’ access to credit and capital. Read the Treasury Department Fact Sheet on Tribal Economic Development Bonds
- On June 3, 2014, Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released final tax guidance on the General Welfare Doctrine specifying that a wide range of benefits and services provided by Indian tribal governments qualify for the general welfare exclusion from income. These include programs for housing, education, cultural and religious purposes, and the elderly and disabled, among others. Treasury and the IRS created this guidance to address the unique needs and challenges of Indian tribal governments. While developing this guidance, Treasury and the IRS received over 120 written comments, convened listening sessions, and participated in other formal and informal consultations to facilitate government-to-government dialogues between the U.S. federal and Indian tribal governments and understand key tribal concerns. The final guidance (Rev. Proc. 2014-35) supersedes the preliminary guidance issued on December 5, 2012 (IRS Notice 2012-75), which has been effective since that date.
- On Tuesday, March 11, Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy Mark Mazur spoke at the National Congress of American Indians 2014 Executive Winter Session. During the session, “Federal Tax Issues Impacting Indian Country,” Assistant Secretary Mazur focused on the interim guidance regarding per capita distributions, the general welfare exclusion guidance, tax reform, and tribal economic development bonds. The remarks were followed by a brief listening session to solicit feedback from the Native American community.
- On Monday, March 10, Treasury and IRS issued a notice regarding per capita distributions made to members of Indian tribes from funds held in trust by the Secretary of the Interior. In response to feedback from tribal nations, the guidance clarifies that, generally, these per capita payments will not be subject to federal income tax. This notice was issued as interim guidance to allow Indian tribes time to review and provide feedback. Based on these comments, Treasury and IRS will consider revisions before issuing a final notice.
- On February 3, 2014, Deputy Assistant Secretary Elaine Buckberg, Treasury Point of Contact for Tribal Consultation, held a listening session during the United South and Eastern Tribes (USET) Impact Week Meeting. While the session was held at the USET conference, tribal leaders nationally were invited to attend. Deputy Assistant Secretary Buckberg provided opening remarks, then took questions. In her speech, she emphasized the Administration’s commitment to addressing the unique economic issues facing Indian Country, discussed progress on revisions to the General Welfare Exclusion guidance, and forthcoming guidance on per capita distributions made to Indian tribe members from trust accounts.
- On January 27, 2014, Treasury and IRS hosted a phone consultation to discuss forthcoming guidance concerning the federal income tax treatment of per capita distributions made to Indian tribe members from funds held in trust by the Secretary of the Interior. During the call, Deputy Assistant Secretary Elaine Buckberg, Treasury Point of Contact for Tribal Consultation, and Christie Jacobs, Acting Director for Government Entities, explained that we expect the guidance to clarify that per capita payments to tribal members that are made from trust accounts will not subject to federal income tax. Over 170 individuals participated in the call.
- On January 22, 2014, Deputy Assistant Secretary Elaine Buckberg, Treasury Point of Contact for Tribal Consultation, and Kimberly Koch, from the IRS Office of the Chief Counsel, attended the 2014 Quarterly Meeting of the Indian Health Service (TSGAC) Tribal Self-Governance Advisory Committee. At this meeting, Deputy Assistant Secretary Buckberg delivered brief remarks regarding the process for claiming exemptions from the Affordable Care Act’s individual responsibility provision. Deputy Assistant Secretary Buckberg emphasized that Treasury and IRS understand TSGAC’s desire to streamline the exemption process for all Native Americans and their eligible family members and noted that we are already looking into the issue. Her remarks were followed by a conversation about the importance of the issue and potential solutions for the operational aspects.
On September 10, 2013, Dr. Elaine Buckberg, Treasury Point of Contact for Tribal Consultation and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Coordination in the Office of Economic Policy, gave a presentation for the Native American Finance Officers' Association (NAFOA) in Seattle, WA. The presentation was part of NAFOA’s Fall Finance & Tribal Economies Conference which brought together tribal leaders, financial professionals, and policy makers to discuss key economic issues facing the tribal community. In her speech, Deputy Assistant Secretary Buckberg emphasized Treasury’s commitment to tribal consultation, outlined the Agency’s recent initiatives, and described federal lending and bond programs that can bring capital and credit to Indian Country – to address issues ranging from tribal economic development to financing for small businesses.
