Frequently Asked Questions for IIM Accounts

What is an IIM account? 
An Individual Indian Money (IIM) account is an interest-bearing account managed by the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Trust Funds Administration (BTFA) on behalf of an individual who has money or other assets held in trust for them by the Federal government. Learn more about IIM accounts

Why do I have an IIM account? 
You might have an IIM account because you inherited the land through probate, you received an interest in trust land through a Gift Deed or purchase, or you received a per capita trust payment from a tribe, a tribal settlement, or a court-ordered judgment award. 

Where does the money come from?  
The federal government deposits money into IIM accounts from a variety of sources. These sources include encumbrances (commercial, industrial, recreational, mineral, or agricultural leases) , grazing and range permits, timber sales and permits, rights-of-way uses, land sales, and court judgment or settlement awards for tribes and individuals (e.g. per capita payments). IIM Accounts do not include proceeds from tribal gaming. 

When will I receive royalties from oil and gas leases? 
Check the payment schedule for the coming year. 

How can I receive my money? 
If you're account is unrestricted, you may receive funds by electronic transfer (direct deposit, debit card) or check (through the U.S. mail). Learn more about how to receive your money

How much are the fees to use a Metabank debit card? 
Debit cards are free to use with the following exceptions:  

  • Inactivity fee: $1.50 (after three consecutive months of no activity)  
  • ATM withdrawal (out-of-network): $2.00  
  • ATM withdrawal (international): $3.00
  • ATM balance inquiry: $0.25
  • Bank teller cash withdrawal (over the counter): $7.00
  • Replacement card (standard delivery): $7.50
  • Replacement card (expedited delivery): $24.50 

Learn more about payment options for IIM Account holders. 

Can I add funds from outside my IIM account to a Metabank Debit card?
Only funds from your IIM account can be added to a Metabank debit card established through the Bureau of Trust Funds Administration.

Do the funds in an IIM account earn interest?  
Yes. If funds are held in an account for more than one day, they are invested and earn interest. The rate of interest on trust accounts is determined by how the money is invested and how those investments perform. 

Is the money in my IIM account taxable? 
Most income derived directly from land held in trust by the U.S. Government is exempt from federal and state taxation for individual Indians. However, all interest income, capital gain income, and certain royalties are subject to federal and state taxes. Each year, BTFA issues IRS Form 1099, which is a record of income to beneficiaries who received taxable income during the previous calendar year. Learn more about taxes on IIM Accounts.

Can I receive email or text notifications when payments are made to my account? 
Yes. Contact the Trust Beneficiary Call Center to request a notification for your payments. You will need to provide an email address for email notifications or a cell phone number for text notifications.

Do I need a will?  
Having a valid, written will allows you to distribute your trust assets however you like when you die. If a beneficiary dies without a will or estate plan, the Federal government must determine the rightful heirs and distribute trust assets among them in accordance with applicable laws. Learn more about estate planning.  

How do I report the death of an IIM account holder? 
Family members of deceased account holders should contact their agency as soon as possible to begin the probate process. This will ensure that future payments go to an Estate Account. Estate accounts remain open, receiving income and earning interest, until the probate process (which may take several years) is completed and assets are distributed in accordance to the probate officer. 

How do I update my contact information? 
To change your contact information by phone, contact the Trust Beneficiary Call Center or your local Fiduciary Trust Officer. To change your contact information by U.S. Mail or fax, complete Form OMB 1035-004 (IIM Instructions for Disbursement of Funds and Change of Address) and mail or fax it to your local Fiduciary Trust Officer.

What is a fiduciary?  
A fiduciary is someone required to act for the benefit of another person on all matters within the scope of their relationship. A fiduciary who helps someone manage money is legally and ethically bound to ensure that financial assets are managed for the benefit of their client. The United States has a fiduciary duty to Indian people who own Indian trust assets or have Indian trust money managed by the Federal government.  

What is a Fiduciary Trust Officer? 
Fiduciary Trust Officers have extensive knowledge of fiduciary trust issues and work directly with Indian beneficiaries for whom the Federal government holds assets in trust. As fiduciaries, these officers must act in the best interest of the beneficiaries they serve. Check our list of regional Fiduciary Trust Officers to find one near you, or visit our list of Tribes Served if you're not sure which office to contact.

What is an ITI report?
Your Individual Trust Interest (ITI) report shows the undivided interest in land you own on any reservation in the United States. Your ITI report is generated from records held in the Regional Land Record Information System at the Bureau of Indian Affairs Land Title and Records Office.

What is a Land/Owner/Address/Interest Report?
Your Land/Owner/Address/Interest report shows the individuals who have interest in land you own on any reservation in the United States that includes the individuals names, addresses, and percent of ownership. Your Land/Owner/Address/Interest report is generated from records held in the Regional Land Record Information System at the Bureau of Indian Affairs Land Title and Records Office.

What is process of selling my allotted interest back to the tribe/nation?  
Not all tribes/nations are purchasing allotted interest from beneficiaries. Contact your local Fiduciary Trust Officer for more information.

My question wasn’t answered on this page. Who can I contact? 
To get help with an IIM account, contact the Trust Beneficiary Call Center or your local Fiduciary Trust Officer.

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