The Indian Tribal Governments News is a periodic newsletter with information for Indian Tribal Governments from the office of Indian Tribal Governments (Tax-Exempt and Government Entities Division) at the IRS. Subscribe to future editions. 2021 January 21 Form 1099-NEC Awareness Day The Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division (TEGE) invites you to join us for a free Zoom awareness meeting on January 21, 2021. This meeting is designed to help tribal entities understand the new Form 1099-NEC (Nonemployee Compensation) reporting requirements for the 2020 filing season. Each session is limited to the first 1000 participants. Date and Times: Thursday January 21, 2021 11 a.m. Eastern time - Meeting ID: 160 590 5541 3 p.m. Eastern time - Meeting ID: 161 865 1605 Participants may also join via voice call using the following information: Dial by your location and input the meeting ID when prompted: 669-254-5252 US (San Jose) 646-828-7666 US (New York) Questions emailed to: TEGE.outreach@IRS.gov with the subject line “Pre-submitted questions for the Form 1099-NEC Awareness Day” will be answered as time permits. January 20 Renewable Energy Tax Credit 10-Year Safe Harbor for Federal Land Projects IRS Notice 2021-05 PDF was released on Thursday, December 31, 2020. For purposes of renewable energy tax credit statutes requiring that projects be completed within a certain period after their construction begins. Notice 2021-05 provides a 10-year safe harbor period for qualifying “Federal Land Projects” where more than 50 percent of the project is sited on “Federal Land.” The notice very broadly defines Federal Land for this purpose as “any land owned or controlled by the United States,” which would include land held in trust by the United States for the benefit of any person(s), including such land held for the benefit of Indian tribes. Certain Seafood Trade Relief Program Payments Excludable From Income The IRS issued Chief Counsel Advice 202053014 PDF stating that members of a federally recognized Indian tribe who are excluding income from fishing rights-related activity under Internal Revenue Code section 7873 may also exclude payments received under the Seafood Trade Relief Program (STRP) administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The IRS determined that the STRP payments are “income derived from a fishing rights-related activity of the tribe”, as defined in section 7873(a)(1). Form 1099-NEC Required to Report Nonemployee Compensation The IRS reminds employers that, starting with tax year 2020, payers must complete the new Form 1099-NEC, Nonemployee Compensation to report any payment of $600 or more to a payee. Generally, payers must file Form 1099-NEC by January 31. For 2020 tax returns, the due date is February 1, 2021. There is no automatic 30-day extension to file Form 1099-NEC. However, an extension to file may be available under certain hardship conditions. January 4 Form 1099-NEC Awareness Day The Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division (TEGE) invites you to join us for a free Zoom awareness meeting on either January 12, 2021 or January 14, 2021. This meeting is designed to help tribal entities understand the new Form 1099-Non-Employee Compensation (NEC) reporting requirements for the 2020 filing season. Each session is limited to the first 950 participants. Dates and Times: Several dates and times offered to maximize the reach of the event.Tuesday January 12th, 2021 9:00 a.m. Eastern - Meeting ID: 161 617 79802:00 p.m. Eastern - Meeting ID: 160 527 4160 Thursday January 14th, 2021 11:00 a.m. Eastern - Meeting ID: 160 684 38084:00 p.m. Eastern - Meeting ID: 161 660 1009 Participants may also join via voice call using the following information: Dial by your location and input the meeting ID when prompted: +1 669 254 5252 US (San Jose) +1 646 828 7666 US (New York) Questions emailed to: TEGE.outreach@IRS.gov with the subject line “Pre-submitted questions for the Form 1099-NEC Awareness Day” will be answered as time permits. 2020 November 19 Indian Tribal Governments Announces New Customer Resources The Office of Indian Tribal Governments (ITG) is excited to announce additional customer support resources on its ITG How to Contact page. These resources include: EIN Assignment and Business & Specialty Tax - 800-829-4933 Providing account transcripts Adjusting accounts Abating tax or penalties Transferring deposits EIN issuance questions Refund inquires Electronic Products and Services Support Desk - 866-255-0654 E-file E-services Excise Tax e-file and Compliance Program, Forms 720, 2290 and 8849 Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) Matching Disclosure Authorization (DA) Transcript Delivery Service (TDS), and Electronic Account Resolution (EAR) Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) - 