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Self-Employed Fishermen

Certain fishermen who work on a fishing boat are considered to be self-employed for purposes of employment and self-employment taxes. A fisherman is considered self-employed if he meets all of the following conditions:

  1. He receives a share of the catch or a share of the proceeds from the sale of the catch.
  2. His share depends on the amount of the catch.
  3. He receives his share from a boat (or from each boat in the case of a fishing operation involving more than one boat) with an operating crew that is normally made up of fewer than 10 individuals. This requirement is considered to be met if the average number of crew members on trips the boat made during the last 4 calendar quarters was less than 10.
  4. He does not get any money for his work (other than his share of the catch or of the proceeds form the sale of the catch), unless the pay meets all of the following conditions.
    • He does not get more than $100 per trip
    • He is paid only if there is some minimum catch.
    • He is paid solely for additional duties (such as for services performed as mate, engineer, or cook) for which additional cash payments are traditional in the fishing industry.

Please note these rules may or may not apply to Foreign Crewmembers.

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 17-Jul-2014