OCC Reduces 2023 Assessments on National Banks and Federal Savings Associations

WASHINGTON—The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is publishing its assessment rates for the 2023 calendar year, reducing the rates in the general assessment fee schedule, and maintaining assessment rates from 2022 for the independent trust and independent credit card fee schedules.

Changes to the general assessment fee schedule include reductions by 40 percent for all banks on their first $200 million in total balance-sheet assets, and a 20 percent reduction for all banks on balance-sheet assets above $200 million and up to $20 billion. There will be no inflation adjustment to assessment rates.

The OCC continues to pursue efficiencies to ensure that the 2023 assessment rates will provide the agency with sufficient resources to recruit, train, and retain the talent and experience necessary to perform its important mission and continue to invest in initiatives that improve the agency’s ability to maintain the safety, soundness, and fairness of the federal banking system.

The calendar year 2023 assessment rates will be in effect as of January 1, 2023, and will be reflected in assessments paid on March 31, 2023, and September 30, 2023.

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Biden-Harris Administration Announces Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and Utah to Receive Nearly $1 Billion in American Rescue Plan Funds to Increase Access to Affordable, High-Speed Internet

The states will use their funding through the Capital Projects Fund to connect more than 180,000 homes and businesses to affordable, high-speed internet

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced the approval of broadband projects in an additional six states under the American Rescue Plan’s Capital Projects Fund Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and Utah. Together, these states will use their funding to connect more than 180,000 homes and businesses to affordable, high-speed internet. A key priority of the Capital Projects Fund program is to make funding available for reliable, affordable broadband infrastructure.

The Capital Projects Fund provides $10 billion to states, territories, freely associated states, and Tribal governments to fund critical capital projects that enable work, education, and health monitoring in response to the public health emergency. In addition to the $10 billion provided by the CPF, many governments are using a portion of their State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) toward meeting the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of connecting every American household to affordable, reliable high-speed internet. Together, these American Rescue Plan programs and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law are working in tandem to close the digital divide – deploying high-speed internet to those without access today and lowering costs for those who cannot afford it.

“The pandemic upended life as we knew it—from work to school to connecting with friends and family—and exposed the stark inequity in access to affordable and reliable high-speed internet in communities across the country in rural, Tribal, and other underrepresented communities,” said Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo. “This funding will lay the foundation for the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic investments to increase access to high-speed internet and reduce internet bills for American households and businesses.”

In accordance with Treasury’s guidance, each state’s plan requires service providers to participate in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) new Affordable Connectivity Program. (ACP). The Affordable Connectivity Program helps ensure that households can afford the high-speed internet they need for work, school, healthcare, and more by providing a discount of up to $30 per month (or up to $75 per eligible household on Tribal lands). Experts estimate that nearly 40% of U.S. households are eligible for the program.

To further lower costs, President Biden and Vice President Harris announced the Administration had secured commitments from 20 leading internet service providers—covering more than 80% of the U.S. population—to offer all ACP-eligible households high-speed, high-quality internet plans for no more than $30 per month. As a result, ACP-eligible households can receive internet access at no cost and can check their eligibility for free internet and sign up at GetInternet.gov.

In addition to requiring funding recipients to participate in the Affordable Connectivity Program, Treasury’s guidance requires recipients to consider whether the federally funded networks will be affordable to the target markets in their service areas and encourages recipients to require that a federally funded project offer at least one low-cost option at speeds that are sufficient for a household with multiple users.

Treasury announced state awards in June, July, August, early October and late October will continue approving state and Tribal plans on a rolling basis.

To date, 22 states have been approved to invest nearly $3 billion of CPF funding in affordable, reliable high-speed internet, which those states estimate will reach more than 700,000 locations.