800-555-3453 EFTPS enrollment EFTPS deposits Payment history System questions For other issues, including those listed below, contact the Office of Indian Tribal Governments at 202-317-8900 or email@example.com: ITG Customer Service feedback Casino/Gaming Tips Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act Per Capita Distributions Tribal Council Pay FUTA Exemption Voluntary Closing Agreements Excise Taxes Fishing Rights Natural Resources Powwow Prizes Tribal Economic Bonds November 10 COVID-19 Business Tax Relief Tool The COVID-19 Business Tax Relief Tool is now available at IRS.gov/tribes in the Coronavirus Resources banner. This tool helps you determine if you or your business is likely to qualify for one or more of the tax relief options currently available. Based on your answers, the tool will: Let you know if you may be likely to qualify for any of the available relief options. Link you to more information that will allow you to understand how to take advantage of those options. For questions or additional guidance about COVID-19 related tax relief, including guidance for tribes, visit Coronavirus Tax Relief for Businesses and Tax-Exempt Entities. IRS Announces 2021 VITA and TCE Program Grants The IRS recently awarded over $36 million in grants for Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs to provide free federal tax return preparation. This year, the IRS received 354 applications and awarded grants to 34 TCE and 273 VITA applicants. For information on applying for the TCE or VITA program grants, along with a list of current grant recipients, visit the TCE webpage or the VITA webpage. Visit VITA Resources for Indian Country for more filing information. Learn how you can become a TEC or VITA volunteer. October 15 Non-filers now have until Nov. 21 to register for an Economic Impact Payment The deadline to register for an Economic Impact Payment using the Non-Filers tool has been extended to November 21, 2020. If you don't normally file a tax return – and haven't received an Economic Impact Payment – we urge you to register as soon as possible using the Non-Filers: Enter Info Here tool on IRS.gov. The tool will not be available after November 21. This extension is only for those who haven’t received their EIP and don’t normally file a tax return. For taxpayers who requested an extension of time to file their 2019 tax return, the deadline to register remains October 15. The IRS’s Non-Filers tool is secure. You can use it if you’re married with income below $24,400, or single with income below $12,200 and can’t be claimed as a dependent by someone else. You can speed the arrival of your payment by choosing to receive it by direct deposit. Otherwise, you’ll receive a check. Two weeks after you register on the Non-Filers tool, you can track the status of your payment using the Get My Payment tool on IRS.gov. October 5 New Income Tax Guide for Native American Individuals and Sole Proprietors The new IRS Publication 5424, Income Tax Guide for Native American Individuals and Sole Proprietors PDF is now available on IRS.gov. Members of a federally-recognized Indian tribe are subject to federal income and employment tax and the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, like other United States citizens. In addition to the exemptions enjoyed by other U.S. Citizens, individual Indians may enjoy exemptions that derive plainly from treaties or agreements with the Indian tribes concerned, or an act of Congress dealing with their affairs. This publication discusses the tax treatment of certain income unique to Native American individuals and sole proprietors to help in preparing their tax returns. June 29 Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic List If you are a low-income taxpayer who needs help resolving a tax dispute with the IRS and can’t afford representation, you may qualify for free or low-cost help from a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic. Publication 4134 describes services provided, outlines eligibility requirements, and lists available clinics in cities across the United States. You can find a link to Publication 4134 on the Volunteer Tax Assistance Resources for Indian Country webpage under General Tax Resources. June 2 Topics for Tribes Now Available on the Coronavirus Tax Relief for Businesses and Tax-Exempt Entities Page The IRS added a new Topics for Tribes section on the Coronavirus Tax Relief for Businesses and Tax-Exempt Entities page on IRS.gov. This page provides users with the latest information and guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19) tax relief and Economic Impact Payments. The Topics for Tribes section covers frequently asked questions specific to tribes and provides links to additional resources for tribes and tribal