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Legislative & Administrative General Welfare Developments

September 18, 2013

Two advancements occurred this week relating to the general welfare exclusion for tribal governments. NAFOA has been committed to working with the Administration as the Department of Treasury prepares further guidance, as well as with Congress as the House is working on a legislative fix for the tribal general welfare exclusion. The advancements made this week aid and support both administrative and congressional efforts. 

  1. Ways & Means Committee Weighs in on IRS General Welfare Guidance  
On September 12, 2013, Chairman David Camp (R-Michigan, 4th District) and Ranking Member Sandy Levin (D-Michigan, 9th District) of the Ways & Means Committee sent a letter to Jack Lew, the Secretary of the Department of Treasury, requesting that the final administrative guidelines for General Welfare Exclusion be both fair and comprehensive.

In addition to fairness, the letter requests that Treasury ensure audit procedures reflect the law and practices underlying the federal-tribal relationship, and furthermore that IRS field agents engage with tribes to ensure that their work enhances this relationship. Finally, the letter also encourages the Department of Treasury to establish a tribal advisory committee to make certain that federal policy decisions are informed by both tribal and federal participants. 

For questions or comments, please contact Dante Desiderio at dante@nafoa.org.

  1. Joint Committee on Taxation Scores the Tribal General Welfare Legislation  
Congressman Devin Nunes (R-California, 22nd District) developed legislation entitled the "Tribal Welfare Exclusion Act of 2013" (H.R. 3043) addressing tribal leader concerns related to excluding tribal government general welfare programs from income. It is especially important in this Congress that revenue measures receive a low score, or estimated cost to taxpayers, by the Joint Committee on Taxation.

The revenue estimate for the Tribal Welfare Exclusion Act of 2013 was considered to "...have a negligible effect on Federal fiscal revenues," meaning the cost will not be a factor. The review by the Joint Committee on Taxation included the general welfare exclusions from income, training of IRS agents, and the formation of a tribal advisory committee in Treasury. A bill with no score will not require an equal offset of an existing program.

The bill currently has 17 co-sponsors. Please continue to reach out to Ways & Means for sponsorship of H.R. 3043

For questions or comments, please contact Dante Desiderio atdante@nafoa.org

 

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