The following descriptions summarize the six state plans that Treasury approved today:

  • Florida is approved for $248 million for broadband infrastructure, which the state estimates will connect 48,400 households and businesses – representing approximately 10% of locations still lacking high-speed internet access. Florida’s award will fund Florida’s Broadband Infrastructure Program (BIP), a competitive grant program designed to expand last mile broadband access to homes and businesses in rural areas of the state. Funding from CPF will help Florida continue to prioritize fiber-optic networks and projects proposing affordable service. The BIP is designed to provide internet service with speeds of 100/100 Mbps symmetrical to households and businesses upon project completion. Each of the internet service providers funded by the program will participate in the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) – a $30 per month subsidy for qualifying households. The plan submitted to Treasury and being approved today represents 68% of the state’s total allocation under the CPF program. Florida submitted plans for the remainder of their CPF funds and these applications are currently under review by Treasury.
  • Georgia is approved to receive $250 million for broadband infrastructure, which the state estimates will connect 70,000 households and businesses – representing 15% of locations still lacking high-speed internet access. Georgia’s award will fund the Georgia Capital Projects Fund grant program, a competitive grant program that is designed to fund broadband infrastructure projects that provide service to areas identified by the state to currently lack access to reliable broadband that can meet or exceed 25/3 Mbps, and that adopt practices that support both efficient broadband expansion and community engagement. The Georgia Capital Projects Fund is designed to provide internet service with speeds of 100/100 Mbps symmetrical to households and businesses upon project completion. Each of the internet service providers funded by the program will participate in the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) – a $30 per month subsidy for qualifying households families. The plan submitted to Treasury and being approved today represents 96% of the state’s total allocation under the CPF program.  Georgia submitted plans for the remainder of their CPF funds and these applications are currently under review by Treasury.
  • Iowa is approved for $152.2 million for broadband infrastructure, which the state estimates will connect 18,972 households and businesses – representing approximately 16% of locations still lacking high-speed internet access. Iowa’s award will fund the Empower Rural Iowa Broadband Program, a competitive grant program designed to address inequities in access to broadband throughout the state of Iowa. Using a three-step process, the program combines mapping data, input from communities, and applications from service providers. Funding from CPF will help Iowa bring broadband service to areas identified having a critical need for broadband. Empower Rural Iowa Broadband Program is designed to provide internet service with speeds of 100/100 Mbps symmetrical to households and businesses upon project completion. Each of the internet service providers funded by the program will participate in the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) – a $30 per month subsidy for qualifying households. The plan submitted to Treasury and being approved today represents 100% of the state’s total allocation under the CPF program.
  • Minnesota is approved for $44 million for broadband infrastructure. Minnesota’s award will fund two additional broadband infrastructure programs: Minnesota’s Line Extension Program, a competitive grant program designed to address the needs of individuals who are located near infrastructure for high-quality broadband service but where the cost of the last mile connection is a barrier; and the Low-Density Pilot Program, a competitive grant program that provides financial resources for new and existing providers to invest in building broadband infrastructure in low-density areas of the state that currently lack high-speed internet. Funding from CPF will help Minnesota continue its efforts to provide reliable internet access to predominately rural locations previously facing cost barriers. Both programs are designed to provide internet service with speeds of 100/100 Mbps symmetrical to households and businesses upon project completion. Each of the internet service providers funded by the program will participate in the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) – a $30 per month subsidy for qualifying households. In total, Minnesota is using $127 million –70% of their CPF funding –for broadband infrastructure to reach an estimated ~32,000 locations, or ~12% of locations still lacking high-speed internet access in the state.  Minnesota submitted plans for the remainder of their CPF funds and these applications are currently under review by Treasury.
  • Missouri is approved for $196.7 million for broadband infrastructure, which the state estimates will connect 37,979 households and businesses – representing approximately 8% of locations still lacking high-speed internet access. Missouri’s award will fund the Missouri Broadband Infrastructure Grant Program, a competitive grant program designed to fund broadband infrastructure projects in areas that currently lack access to high-speed, reliable broadband. Funding from CPF will help Missouri bring service to areas where broadband infrastructure projects would not be feasible without assistance. The Missouri Broadband Infrastructure Grant Program is designed to provide internet service with speeds of 100/100 Mbps symmetrical to households and businesses upon project completion. Each of the internet service providers funded by the program will participate in the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) – a $30 per month subsidy for qualifying households. The plan submitted to Treasury and being approved today represents 100% of the state’s total allocation under the CPF program.
  • Utah is approved for $10 million for broadband infrastructure, which the state estimates will connect 3,080 households and businesses – representing approximately 5% of locations still lacking high-speed internet access. Utah’s award will fund the Broadband Infrastructure Gap Networks Grant Program (Gap Networks Grant Program), a competitive grant program designed to address gaps in broadband infrastructure where reliable broadband service is currently unavailable. Funding from CPF will help Utah continue its efforts to bridge the state’s remaining digital divide. The Gap Networks Grant Program is designed to provide internet service with speeds of 100/100 Mbps symmetrical to households and businesses upon project completion. Each of the internet service providers funded by the program will participate in the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) – a $30 per month subsidy for qualifying households.  The plan submitted to Treasury and being approved today represents 7% of the state’s total allocation under the CPF program. Utah submitted plans for the remainder of their CPF funds and these plans are currently under review by Treasury.