entities that operate a trade or business. Users can also find a link to Topics for Tribes on IRS.gov/tribes. May 7 FAQs: Employee Retention Credit under the CARES Act The Employee Retention Credit under the CARES Act encourages businesses to keep employees on their payroll. The refundable tax credit is 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19. Frequently asked questions about the employee retention credit are now available on IRS.gov. The questions include information for tribes and tribal entities about which employers may be eligible. FAQ number 21 specifically addresses eligibility for tribes. Additional information can be found on the COVID-19-Related Employee Retention Credit Overview page on IRS.gov. May 1 IRS seeks nominations for the Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council The Internal Revenue Service is accepting applications for the Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council (IRSAC) through June 12, 2020. The IRSAC serves as an advisory body to the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service and provides an organized public forum for discussion of relevant tax administration issues between IRS officials and representatives of the public. IRSAC members are appointed to three-year terms by the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS is accepting applications for approximately 14 appointments which will begin in January 2021. Tax Exempt & Government Entities (TE/GE) is looking for applicants with knowledge and background in: Exempt Organizations, Indian Tribal Governments, and/or Experience with other aspects of TE/GE More information, including the application form, is available on the IRS website. Questions about the application process can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. February 26 The IRS office of Indian Tribal Governments has updated Publication 4268, Employment Tax for Indian Tribal Governments PDF. The revised publication: Provides information to tribes regarding employment tax matters as they pertain to federally recognized Indian tribes and their wholly-owned entities. Assists tribal entities in meeting their federal employment tax responsibilities. Provides key information on special topics related to tribal entities. Includes tips for maintaining good records and hyperlinks to the IRS publications and forms mentioned in the guide. Includes information about the Tribal Social Security Fairness Act of 2018. February 7 Impact of the Tribal Social Security Fairness Act on Worker Status for Tribal Council Members This issue snapshot addresses questions concerning whether an Indian tribe's decision to enter into a 218A agreement and elect Social Security coverage for its tribal council members, or not enter such an agreement, affects the classification of those workers for other purposes of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) such as income tax and retirement plan participation. Indian Tribal Governments and Tax Exempt Bonds Reorganization Effective November 24, 2019, the Office of Government Entities (GE) was reestablished and now includes separate offices for Tax Exempt Bonds (TEB) and Indian Tribal Governments (ITG). GE also has responsibilities for Federal, State and Local-Employment Tax (FSL-ET) and two correspondence units. The reorganization will help us serve our customers more efficiently. Angela Gartland is the acting Director of Government Entities. Allyson Belsome is the program manager for TEB. Telly Meier is the program manager for ITG. New Downloadable Assistant Helps Small Businesses Withhold the Right Amount of Income Tax The Internal Revenue Service launched a new online assistant designed to help employers, especially small businesses, easily determine the right amount of federal income tax to withhold from their workers’ pay. Known as the Income Tax Withholding Assistant for Employers, this new spreadsheet-based tool is designed to help employers easily transition to the redesigned withholding system (no longer based on withholding allowances), which went into effect on January 1. More information about the Income Tax Withholding Assistant for Employers, the redesigned 2020 Form W-4, and other tax topics of interest to employers and small businesses can be found on IRS.gov. January 21 The IRS offers several free programs to help many taxpayers prepare their tax returns, including the Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs. ITG’s webpage, Volunteer Tax Assistance Resources for Indian Country, provides resources that can help taxpayers situated in or near Indian Country to prepare their income tax returns. The webpage also includes a VITA-Site Locater which identifies some sites operating in or near Indian Country, which typically are staffed with volunteers familiar with the unique tax issues affecting Indian tribal members. 