Treasury Confirms IRS Guidance for Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act


Treasury Confirms IRS Guidance for Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act

April 16, 2015

The U.S. Department of Treasury has issued Notice 2015-34 announcing that tribal governments should continue to rely on guidance outlined inRevenue Procedure 2014-35. This guidance seeks to exclude certain benefits from income under the general welfare exclusion and ensures that the sovereign right of tribal nations to provide services that improve the welfare of their citizens are uniformly upheld.
The notice also requests a submission of comments concerning the interpretation and application of Indian general welfare benefits. Specifically, the Treasury seeks comments in response to the following questions:
  1. What guidelines would be helpful to Indian tribal governments in determining whether benefits provided under governmental programs are lavish or extravagant?
  2. What tribal customs or government practices may establish an Indian tribal government program that is being administered consistent with the Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act of 2014? 
  3. How will the IRS identify programs established by tribal custom or government practice?
  4. How should items of cultural significance, cash honoraria, and cultural or ceremonial activities for the transmission of tribal culture be defined?

For questions or comments, please contact Kayla Gebeck at or (202) 770-8321.


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