Remarks by Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo at the White House Tribal Nations Summit

WASHINGTON—Yesterday, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo delivered the following remarks during an armchair conversation at the 2022 White House Tribal Nations Summit moderated by U.S. Treasurer Chief Lynn Malerba. Deputy Secretary Adeyemo outlined significant steps Treasury has taken to deepen the Department’s nation-to-nation relationship with Tribal Nations. This includes the pivotal role the Department has assumed in administering a historic level of financial support to Tribal communities, as allocated by Congress last year in the American Rescue Plan Act’s State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF). Yesterday, Treasury released a new SLFRF Tribal Recovery Report which highlights the diverse uses 579 Tribal Nations have adopted to support over 2.6 million Tribal citizens through over 3,000 projects.

On steps the Administration has taken to make progress and address challenges in Indian Country:

Thank you, we appreciate President Biden convening this summit. Treasury has taken a three-prong approach to address these challenges that has consisted of (1) support for Tribal governments; (2) support for Native CDFIs, and (3) support for Tribal and Native businesses.

First, we have prioritized support for the economic recovery of Tribal Nations. Treasury manages over $30 billion in direct Tribal set asides and established a Tribal team in its Office of Recovery Programs and now a new Office of Tribal and Native Affairs to administer these funds under the leadership of Chief Lynn Malerba, our first Native American Treasurer.

These funds include a $20 billion tribal set aside in the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund. Today, I am excited to announce the release of our SLFRF Tribal Recovery Report which highlights the diverse uses 579 Tribal Nations have adopted to support 2,666,151 tribal citizens through 3,037 projects. To date, Tribal governments have engaged in 694 lost revenue projects and 267 projects investing in the Tribal economy. These include:

  • The Douglas Indian Association in Alaska which is administering a Tribal Fisherman Grant to assist small business owners in the fishing industry to address income loss during the pandemic.
  • The Mescalero Apache Tribe is implementing a workforce development program focusing on vocational education. The program will provide scholarships to citizens and current employees to obtain certificates and further education in welding, carpentry, plumbing, electrical, and more – all critical and in-demand jobs to carry out the Tribe’s COVID-19 recovery plan.

I would also like to thank President Herman for hosting Treasury’s first secretarial visit to Tribal lands this past June where Treasury witnessed Rosebud’s transformative investments in Tribal housing with SLFRF funds.

Next, Treasury has supported the economic recovery of Native CDFIs via our CDFI Rapid Response Program (RRP) which provides capital to CDFIs to respond to the economic impacts of the pandemic. Of note, with respect to Native Communities, the legislation required that no less than $25 million be awarded to benefit Native American Communities. In total, 58 Native CDFIs received awards totaling of $54.6 million in awards.

Lastly, I am excited to announce that Treasury received an 83% subscription rate for its Tribal set aside in its State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) which provides Tribal and Native owned businesses financing support. SSBCI provides approximately $709 million total available for Tribal governments and $14.7 million available for Tribes through the SSBCI Technical Assistance Grant Program. Tribal applications for the SSBCI capital program are under review and funds have not yet been disbursed but proposed programs include:

  • Supporting small business capital through collateral support, loan guarantee, loan participation programs; and development of Native CDFIs.
  • Submission of joint applications to centralize program administration, pool allocations, and facilitate relationships with regional lenders and investors to support various projects, including energy and climate resilience projects. Presently, we have one joint application that features 100 Tribal governments.