2019 November 13 New IRS Publication 5343, Helpful Hints for Indian Tribes and Tribal Entities to Avoid Penalties on Federal Tax Deposits and Information Returns PDF, is now available on IRS.gov. This publication addresses common employment tax and information return penalties, including penalties for late or insufficient employment deposits and name and taxpayer identification mismatches. Publication 5343 also provides tips for responding to notices related to these penalties and avoiding similar future notices. Recently revised Publication 3908, Gaming Tax Law and Bank Secrecy Act Issues for Indian Tribal Governments PDF, is available on IRS.gov. This publication provides a guide for tribal casinos’ responsibilities related to federal employment taxes, Title 31 (Bank Secrecy Act), customer and vendor information return filing, and other federal tax responsibilities. July 19 Issue Snapshots Issue Snapshots provide IRS analysis and resources along with audit tips or issue indicators for technical tax issues. The snapshots are designed for IRS employees, but the information is also helpful for people interested in these issues. The most recent Issue Snapshots for Indian tribal governments are: Availability of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit to Tribes and Tribal Entities The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) provides a business tax credit to certain employers who hire workers from certain targeted groups. The WOTC is generally claimed as a credit against income tax. Per Capita Distributions on Net Gaming Profits and the Kiddie Tax Per capita distributions from net casino profits made to certain children are subject to a special tax calculation commonly referred to as the “kiddie tax”. For taxable years before 2018, the tax is based on the parent’s rate if the parent’s rate is higher than the child’s rate. For taxable years 2018 through 2025, children required to make this calculation may be subject to tax based on tax rates normally applicable to trusts and estates. May 21 Notice 2019-39 PDF Notice 2019-39 clarifies the rules that apply to current refundings for targeted bond programs, including Tribal Economic Development Bonds (TEDBs). This notice is in response to requests for clarification on whether bonds for certain targeted bond programs may be refinanced without applying for a new allocation of volume cap. It provides guidance on refinancings of TEDBs and targeted bonds for disaster relief bond programs, generally eliminating the need to provide guidance on a program-by-program basis. This notice applies to all current refunding issues that are issued on or after May 22, 2019. Issuers may also apply this notice to current refunding issues that are issued before May 22, 2019. 2018 December 21 The IRS Indian Tribal Governments office added new links to Social Security information for American Indians and Alaska Natives at IRS.gov/tribes . American Indians and Alaska Natives (AIAN) connects American Indians and Alaska Natives to information about their Social Security benefits. Tribal Social Security Fairness Act of 2018 PDF provides more information about the Tribal Social Security Fairness Act of 2018, including regional contact information for Indian tribes wishing to offer Social Security coverage to tribal council members. National Tax Security Awareness Week The IRS released a series of News Releases and Tax Tips to encourage individual and business taxpayers to take steps to protect data and identities in advance of the 2019 filing season. October 25 Tribal Social Security Fairness Act of 2018 The Tribal Social Security Fairness Act of 2018 authorizes the Social Security Administration (SSA) to enter into voluntary agreements with Indian tribes to provide individual tribal council members with Social Security benefits. As SSA releases more details on how to enter into a voluntary agreement, IRS will provide you with additional information. Publication 5287, Employment Tax Video Guides for Indian Tribal Governments (CD-ROM) Order the Publication 5287 CD-ROM, with 12 employment tax video guides for Indian tribal employers, by calling 800-829-3676 . You can also view these guides online at Indian Tribal Governments Resources . Indian Tribal Governments Gaming Compliance Tools Check out these interactive web tools to help the tribal gaming community comply with federal reporting rules. Title 31, Bank Secrecy Act - Tribal casinos meet Title 31 recordkeeping and reporting obligations. Tip Income Reporting - Tribal employers and employees record and report tip income. Information Return Reporting - Tribal casinos meet recordkeeping and reporting obligations. July 19 Issue Snapshots Issue Snapshots are IRS employee job aids that provide analysis and