When can you file your taxes this year?

January 25, 2021

If you’re an early bird when it comes to filing your tax return, you’ll have to wait a little longer this year before the IRS will accept your return.

The sooner you file your tax return, the sooner you’ll receive any refund due. But this year you’ll have to wait a little longer before you can submit your return. The IRS just announced that it won’t start accepting 2020 tax returns until February 12, 2021. That’s 16 days later than last year.

Why the delay? The IRS says the later filing season start date allows them time to do additional programming and testing of their systems following the December tax law changes that provided a second round of stimulus checks and other benefits. If filing season were opened without the correct programming in place, then there could be a delay in issuing refunds to taxpayers.

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2 of Interior’s top attorneys will be Native

Hours after the swearing in of President Joe Biden, the U.S. Interior Department announced key members of the agency Wednesday. Two of those announcements include Native people who will work in the Office of the Solicitor, essentially performing the legal work for the agency.

Robert Anderson, Bois Forte Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, has been named principal deputy solicitor, and Ann Marie Bledsoe Downes, Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, has been named deputy solicitor for Indian Affairs.

The solicitor’s office has more than 430 attorneys and support staff who provide advice and legal services to the department’s leadership, including the Interior secretary.

In December, Biden nominated Rep. Deb Haaland to lead the Interior Department. It is not yet known when her Senate confirmation process will begin.

Read more in Indian Country Today

‘You Can’t Give Up’: Lakota Sioux Woman Pardoned by Trump to Reunite With Family After 23 Years

Donald Trump granted pardons to 73 individuals on his final day of presidency, and commuted the sentence of another 70, including Lavonne Roach of the Oglala Sioux Tribe (Lakota Sioux), who has been serving a 30-year sentence for a non-violent drug charge.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, a commutation reduces a sentence, but does not imply innocence or remove civil disabilities, such as the right to vote or to hold public office. A pardon does not signify innocence, but gives the pardoned back their right to vote and to serve on juries, among other freedoms and privileges.

Read more in Native News Online

U.S. Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Shoshone-Bannock Tribe

FORT HALL, Idaho — The United States Supreme Court on Monday rejected FMC Corporation’s final appeal to contest the jurisdiction of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes to regulate storage of approximately 22 million tons of hazardous waste on the Fort Hall Reservation at the Eastern Michaud Superfund site west of Pocatello, Idaho.

“The Tribes are very pleased that the Supreme Court of the United States did not find any merit to FMC’s appeal and that FMC is finally required to honor their agreement to comply with Tribal jurisdiction,” Chairman Devon Boyer, of the Fort Hall Business Council said. 

By denying certiorari, the U.S. Supreme Court defers to the findings of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Courts and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmation of the District Court’s findings requiring FMC to comply with tribal jurisdiction. 

Read more in Native News Online

Cherokee Nation Views COVID as Impetus to Increase Domestic Production

“We are also looking at COVID, not as some opportunity to exploit but an opportunity to do better in the future,” shared Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr. during the Native Business Virtual Summit live broadcast.

Federal dependency has weakened Indian Country. 

“One of the things that troubled me is that the United States is the wealthiest country on the face of the Earth. And yet, last spring, somehow we were running out of masks in this country. That struck me as just abysmal, and we can’t have that,” Hoskin continued. 

“So I determined, and my deputy chief and our Tribal Council, we determined that never again will Cherokee Nation be at the mercy of the government of the United States when it comes to something as simple as PPE for our health care workers,” he stated.

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