On what more needs to be done to sustain and accelerate economic development in Indian country:

Treasury thanks SBA for its leadership on the Access to Capital Initiative which now consists of a multi-agency effort coordinated through the White House Council on Native American Affairs. This Initiative is focused on 3 areas: First, identifying, summarizing and disseminating information to Tribal communities on all loan and financing programs available to Tribes. Second, identifying barriers to capital as well as policy, regulatory and statutory solutions to increase access to federal financing programs. Third, increase utilization of the federal capital programs by establishing baselines of use and setting metrics to improve the utilization rates of programs.

The Treasury-specific portion of this work will be to improve awareness of, utilization of, and access to the tax credits available to Tribes. We look forward to this work and engaging Tribes on topics related to data collection and evaluation for barriers and solutions.

As part of this work and our increased engagement with Tribal Nations, we have also just completed two days of Tribal consultation on the Inflation Reduction Act with over 200 attendees. The IRA represents the most significant legislation to invest in clean energy and address climate change in our nation’s history. Of the IRA’s $369 billion investment in addressing climate change, $270 billion will be delivered through tax incentives, putting Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at the forefront of this Act’s implementation which provides opportunities for Tribal inclusion and expressly references Tribal governments or lands in five sections of the IRA. We look forward to reviewing these comments to inform our final IRA guidance to support Tribal access to these transformative tax credits.

Lastly, with regard to taxes, Treasury has heard from Tribal leaders—including both Chairman Butler and President Herman just now—that dual taxation on Tribal lands inhibits Tribal economic development and economic sustainability because it diverts tax revenue from Tribes to non-Tribal governments and inhibits private sector capital investment due to increased taxes levied by nontribal governments. In recognition of this issue, the Treasury Tribal Advisory Committee issued a report in 2021 that documented the effects of dual taxation and provided recommendations for federal partners. Due to increased Tribal leader interest, and to ensure a robust evaluation of these recommendations, Treasury is commencing a second consultation on this report in 2023 and will discuss consultation feedback on dual taxation and the Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act consultations during the first public meeting of the Treasury Tribal Advisory Committee meeting of 2023.

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OCC Issues First and Second Quarter 2023 CRA Evaluation Schedule

WASHINGTON — The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) today released its schedule of Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) evaluations to be conducted in the first and second quarters of 2023.

The OCC encourages public comment on the national banks and federal savings associations (collectively, banks) scheduled to be evaluated under the CRA. Public comments should be submitted to the banks themselves at the mailing addresses listed on the schedule or to the appropriate OCC supervisory office before the month in which the evaluation is scheduled. The OCC will consider all public comments received before the close of the CRA evaluation.

The CRA evaluation schedule is available on the OCC’s website at: www.occ.gov/static/cra/exam-schedule/craq123.pdf.

Statement by Under Secretary Brian Nelson on the FATF Report on Money Laundering from Fentanyl and Synthetic Opioids

WASHINGTON – Today, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) released its first ever report on money laundering from fentanyl and synthetic opioids with recommendations for countering financial flows from the illicit drug trade, which claims thousands of lives around the world. The report was co-led by the United States and Canada.

Below is a statement from Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson:

“The illicit trade in fentanyl and other synthetic opioids has caused a record number of overdose deaths in the United States and devastated communities around the world. Combatting this scourge is a top priority of the Biden-Harris administration, and Treasury plays an important role in the whole-of-government response. Today’s FATF report on money laundering from fentanyl and synthetic opioids, which was co-led by the United States, reveals the global nature of this problem and exposes the illicit supply chains that enable it. Drug trafficking is a significant proceeds-generating offense for money laundering and has been identified by the United States as one of eight national priorities for combatting illicit finance. It is clear that more action is needed to detect and disrupt the financial flows from this illegal trade. The FATF report provides actionable information and best practices for law enforcement, regulators, and the private sector to better respond to this public health crisis and save lives.”

Click here to read “Money Laundering from Fentanyl and Synthetic Opioids” on the FATF website.