resources along with audit tips or issue indicators for technical tax issues. The most recent Issue Snapshots for Indian tribal governments are: IRC Section 7873 – Treaty Fishing Rights-Related Income Certain income from a tribal fishing rights-related activity that’s earned by a qualified Indian entity, or by a tribal member directly or through a qualified Indian entity, is exempt from federal, state and local taxes. IRC Section 414(d) – Governmental Plans for Tribes This snapshot discusses the types of retirement plans an Indian tribal government may offer and when those plans may be treated as governmental plans. Revenue Ruling 59-354 – Tribal Council Members’ Wages Amounts paid to Indian tribal council members for their tribal council service is includible in gross income; however, they are not considered wages subject to withholding for Social Security, Medicare and federal income tax reporting. FUTA Exemption for Indian Tribal Governments Indian tribal governments are exempt from tax under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA), provided the tribes are fully compliant with the applicable State Unemployment Insurance. This exemption applies to any subdivision, subsidiary or business enterprise wholly owned by the tribe. May 24 Indian Tribal Governments Gaming Compliance Tools The IRS office of Indian Tribal Governments has three new interactive web tools to help the Indian tribal gaming community comply with federal reporting rules. Title 31, Bank Secrecy Act - This module provides information and links to additional resources to help tribal casinos determine their Title 31 recordkeeping and reporting obligations. Tip Income Reporting - This module provides information and links to additional resources to help tribal employers and employees properly record and report tip income. Information Return Reporting - This module provides information and links to additional resources to help tribal casinos meet their recordkeeping and reporting obligations. These tools and other information for Indian tribes and tribal casinos are available at Indian Tribal Government Resources and IRS.gov/tribes . Form 1042-S Webinars Watch the latest recorded webinars for Indian tribal governments. Find these presentations and more on the IRS Video Portal . Form 1042-S Filing Tips for Tribes - Learn about Form 1042-S pitfalls, consequences of Form 1042-S errors and filing procedures to avoid mistakes. Income Tax Withholding on Foreign Persons Forms 1042-S and 1042 - Learn about the tax treatment of payments to non-resident aliens and foreign persons. Issue Snapshots Issue Snapshots are IRS employee job aids that provide analysis and resources along with audit tips or issue indicators for technical tax issues. The most recent Issue Snapshot for tribal governments is: IRC Section 7871 – Treatment of Indian Tribes as States - Indian Tribes are treated as states for certain purposes in the Internal Revenue Code. Indian tribes and their wholly owned entities are not subject to income tax, except for businesses incorporated under state law. March 26 Join the IRS for a National Paycheck Checkup Thunderclap We invite you or your group to join @IRSnews in support of the IRS Thunderclap effort promoting a national “Paycheck Checkup” on March 29. Following major tax law changes, workers should review their withholding to make sure they have the right amount of tax taken out of their paychecks. Earned Income Tax Credit The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a refundable credit. Workers may get money back even if they have no tax withheld. Each year, millions of eligible workers don’t claim the EITC because they are newly qualified or don’t otherwise need to file a tax return. Workers who work for someone else or own or run their own business or farm and earned $53,930 or less in 2017 should use the EITC Assistant to see if they qualify for the credit. You must file a return and specifically claim the EITC even if you aren’t required to file. It’s not too late to file prior year returns to claim EITC if you were eligible, but time is running out: For 2014, file or amend your tax return by April 17, 2018; For 2015, file or amend your tax return by April 18, 2019; For 2016, file or amend your tax return by April 18, 2020. Refunds Worth $1.1 Billion Waiting to be Claimed Unclaimed federal income tax refunds totaling $1.1 billion may be waiting for one million taxpayers who did not file a 2014 federal income tax return. Time is running out. To collect these refunds , taxpayers must file their 2014 tax return by April 17, 2018. Protect Yourself from Identity Theft The IRS reminds you that every year, people fall prey to tax scams. Three of the scams on the list of 2018 Dirty Dozen Tax Scams include: Phone Scams - Callers claiming to be IRS officials