Puyallup Prevails over IRS in Dispute over Levy Notice Seeking Per Capital Payments

Here are the materials in United States v. Puyallup Tribe of Indians (W.D. Wash.):

20 US Cross Motion for Summary J

21 Puyallup Cross Motion for Summary J

22 US Response

23 Puyallup Response

24 DCT Order Granting Tribe’s Motion

An excerpt:

The Government contends that, based on custom and practice, the per capita payments were fixed and determinable. The Government admits that “this is a matter of first impression” (Dkt. 22 at 16), and the Court declines to adopt the Government’s proposition that the rule that levies may attach to discretionary, yet customary payments. Just like there is no guarantee that a subsequent deposit will be made to a levied bank account, there is no guarantee that Turnipseed will receive another per capita payment. While the Tribe strives to provide for its members, it still makes a discretionary monthly decision whether it shall do so. Moreover, the fact that a payment is likely is the same as classifying a sale of personal property as likely. But, according to the regulations, a levy cannot attach until the individual has actually sold the item. Therefore, the Court concludes that the levies in question did not attach to Turnipseed’s per capita payments.

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