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Treasury Report Highlights Impact of American Rescue Plan Funding on Tribal Governments

$20 billion in recovery funds is largest single infusion of federal funding into Indian Country

WASHINGTON– Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury released a report detailing how Tribal governments are using a historic level of financial support through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) to provide critical recovery assistance and improve the health and well-being of Tribal citizens. The $20 billion in ARP State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) allocated to Tribal governments represents the largest single infusion of federal funding into Indian Country. The efforts highlighted in today’s report reveal the vast and impressive reach SLFRF has had as a catalyst for recovery.

“Tribal economic development is not reductive—it is additive, as is robust economic development in other underserved communities,” said Chief Lynn Malerba, Treasurer of the United States. “Today’s report shows that State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds are having direct, deep, and meaningful economic impacts on Tribal nations’ pandemic recovery. By investing in Tribal economies, we are fostering economic prosperity for our nation at large.”

“When Congress appropriated American Rescue Plan funding last year, Treasury made post-pandemic Tribal recovery one of our highest priorities,” said Chief Recovery Officer Jacob Leibenluft. “This historic investment in Tribal communities reflects the commitment Treasury has made to strengthen its relationships with Indian Country and to work to better understand and respond to the needs of Tribal governments.”

In developing Tribal SLFRF policy, Treasury prioritized Tribal engagement and feedback in order to provide Tribal governments with flexibility to meet the unique needs of their citizens. Treasury’s Office of Recovery Program hosted a half-dozen formal Tribal consultations, held over 100 one-on-one sessions with Tribal leaders, and partnered with the White House Council on Native American Affairs and numerous Tribal national and regional organizations to provide direct engagement to maximize the impact of SLFRF funds and increase the likelihood of successful implementation.

To date, Tribal governments have planned or begun implementing over 3,000 projects and services with SLFRF to respond to the pandemic, generating new economic opportunities and improving health, safety, and quality of life for over 2.6 million Tribal citizens. Examples of projects include:

  • The Ketchikan Indian Community provided premium pay to over 190 essential workers with added health risks. Additional pay was awarded in recognition of workers’ resilience, dedication, and dependability, as well as to bolster efforts to retain and support staff.
  • The Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin is implementing a tiny home project for low-income elders, Tribal citizens in transitional living situations, or those facing homelessness. With rising housing costs, the Tribe saw tiny homes as a solution to get people into homes safely, especially during the winter.
  • The Osage Nation is implementing a substantial broadband project to assist in telehealth, distance learning opportunities, affordable internet service, economic growth, and digital inclusion efforts where demands for internet access have grown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Douglas Indian Association developed a Tribal Fisherman Grant to assist small business owners who have maintained a historic Tribal presence in the commercial fishing and seafood industry. The grants intend to offset the escalating fuel costs, transportation restrictions, and a decrease in salmon catches to help Tribal citizens economically recover.
  • The Mescalero Apache Tribe is implementing a workforce development program focusing on vocational education. The program will provide scholarships to citizens and current employees to obtain certificates and further education in welding, carpentry, plumbing, electrical, and more – all critical and in-demand jobs to carry out the Tribe’s COVID-19 recovery plan.

Since 2021, Treasury has significantly increased its engagement with Tribes. In her remarks at the 2021 White House Tribal Nations Summit, Secretary Yellen committed to institutionalizing Treasury’s engagement with Tribal Nations and conducting a visit to Tribal lands—commitments which Treasury fulfilled this year. In June, Secretary Yellen and Chief Malerba visited the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota, marking the first time a Treasury Secretary visited a Tribal nation. In September, Chief Malerba was sworn in as the first Native American Treasurer at the Treasury Department. In her role, Chief Malerba additionally oversees the newly established Office of Tribal and Native Affairs.

Today’s report comes as the White House hosts the 2022 Tribal Nations Summit at the Department of the Interior. The Summit will feature new Administration announcements and efforts to implement key policy initiatives supporting Tribal communities.

The full report can be viewed here. 

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OCC Revises Civil Money Penalty Manual

WASHINGTON—The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) today announced revisions to its civil money penalty (CMP) manual which the agency will begin using on January 1, 2023.

The OCC revised the CMP matrix applicable to its regulated institutions to allow for sufficient differentiation among varying levels of misconduct or by institution size, and updated the mitigating factors to provide a stronger incentive for banks to fully address underlying deficiencies.  

