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FAQs for Indian Tribal Governments regarding IRC Section 7873 (Fishing Rights)

These frequently asked questions and answers are provided for general information only and should not be cited as any type of legal authority. They are designed to provide the user with information required to respond to general inquiries. Due to the uniqueness and complexities of Indian law and Federal tax law, it is imperative to ensure a full understanding of the specific question presented, and to perform the requisite research to ensure a correct response is provided.


  1. What is IRC section 7873?
  2. Who is covered by IRC section 7873?
  3. What does the term "fishing rights-related activity" mean?
  4. What does the term "recognized fishing rights" mean?
  5. What is a "qualified Indian entity"?
  6. What types of taxes are exempted by IRC section 7873?
  7. What if an entity fails to satisfy any of the criteria of a "qualified Indian entity"?
  8. How often is the determination made as to whether an entity meets the criteria of a "qualified Indian entity"?
  9. Are there any allocations requirements?
  10. What allocation rules apply to a qualified Indian entity that is jointly owned by members of more than one tribe?
  11. Is there any relationship between the provisions of IRC section 7873 and current treaties?
  12. What is the effective date of IRC section 7873?
  13. Can a contribution be made to an IRA if the only income is derived from fishing rights-related activities under section 7873? 
  14. Can an Indian tribal government set up a 401(k) plan with contributions based on section 7873 income? 
  15. Can income earned from the exercise of treaty-based fishing rights or from nontaxable sources be used to qualify for the EITC?  

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 21-Nov-2014