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PS 2000(3)

Fisherman's Guide to Sales and Use Taxes and Estimated Income Tax

This Policy Statement has been obsoleted by IP 2000(25)

PURPOSE: This Policy Statement describes the procedures that fishermen must follow to apply for a Commercial Fisherman Exemption Permit and explains the purchases that are exempt from sales and use taxes. The publication also describes the rules for fishermen to make estimated personal income tax payments.

BACKGROUND: Conn. Gen. Stat. §12-412(18) exempts from sales and use taxes materials, rope, fishing nets, tools and fuel, or any substitute, which are used directly in the fishing industry.

Conn. Gen. Stat. §12-412(40) exempts from sales and use taxes any vessel used exclusively in commercial fishing and any machinery or equipment used on a commercial fishing vessel. The exemption applies if, in the calendar year immediately preceding the date of purchase, storage or use, not less than 50% of the purchaser's gross income was derived from commercial fishing.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY: Conn. Gen. Stat. §§12-412(18) and 12-412(40), Conn. Gen. Stat. §12-722, and Conn. Gen. Stat. §26-1.


  • means the catching, gathering, and processing of fish solely as a regular commercial business.
  • Commercial fisherman means any person, firm or corporation engaged in commercial fishing.
  • Commercial fishing means taking or attempting to take any fin fish, crustacean, sea scallops, squid, horseshoe crabs, or bait species for commercial purposes or by the use of any commercial fishing gear.
  • Commercial fishing vessels include any vessel with a certificate of documentation issued by the United States Coast Guard for coast wise fishery.

EXEMPTED ITEMS: Items exempted under Conn. Gen. Stat. §§12-412(18) and 12-412(40) include but are not limited to:

  • Twine items (fish netting, ropes, and similar items used in fish nets), trawls, traps, hooks, lures
  • Dry or natural ice
  • Winches and deck equipment (tow wire, cable, tackle rope, links, shackles, nets, twine, rings, sweep ropes, chain)
  • Fasteners
  • Fuel (kerosene, gas, diesel oil, lube oil, grease, LP gas)
  • Propulsion (flax packing)
  • Nets and underwater gear (needles)
  • Tools (shovels, ice clippers)
  • Accessories and miscellaneous (bands, rubber and friction tape, distilled water, knives, picks, scallop bags, forks)
  • Commercial fishing vessels including daily fishing party charter boats
  • Fishing equipment appurtenant to or used in connection with said vessels, including but not limited to, equipment necessary for the propulsion or navigation of the vessel (engines, propellers, radar, loran, radio telephones, and similar equipment).

Items not qualifying for exemption under Conn. Gen. Stat. §§12-412(18) and 12-412(40) include but are not limited to:

  • Repair and replacement parts for vessels or equipment
  • Raw materials (lumber, steel, etc.) to be used in the construction of vessels or equipment, unless being constructed to be sold.

PROCEDURE: Commercial fishermen must complete and file with the Department of Revenue Services Form REG-14, Application for Commercial Fisherman Tax Exemption Permit, to claim the exemption.

Exemptions are issued on a yearly basis, effective from July 1 through June 30 of the succeeding year.

A permit may not be transferred or assigned to anyone and is null and void upon the termination of commercial fishing by the original applicant. When a fisherman ceases commercial fishing, the permit must be returned to the Department.

A fisherman who changes his or her address, or changes the business structure, must apply for a new Commercial Fisherman Exemption Permit by submitting a new Form REG-14 and attaching the old permit. If the assets of the business are transferred as part of forming a new entity, the new entity must reapply in its own name even if the owner(s) of the new entity remain the same.

Example: A fisherman who operates his commercial fishing business as a sole proprietorship and holds a Commercial Fisherman Exemption Permit forms an LLC and transfers the business to it. The LLC must apply for a new Commercial Fisherman Exemption Permit. The applicant should also attach a written explanation of its relationship to the former permit holder.

ESTIMATED INCOME TAX: If you are a fisherman who is required to make estimated income tax payments, you are required to make only one payment. Your installment is due on or before January 15 following the end of the taxable year. The required annual payment for fishermen is the lesser of:

of the income tax shown on your Connecticut income tax return;

or of the income tax shown on your Connecticut income tax return, if you filed a Connecticut income tax return for the prior year that covered a 12-month period.

If, on or before March 1 following the end of the taxable year, you file a Connecticut income tax return and pay the full amount of tax due, you will not be subject to interest for not paying estimated tax.

The individual is a fisherman for any taxable year if the individual is a fisherman as defined in I.R.C. §6654(I)(2) for the taxable year.

EFFECT OF THIS DOCUMENT: A Policy Statement is a document that explains in depth a current Department position, policy or practice affecting the tax liability of taxpayers.

EFFECT ON OTHER DOCUMENTS: Policy Statement 93(1.6) is superseded and may not be relied upon after the date of the issuance of this Policy Statement.

RELATED FORMS AND PUBLICATIONS: For related forms or publications please request:

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Please call the Department of Revenue Services during business hours, Monday through Friday:

    (toll-free within Connecticut), or (anywhere).

TTY, TDD, and Text Telephone users only may transmit inquiries 24 hours a day by calling 860-297-4911.

FORMS AND PUBLICATIONS: Forms and publications are available all day, seven days a week:

    preview and download forms and publications from the DRS Web site: ; or
  • Telephone: call 1-800-382-9463 (toll-free within Connecticut) or 860-297-5962 (from anywhere) and select Option 2 from a touch-tone phone.

PS 2000(3)
Sales and Use Taxes
Issued: 04/24/00
Replaces: PS 93(1.6) (Issued: 4/1/99)