“The revised CMP matrix for OCC institutions will strengthen the effectiveness and fairness of our enforcement actions,” Acting Comptroller Michael J. Hsu said. “It will help ensure that the civil money penalty is tailored to the facts and circumstances of each violation, and the updated mitigating factors will help ensure that the underlying problems are resolved in a timely manner.”  

The CMP matrix is a tool to guide the OCC’s decision making in assessing CMPs. The CMP matrix does not reduce supervisory decision making to a mathematical process and is only intended to be a guide and a starting point for discussion.

The CMP matrix is not a substitute for sound supervisory judgment, and the OCC may depart from the matrix suggestions when appropriate and when based on the specific facts and circumstances of each matter.

The CMP matrix promotes consistency and helps the OCC ensure that all statutory and interagency factors are considered when assessing a CMP.

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Treasury Announces Guidance on Inflation Reduction Act’s Strong Labor Protections

Guidance starts 60-day “clock” for key labor provisions to take effect

WASHINGTON – Today, the Treasury Department announced initial guidance on the Inflation Reduction Act’s strong labor standards that firms must meet to qualify for enhanced clean energy and climate tax incentives. The guidance, which can be read in full here and will be published in the Federal Register tomorrow, is an important first step toward making sure the Inflation Reduction Act supports good-paying jobs in the clean energy industry, expands workforce training pathways into these jobs, and lowers costs for American families.

“The historic Inflation Reduction Act that President Biden signed into law earlier this year puts in place tax incentives across the energy sector that will drive renewable energy investment and economic growth while ensuring the jobs created from this investment and growth are good-paying ones, with strong labor protections,” U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen said. “Workers should benefit from the clean energy economy they’re helping build. The guidance announced today provides firms greater clarity on how to meet the labor standards embedded in the bill to maximize the available tax credits.”

The Inflation Reduction Act is the single most significant legislation to combat climate change in our nation’s history, investing a total of $369 billion to help build a clean energy economy. Nearly three-quarters of that climate change investment – an estimated $270 billion – is delivered through tax incentives, putting Treasury at the forefront of this landmark legislation.

To maximize many of the available clean energy and climate tax incentives, firms need to pay workers a “prevailing wage” and employ a certain number of apprentices from registered apprenticeship programs. In the guidance announced today, the Treasury Department provided greater clarity for these provisions.

Both the prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements apply to the following tax incentives:

  • Advanced Energy Project Credit
  • Alternative Fuel Refueling Property Credit
  • Credit for Carbon Oxide Sequestration
  • Clean Fuel Production Credit
  • Credit for Production of Clean Hydrogen
  • Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings Deduction
  • Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit
  • Renewable Energy Property Investment Tax Credit

The prevailing wage requirements also apply to the following tax incentives:

  • New Energy Efficient Home Credit
  • Zero-Emission Nuclear Power Production Credit

Under the law, these prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements apply to qualifying facilities, projects, property, or equipment for which construction begins 60 days or more after Treasury publishes guidance. The guidance that will be published in the Federal Register tomorrow begins that 60-day “clock,” meaning that these requirements will apply to qualifying facilities, projects, property, or equipment for which construction begins on or after January 29, 2023.

To further assist taxpayers and other stakeholders in understanding these provisions, the Department of Labor today issued two Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) documents – one on prevailing wage and the other one on apprenticeships.

The Treasury Department plans to issue additional proposed regulations with respect to these requirements in the coming months.
 

WHAT’S IN THE GUIDANCE ANNOUNCED TODAY

Prevailing Wage Guidance

In the guidance announced today, the Treasury Department describes the process for identifying the applicable wage determination for a specific geographic area and job classification on the Department of Labor’s sam.gov website. If no prevailing wage determination is posted for a specific geographic area and/or job classification, Treasury specifies that taxpayers should contact the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division directly via email, and the Division would provide the taxpayer with the labor classifications and wage rates to use.

Apprenticeship Guidance

The guidance provides greater specificity regarding the apprenticeship labor hour, ratio, and participation requirements.  The guidance also describes the good faith effort exception in which a taxpayer makes a good faith effort in requesting qualified apprentices from registered apprenticeship programs.

Recordkeeping Requirements

The guidance also specifies the recordkeeping requirements taxpayers must comply with to substantiate that they paid workers a prevailing wage and satisfied the apprenticeship requirements.

