On May 14, 2012, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued IR-2012-52 (attached) which announces that on May 30, 2012, at 3:00PM EDT, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will hold a joint listening session and consultation call regarding the application of the general welfare exclusion to benefits provided under Indian tribal government programs. Participation on the call is open to all tribes and tribal leaders.
Since the November 15, 2011, issuance of Notice 2011-94 which initiated consultation with tribes on this matter, the Treasury Department and IRS have held consultation sessions and accepted comments. Many of the commenters conveyed concerns about the inconsistent application of the general welfare exclusion.
Currently, IRS is “looking at what administrative steps it can take to develop a national coordination process in order to ensure that general welfare programs are reviewed in a consistent fashion” and plans to “publish written guidance that will address issues raised by the tribes in their comments.”
In addition to participating on the May 30th call, IRS encourages tribes to continue to submit written comments even though the formal March 14, 2012, deadline has passed. The call in number and pass code along with further information on submitting written comments may be found in the attachment.
Please let us know if may provide further information regarding the Treasury and IRS consultation or if we may be of assistance preparing comments.