threaten police arrest, deportation or license revocation if the victim doesn’t pay a bogus tax bill. Phishing - Taxpayers need to be on guard against fake emails or websites looking to steal personal information. Criminals may pose as a person in your organization you trust or recognize, requesting sensitive information. Identity Theft - Criminals sometimes file fraudulent returns using information from a phishing scam, with a refund being deposited into the taxpayer’s bank account. They then use a phone scam to claim to be the IRS and ask for that money back. February 27 Publication 5287, Employment Tax Video Guides for Indian Tribal Governments (CD-ROM) The IRS office of Indian Tribal Governments has released a new CD-ROM with 12 employment tax video guides to help Indian tribal employers properly withhold, deposit and report federal taxes for their employees. Learn more about what to do when you hire and pay employees, including how to: distinguish between employees and contractors, withhold taxes and make payments to the U.S. Treasury, and meet all your reporting requirements. Order the Publication 5287 CD-ROM by calling 800-829-3676 . You can also view these guides online at Indian Tribal Governments Resources . Please share this information with tribes that may not be receiving our ITG news. Tuition and Other Educational Benefits Provided by Tribes, Form 1098-T Tuition and other educational benefits provided by Indian tribes to tribal members pursuant to the Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act of 2014 (the Act) are not taxable and not subject to information reporting requirements if such benefits meet the requirements of the Act. Tribal students that receive these educational benefits paid by the tribe should not include them on their federal tax return even if they’re shown on a Form 1098-T, Tuition Statement, from the educational institution. Read this article for a complete discussion. January 18 EITC Awareness Day Thunderclap The IRS office of Indian Tribal Governments invites you to join us in raising awareness of the Earned Income Tax Credit by signing up for our EITC Awareness Day Thunderclap before January 26 (by noon). Our Native American communities are especially at risk for overlooking this important tax credit. Thunderclap is a crowd speaking social media platform that allows people to support a tweet, Facebook or Tumblr message all at the same time. Think of it as a massive flash mob on social media. It’s completely safe and will automatically post one message on your own social media account. Here’s how to sign up for the EITC Awareness Day Thunderclap: 1. Follow this link: (obsolete link) 2. Click on “Support with” … Facebook, Facebook Page, Twitter or Tumblr 3. Authorize Thunderclap to post this one-time message to your social media platform by clicking on the “Add My Support” tab. You’ll need to input your social media username and password. A message will be set to go out on EITC Awareness Day, Friday, January 26, 2018, at 1 p.m. EST . It will blast out automatically to each organization and person who backed the cause, which in turn reaches every one of their friends, followers and beyond…all at the same time. Thunderclap will amplify the message throughout all social media. Please consider participating. We will flood Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr with this message: “On #EITCAwarenessDay, help #IRS put money in the pockets of working Americans who are eligible. (obsolete)” The link in the message takes you to the IRS EITC resources webpage. It couldn’t be any easier to get the word out about this important tax credit. The more people who sign up, the louder our Thunderclap will be. IRS will also issue several EITC news releases aimed at working grandparents, Tribal and rural communities, and military families. These news releases will be available at www.irs.gov/newsroom as part of EITC Awareness. Thank you for your consideration and continued partnership. 2017 November 22 Senior Treasury officials and the Internal Revenue Service will host an in-person listening session on Monday, December 4, from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. EST, to discuss general federal tax issues related to current tax reform efforts. The issues may include: economic development incentives in Indian country permanent extension of Indian employment tax credit and acceleration depreciation on Indian lands tax constraints on tribal lands and tribal businesses financing tools and the need for tribal parity Registration is required by Tuesday, November 28. Please email your contact information to TRIBAL.CONSULT@treasury.gov . You will receive a phone call to collect your personal information for clearance into the Treasury building. This event will not be accessible by phone.