Beginning of Construction Guidance

To provide guidance regarding when the prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements apply, and provide certainty for taxpayers that are currently constructing clean energy projects, Treasury affirmed the use of longstanding methods for establishing the date of beginning of construction:

  • By starting physical work of a significant nature (physical work test)
  • By having paid or incurred five percent or more of the total cost of the facility (five percent safe harbor)

For both tests, taxpayers must demonstrate either continuous construction or continuous efforts (continuity requirement) for beginning of construction to be satisfied.

Background on Treasury’s work to implement the Inflation Reduction Act:

Since the Inflation Reduction Act was signed into law in August, the Treasury Department has engaged a broad spectrum of labor unions, industry representatives, and other stakeholders to help inform today’s initial guidance. It has reviewed thousands of public comments and hosted a series of roundtable discussions with key stakeholder groups representing millions of workers, thousands of companies, and trillions of dollars in investment assets, as well as climate and environmental justice advocates, community-based organizations, and other key actors that are critical to the success of the IRA.

For more information on Treasury’s stakeholder engagement around the Inflation Reduction Act climate and clean energy provisions, please see: 

August 16, 2022: Treasury Releases Initial Information on Electric Vehicle Tax Credit Under Newly Enacted Inflation Reduction Act

October 5, 2022: Treasury Seeks Public Input on Implementing the Inflation Reduction Act’s Clean Energy Tax Incentives

FACT SHEET: Treasury, IRS Open Public Comment on Implementing the Inflation Reduction Act’s Clean Energy Tax Incentives

October 26, 2022: READOUT: Stakeholder Roundtable on Clean Power Generation and the Inflation Reduction Act

October 27, 2022: READOUT: Stakeholder Roundtable on Climate Impact, Equity, and the Inflation Reduction Act

FACT SHEET: Four ways the Inflation Reduction Act’s Tax Incentives Will Support Building an Equitable Clean Energy Economy

October 31, 2022: READOUT: Stakeholder Roundtable on Investor Perspectives on Climate Change, Clean Energy, and the Inflation Reduction Act

November 3, 2022: Treasury Seeks Public Input on Additional Clean Energy Tax Provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act

November 4, 2022: READOUT: Stakeholder Roundtable on Clean Vehicles and the Inflation Reduction Act

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Treasury Hosts Tribal Consultations on Inflation Reduction Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  The U.S. Department of the Treasury today and yesterday hosted Tribal Consultations on the Inflation Reduction Act to hear first-hand from Tribal leaders about provisions in the law that directly affect Tribal nations. More than 200 Tribal leaders and citizens attended.

The consultations are part of Treasury’s ongoing work to solicit input to inform its implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act, the single most significant legislation to combat climate change in our nation’s history. Nearly three quarters of the law’s $369 billion climate change investment – $270 billion – is delivered via tax incentives, putting Treasury at the forefront of this landmark legislation.

The formal consultations also represent Treasury’s broader commitment to robust, meaningful, and regular consultation with Tribal Nations as part of its effort to strengthen relationships with tribes. In June, Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen became the first Treasury Secretary to visit a Tribal Nation when she visited the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota, and in September, Mohegan Chief Lynn Malerba was sworn in as the Treasurer of the U.S., the first Native American to hold that office. The Department also this year established a new Office of Tribal and Native Affairs, which reports to the Treasurer and coordinates Tribal relations throughout the Department.

Specifically, Treasury requested input from Tribal leaders on provisions related to direct payments to Indian Tribal governments for qualifying clean energy projects, the allocation of bonus tax credits for qualifying clean energy projects located on Indian land, and procedures for car dealers to sell vehicles eligible for clean vehicle tax credits to register with the IRS, including car dealers licensed by an Indian Tribal government.

Treasury is also accepting written comments from Tribal leaders at: [email protected].

