Laws, Regulations & Annotations

Business Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2018

Sales and Use Tax Annotations

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Annotation 170.0002.750


170.0002.750 Collection Activities Against Indian Tribes. Indian tribes enjoy sovereign immunity from unconsented suits. While a withhold order issued under section 6702 is not technically a lawsuit, the fact that it levies or attaches property of the tribe would make it unenforceable as a violation of the tribes' sovereign immunity. A state may employ, however, indirect means to enforce its rights, such as seizing untaxed merchandise off the reservation (assuming title has not yet passed to the tribe), attempting to assess wholesalers to the tribe, or perhaps, bringing a suit against individual officers or agents of the tribe.

These restrictions apply only in the cases of tribes or tribal-owned corporations. Withholds and levies may be employed by the Board against individual Indians, as they have no immunity, and if a corporation has some ownership by non-Indian individuals, based on the facts in each case, it may be possible to proceed against the corporation. 8/22/96.