Notice: Historical Content

This is an archival or historical document and may not reflect current law, policies or procedures.

Gross Income from Fishing

Gross income from commercial fishing are amounts you receive from catching, taking, harvesting, cultivating, or farming fish, shellfish, crustacean, sponges, seaweeds, or other aquatic forms of animal or vegetable life as well as monies from patronage dividends and fuel tax credits and refunds. These amounts are reported on Schedule C (Form 1040), Profit or Loss from Business (Sole Proprietorship) PDF. (Note: if you receive wages as an employee in a fishing business, these are not considered as gross income from fishing.)

Although the gains/losses may come from the sale of fishing assets, those proceeds should be reported on a Schedule D, thus not gross income from fishing.

When determining if at least two-thirds of a fisher’s gross income is from fishing, include the following amounts as fishing income:

  • Income from services as an officer or crew member of a vessel while the vessel is engaged in fishing.
  • Your share of a partnership's or S corporation's gross income from fishing.
  • Income from services normally performed in connection with fishing. This includes shore service as an officer or crew member of a vessel engaged in fishing and services that are necessary for the immediate preservation of the catch, such as cleaning, icing, and packing the catch.

For Married Filing Jointly

You must add the spouse’s gross income on a married filing joint return; however, it does not have to be included on a married filing separate return. (Caution: if filing "married filing separate", the non-fishing spouse may be subject to estimated tax provisions depending on sources, types of income, and amount of income tax withholding)

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