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IRS steps up probe of Miccosukee Tribe over gambling profits

The Internal Revenue Service has escalated its investigation into the Miccosukee Indians’ finances, demanding that the West Miami-Dade tribe hand over a mountain of internal records showing millions in allegedly unreported payments from its gambling profits to tribal members.

The IRS’ sweeping new action, which the Miccosukees are trying to stop in Miami federal court, seeks internal documents of the tribe’s gaming distributions during 2006-2010 as well as its council meeting records on tax matters from as far back as 1985.

The agency is demanding a long list of documents — from Miccosukee disbursement statements to check register reports, plus any tax advice from tribal lawyers and accountants. It’s part of an aggressive push to recover potentially tens of millions of dollars in back income taxes.

The tribe lashed out at the IRS.

“No longer is there even a pretense that the United States is not seeking to harass the Miccosukee Tribe and its members,” the tribe claims in court documents. Story by Jay Weaver here.

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