Indian tribes represent one of the fastest growing segments of our nation's economy, with an annual increase in employment of over 20% in recent years. They also have very unique issues arising from treaties, and inherent sovereign rights applicable only to tribes. The growth in tribal economies, the fact that tribes are not subject to federal income tax, and the self-governance rights of tribes, has made them an area where unscrupulous individuals can gain a foothold for illegal and/or unethical activities that include tax schemes.
Many schemes occur without the direct knowledge of the tribe, and/or without an understanding of the consequences by the tribe. They are a major concern for both the Service and Tribal governments who are struggling to protect their sovereignty and fledging enterprises, and maintain the support of Congress and the general public. These concerns are magnified by increasing attempts by promoters to use the tax and legal status of tribes to shelter transactions from taxation and oversight.
Many of the identified schemes cross jurisdictional boundaries and involve issues regulated by multiple entities - states, federal agencies, and even other IRS operating divisions. They require a coordinated approach that promotes consistency and communication. These emerging issues create a need on the part of the office of Indian Tribal Governments (ITG) to address these issues, but we rely heavily on assistance from tribes and the public in helping to identify them.
Information about potentially abusive schemes or abuses involving Indian Tribal Government entities can be directly forwarded to the office of Indian Tribal Governments via e-mail, or by contacting us at:
Internal Revenue Service
850 Industrial Street
Redding, CA 96002