Law | Opinion

Opinion: Puyallup Tribe prevails in per capita dispute with IRS





Accountant discusses case in which the Puyallup Tribe of Washington fought the Internal Revenue Service over a per capita issue:
I find it is more fun to read tax cases if I root for one side or the other. My principles of rooting are that I root for the taxpayer unless he or she is being really lame-brained. I will always root for widows, disabled veterans and Indian tribes. So when it came to the United States of America v Puyallup Tribe of Indians, which was recently decided by the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, I was with the Puyallup, even though I can’t pronounce their name. The issue was whether the IRS can levy “per capita” payments to an enrolled member. I’m going to call him JT, since he probably has enough problems without popping up on forbes.com when somebody googles him.

JT was behind on paying his federal income taxes, so the IRS sought to levy on his per-capita payments. I thought that this might have raised issues of tribal sovereignty, but that is not what the decision turned on.

Get the Story:
Peter J Reilly: IRS Cannot Levy Tribal Payments (Forbes.Com 5/6)

Related Stories:
Judge won't force Puyallup Tribe to comply with IRS levy request (04/14