Mark Trahant: The myth that won't die -- Indians DO pay taxes

"The myth won’t go away: Indians don’t pay taxes. The roots come from a phrase in the U.S. Constitution, “… Indians not taxed.” But that provision wasn’t even dealing with taxation, but how Americans are counted for representation in Congress.

“True or False? American Indians don’t pay taxes,” asks the American Indian College Fund. “American Indians pay federal taxes on their income and capital gains, just as any other American does.” The college fund site adds: “American Indians do not pay taxes on moneys earned from their land allotments, since those lease fees are from the government and were negotiated as part of a treaty. While earning money on the reservation, American Indians also do not pay state, corporate, or state license fees for income or enterprises on the reservations due to the sovereign status of the reservation. While earning money off the reservation, however, American Indians are subject to state income, corporate, and licensing taxes.”

Do you pay taxes is a question so often asked that it’s posted often as a Frequently Asked Question."

Get the Story:
Mark Trahant: The Myth That Never Leaves – Indians Don’t Pay Taxes (Indian Country Today 9/24)

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