Law360 Quotes Allison Binney on Tax Reform Issues Indian Country Is Watching

Akin Gump American Indian law and policy partner Allison Binney was quoted by Law360 for its article “Four Tax Reform Issues Indian Country Is Watching.”

Binney said that tax reform from the perspective of Native American governments is complicated by the dramatically different needs of the 566 federally recognized tribes across the United States. Thus, she said, tax benefits that are important for one tribe might not be so for hundreds of others.

She also noted that Congress might intervene to rework the relationships that the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department have with tribal governments: “They need to establish an office within the IRS or Treasury that treats tribes like governments. The IRS audits tribes, and the service and Treasury tend to treat tribes like individual taxpayers. What is needed is a true government-to-government relationship.”

Binney also said that a “Tribal Empowerment Zone” program—which, according to the article, would abolish all state and federal taxes within those zones and incentivize entrepreneurship and job creation—should be a priority as it could encourage those on reservations to create small business and drive growth.