- On July 23, 2013, Dr. Elaine Buckberg, Treasury Point of Contact for Tribal Consultation and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Coordination in the Office of Economic Policy, held a consultation and listening session with tribal leaders at the Treasury offices in Washington D.C. This session was a part of an ongoing dialogue to help the federal government better understand and address the needs of tribes across Indian Country. This session brought together 24 tribal leaders who provided feedback on Treasury policies and economic development initiatives including the General Welfare Doctrine, Tribal Economic Development Bonds (TEDB) and the upcoming Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) study on Native American communities' access to credit and capital.
- On July 16, 2013, the Treasury Department and IRS conducted a phone consultation with Alaska Regional Corporations (ARCs) to discuss a forthcoming draft notice applying the voluntary withholding provisions to dividends and other payments made by an ARC. Voluntary income tax withholding arrangements allow taxpayers to avoid potentially burdensome final tax payments at the end of the year. Twenty-seven tribal representatives participated in the call.
- On April 18, 2013, the Treasury Department announced that Dr. Elaine Buckberg is the new Treasury Point of Contact for Tribal Consultation. Dr. Buckberg is also the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Coordination, in the Treasury's Office of Economic Policy.
- On March 6, 2013, Alex Gelber, Treasury Deputy Assistant Secretary for Microeconomic Analysis in the Office of Economic Policy, gave a presentation for the 2013 National Congress of American Indian Executive Council's Winter Session. His speech provided an overview of Treasury's recent work on behalf of Indian Country.
- On December 5, 2012, in a speech at the White House Tribal Nations Conference, Treasury Deputy Secretary Neal Wolin announced the release by Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of important new tax guidance on the General Welfare Doctrine. The IRS proposed guidance lays out broad exclusions from income of certain benefits that Indian tribal governments provide to tribal members to ensure that government benefits provided to those in need are not subject to income tax. This guidance was developed in consultation with tribal leaders who helped ensure that it addresses the needs of Indian tribal governments and their members.
- Treasury and the IRS consulted with tribal leaders and other stakeholders for more than a year on this issue.
- In Notice 2012-75, the IRS outlines a proposed set of general principles and safe harbors under which Indian tribal government benefits are covered under this exclusion.
- The new guidance became effective immediately. However, consistent with Treasury's commitment to meaningful tribal consultation, Treasury issued this new guidance in proposed form so that we can continue to work with tribal members' to improve the guidance moving forward
- On June 14, 2012,Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Coordination Aaron Klein testified before the Senate Indian Affairs Committee at a hearing entitled, "New Tax Burdens on Tribal Self-Determination". Testimony of Aaron Klein
- On May 30,2012, the Treasury Department and the IRS hosted a stakeholder conference call with tribes and tribal leaders that provided additional opportunities for input and further discussion of the issues.
- On May 14, 2012,the Treasury Department and IRS jointly conducted another consultation and listening session regarding the application of the General Welfare Exclusion to Benefits Provided under Indian Tribal Government Programs. Pursuant to Treasury's Tribal Consultation Policy and Executive Order 13175, Treasury and the IRS were actively engaged in consultation with Tribes and Tribal leaders. Treasury and the IRS began consultation on this specific topic in November 2011, and held several public, in-person sessions. Treasury and IRS requested written comments and received over 65 comments in response to Notice 2011-94. To address those concerns, the Office of Indian Tribal Governments of the IRS reviewed the administrative steps it can take to develop a national coordination process in order to ensure that general welfare programs are reviewed in a consistent fashion.
- On March 8, 2012,Treasury and IRS officials conducted a consultation and listening session with Tribal Leaders in Washington, D.C., during the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) Executive Council session meetings. The conversation lasted two hours and focused on various ideas and concepts to improve the general welfare exclusion to Indian tribal government programs. During the conversation, concepts were raised by the California Association of Tribal Governments, the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, United South and Easter Tribes, Inc., the Native American Finance Officers Association and the National Congress of American Indians, along with others raised by Tribal leaders, members and interested parties in attendance.
- On March 6, 2012,Deputy Assistant Secretary Aaron Klein addressed the NCAI Executive Council in an open session with approximately 100 Tribal leaders, members and interested parties in attendance. Deputy Assistant Secretary Klein focused on Treasury's ongoing Tribal consultation efforts , its recent report on TEBD and its consultation efforts with the IRS on the general welfare exclusion.
- On February 13, 2012, the IRS announced an extension to the time limit for commenting on guidance the agency issued regarding the application of the general welfare exclusion to Indian tribal government programs. Comments may now be submitted through March 14, 2012.
