The IRS has announced a reduction in the number of representatives on the Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities (ACT). The changes include the subcommittee for Indian Tribal Governments (ITG), which had three appointed positions. The Tax Exempt and Government Entities (TE/GE) division announced it will shift its priorities to "continuous improvement, knowledge management, risk management, data-driven decision-making and employee engagement." The sudden change has led some tribal governments to question the new role of the committee.
Previously the committee was separated into five different subcommittees, which allowed the IRS and representatives to gain input from specific constituencies on issues impacting tribal, federal, state, and local governments. The subcommittee structure also provided a vehicle for the discussion and research of employee plans, tax-exempt bonds, and exempt organizations. Members would provide input on IRS policies, programs and procedures, and suggest improvements through an annual report.
Currently, two representatives are on the ITG with expiring terms in 2017. These representatives have produced voluminous reports and extensive research to the TE/GE since its formation - especially related to the General Welfare Exclusion Act and how IRS auditors interact with tribal governments. NAFOA is concerned with 1. The lack of consultation in reaching this decision, 2. The removal of tribal governments from the committee takes away the only voice for informing the IRS on priority issues for tribes, and 3. The newly-formed Treasury-Tribal Advisory Committee would benefit from and address the work of the committee. NAFOA encourages tribal governments and their representatives to contact the IRS to keep the sole committee in the IRS intact.
Christie Jacobs, Director of Office of Tribal Governments, IRS
For questions or comments, please contact Jennifer Parisien at Jennifer@nafoa.org or (202) 558-8040.