The Internal Revenue Service said Monday it is extending the time period for commenting on guidance it has issued pertaining to the application of the general welfare exclusion to Indian tribal government programs.

The IRS is extending the comment period through March 14, 2012 on Notice 2011-94. The original deadline was February 13.

The guidance asks for input on how the exclusion should apply to housing, cultural, education, and elder programs. For example, some housing programs provide housing on and off the reservation, with income limits different from those of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Some cultural programs offer tours of sites that are historically significant to a tribe. There are also language preservation programs, community recreational programs, cultural and social events.

Some of the education programs provide tutors or supplies to primary and secondary school students. There are also job retraining programs for adults.

Programs for the elderly include programs providing heating assistance or meals.

Comments should be submitted on or before March 14 to

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