For more information on Treasury’s stakeholder engagement around the Inflation Reduction Act’s climate and clean energy provisions, please see:

August 16, 2022: Treasury Releases Initial Information on Electric Vehicle Tax Credit Under Newly Enacted Inflation Reduction Act

October 5, 2022: Treasury Seeks Public Input on Implementing the Inflation Reduction Act’s Clean Energy Tax Incentives

FACT SHEET: Treasury, IRS Open Public Comment on Implementing the Inflation Reduction Act’s Clean Energy Tax Incentives

October 26, 2022: READOUT: Stakeholder Roundtable on Clean Power Generation and the Inflation Reduction Act

October 27, 2022: READOUT: Stakeholder Roundtable on Climate Impact, Equity, and the Inflation Reduction Act

FACT SHEET: Four ways the Inflation Reduction Act’s Tax Incentives Will Support Building an Equitable Clean Energy Economy

October 31, 2022: READOUT: Stakeholder Roundtable on Investor Perspectives on Climate Change, Clean Energy, and the Inflation Reduction Act

November 3, 2022: Treasury Seeks Public Input on Additional Clean Energy Tax Provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act

November 4, 2022: READOUT: Stakeholder Roundtable on Clean Vehicles and the Inflation Reduction Act

November 29, 2022: Treasury Announces Guidance on Inflation Reduction Act’s Strong Labor Protections

READOUT: Deputy Secretary Adeyemo Discusses Unlocking Investment Opportunities of the Inflation Reduction Act

LOS ANGELES, CA – On Tuesday, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo participated in a roundtable with clean energy investors and operators to discuss ways the public and private sectors can work together to leverage the Inflation Reduction Act’s historic climate investments to accelerate and build a clean energy economy. According to third-party estimates, the Inflation Reduction Act’s clean energy incentives are projected to catalyze trillions of dollars in private investment in energy supply infrastructure over the next decade. 

The roundtable is part of a series of discussions the Treasury Department has been hosting as it solicits input from the public to inform its work implementing the Inflation Reduction Act. Nearly three quarters of the Inflation Reduction Act’s $369 billion climate change investment – $270 billion – is delivered via tax incentives, putting Treasury at the forefront of this landmark law. 

In the meeting with stakeholders, Deputy Secretary Adeyemo highlighted how the Inflation Reduction Act provides the long-term certainty that investors and businesses have sought for years; strengthens, secures, and diversifies our clean energy supply chains; positions the U.S. to scale existing clean technologies and drive the development of new climate innovations; and provides targeted bonus incentives that will drive investment and create opportunities in communities that are often overlooked. 

Since the Inflation Reduction Act was signed into law in August, the Treasury Department has engaged a broad spectrum of labor unions, industry representatives, investors, and other stakeholders to help inform its implementation of the law. It is reviewing thousands of public comments and has hosted a series of roundtable discussions with key stakeholder groups representing millions of workers, thousands of companies, and trillions of dollars in investment assets, as well as climate and environmental justice advocates, community-based organizations, and other key actors that are critical to the success of the Inflation Reduction Act.

For more information on Treasury’s stakeholder engagement around the Inflation Reduction Act’s climate and clean energy provisions, please see: 

August 16, 2022: Treasury Releases Initial Information on Electric Vehicle Tax Credit Under Newly Enacted Inflation Reduction Act

October 5, 2022: Treasury Seeks Public Input on Implementing the Inflation Reduction Act’s Clean Energy Tax Incentives

FACT SHEET: Treasury, IRS Open Public Comment on Implementing the Inflation Reduction Act’s Clean Energy Tax Incentives

October 26, 2022: READOUT: Stakeholder Roundtable on Clean Power Generation and the Inflation Reduction Act

October 27, 2022: READOUT: Stakeholder Roundtable on Climate Impact, Equity, and the Inflation Reduction Act

FACT SHEET: Four ways the Inflation Reduction Act’s Tax Incentives Will Support Building an Equitable Clean Energy Economy

October 31, 2022: READOUT: Stakeholder Roundtable on Investor Perspectives on Climate Change, Clean Energy, and the Inflation Reduction Act

November 3, 2022: Treasury Seeks Public Input on Additional Clean Energy Tax Provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act

November 4, 2022: READOUT: Stakeholder Roundtable on Clean Vehicles and the Inflation Reduction Act

November 23, 2022: READOUT: Deputy Secretary Adeyemo Roundtable with Labor Leaders on the Inflation Reduction Act

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