- In December 2011, the Treasury Department sent to Congress a Report and Recommendations regarding Tribal Economic Development Bond provision under Section 7821 of the Internal Revenue Code.
- The Treasury Department and the IRS began the consultation process regarding the application of the general welfare exclusion to benefits provided under Indian Tribal Government programs. The notice invited comments concerning the application of the general welfare exclusion from taxable income of some benefits that Indian tribal governments provide to tribal members. Treasury and the IRS noted plans to hold consultation listening meetings to receive input on the general welfare exclusion directly from tribal leaders.
- On November 14, 2011, the IRS announced new guidance on revenue procedures that provide a safe harbor for Indian tribes to establish trusts for tribal members who are minors or legally incompetent, for the distribution of gaming revenues under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). It is available at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/rp-11-56.pdf
- In November 2011, the IRS invited the public to comment on the reallocation of available amounts of volume cap for TEDB in order to facilitate issuance by Indian tribal governments. The Treasury Department also announced a three-month optional extension for Indian tribal governments with unexpired volume cap allocations.
- On May 9, 2011, the Treasury Department announced its intention to create a Federal Advisory Committee on Insurance. This was one in a series of steps that Treasury took to establish the new Federal Insurance Office (FIO) created under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The Committee was created to provide advice to the FIO and the Treasury Department, including to the FIO Director in the Director's role as a member of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC). Through the Committee was structured so that the FIO and the Treasury Department could draw upon the deep knowledge and regulatory experience of state insurance regulators, as well as the perspective of industry experts, academics, and other stakeholders and affected constituencies. Half of the Committee's membership was reserved for state and tribal insurance regulators. Read the press release and the Federal Register Notice.
- On March 3, 2011, representatives from the Treasury and the IRS attended a Tribal Nations Conference Follow-up Meeting with Tribal Leaders. The meeting provided a forum for tribal leaders to discuss and distill recommendation from the 2010 White House Tribal Nations Conference. Topics of discussion within the Treasury Department's purview included Economic Development Bonds and New Market Tax Credits. If you have comment or questions on these or other topics, please send an email to us at the link below.
- On December 16, 2010, Treasury Deputy Secretary, Neal S. Wolin participated in the White House Tribal Nations Conference of 2010. Each of the 565 federally recognized tribes were invited to send one tribal leader to the conference, where they were able to interact directly with the President and representatives from the highest levels of his Administration. Following a keynote speech by President Obama, Treasury Deputy Secretary Wolin served on a panel addressing economic development, together with Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shawn Donovan, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Export-Import Bank Chairman Hochberg and other high-level administration officials.
- In November 2010, deadlines for issuing bonds under the TEDB provision in Section 7871(f) of the Internal Revenue Code were extended. The deadline for the first tranche was extended to June 30, 2011 with the possibility of a further extension to the end of 2011 upon request. The deadline for the second tranche remained as of the end of December 2011. For more details, see the web posting by the Office of Indian Tribal Governments at the Internal Revenue Service.
- In August 2010, Treasury's progress report on a department-wide review of its tribal consultation policies, required by a Presidential Memorandum issued on November 5, 2009,was submitted on time to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). In accordance with President Obama's memo, Treasury planned to continue to submit to OMB an annual progress report on its tribal consultation process and activities.
- On July 23 , 2010, Treasury submitted a progress report on its tribal consultation policy to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). This report was issued in response to President Obama's Memorandum on Tribal Consultation, which required each agency head to submit a progress report on tribal consultation issues.
- Throughout the summer of 2010, the Treasury Department's Native American CDFI Assistance (NACA) Program, an arm of the CDFI Fund, launched a new "Economic Development Strategies in Indian Country" workshop series. Co-sponsored with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Seattle Branch, these workshops – in Albuquerque, Anchorage, Sacramento, Oklahoma City and Seattle – focused on economic development in Native communities. For more details, including plans for future workshops, see the NACA website.
- Also during the summer, Treasury participated in an administration-wide review of the United Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This review ultimately led to the President's announcement, during his remarks at the White House Tribal Nations Conference in December, that the United States supports the U.N. Declaration.
Buckberg emphasized Treasury’s commitment to tribal consultation, outlined the Agency’s recent initiatives, and described federal lending and bond programs that can bring capital and credit to Indian Country – to address issues ranging from tribal economic development to financing for small businesses.