DE 231CF Rev. 4 (8-07) (INTERNET)
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THE	COMMERCIAL	FISHING	INDUSTRY
The commercial fishing industry includes any business
engaged in the catching, taking, harvesting, cultivating, or
farming of any kind of fish, shellfish, crustacean, sponge,
seaweed, or other aquatic forms of animal and vegetable
EMPLOYER	CONTRIBUTIONS	AND
Even though fishing services may not be subject to
federal employment taxes, fishing services employers are
responsible for reporting wages paid to their employees
and paying Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Employment
Training Tax (ETT). Employers are also required to
withhold and remit State Disability Insurance (SDI)* and
may be required to withhold and remit personal income tax
(PIT) from non-seagoing workers’ wages. Employers are
generally prohibited from withholding PIT from seamen’s
wages except under certain conditions as explained in the
section titled “Are Fishing Services Subject for Personal
Income Tax Withholding Purposes?” on the next page.
WHAT	ARE	WAGES?
“Wages” consist of remuneration for services performed,
including cash payments, commissions, share of the boat’s
or boats’ catch, bonuses, and the reasonable cash value of
nonmonetary payments such as meals, sleeping quarters,
and employee benefits. “Wages” do not include the
reasonable value of expenses such as fuel, ice, bait, and
fishing gear when the employee is obligated to share the
expenses as a condition of employment.
WHO	IS	AN	EMPLOYEE?
An employee for commercial fishing purposes includes any
officer of a corporation, any worker who is an employee
under the usual common law rules, and any worker whose
services are specifically covered by law.
1Services performed on or in connection with an American vessel include services by the operating crew while underway and services that are not
actually performed on the vessel, such as shore services performed as an officer or member of the crew.
2Section 125.5 of the California Unemployment Ins