CARES Act Distribution Considerations

From my sideline observation of the Tribes v. Treasury lawsuit, it seems to me that the Plaintiffs are concerned about the Alaska Native Corporations being a for-profit corporation.

I served on the Sitnasuak Native Corporation board of directors when the proxy initiative was voted on by shareholders that created the SNC Trust for the benefit of the Trust’s Beneficiaries. The purpose of the SNC Trust states:

“The SNC Trust is an Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) settlement trust with the purpose to promote the health, education and welfare of the Trust’s Beneficiaries; to preserve the heritage and culture of Alaskan Natives; and to promote the long-term economic stability of the Trust’s Beneficiaries through distributions and through the minimization of taxes.”

Assignment of Payments to a Settlement Trust

“The new law allows a Native Corporation to assign certain payments to a Settlement Trust without treating the payments as income for federal tax purposes.

The assignments must be in writing and the Native Corporations must not have received the payments prior to the assignment to the trust. The Settlement Trust must include the payments in its gross income in the taxable year received, for taxable years beginning in 2017.

If a Native Corporation assigns payments to a Settlement Trust, they are not allowed to deduct those same payments”.  

I could be looking at the legal issues in a plain view, but I understood that the Estate Trust created is for:

  • the benefit of individuals (beneficiaries) i.e. native shareholders
  • has a clear and legal definition of beneficiearies
  • designates the use of such funds
  • included in irs code currently

Is it silly for me to think that the CARES Act relief dollars could be distributed to those Alaska Native Settlement Trust accounts; which protects that the direct use estate trust funds is for the individual beneficiaries?