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NFI Secures Tax Breaks for Fishermen.

ARLINGTON, Va., July 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Fisheries Institute (NFI) today won approval of two amendments to the Senate Tax bill to help fishermen, with the leadership of Senators Ted Stevens (R-AK), Frank Murkowski (R-AK) and John Breaux (D-LA). Other sponsors of the amendment include Senators Gorton (R-WA), Hollings (D-SC), Inouye (D-HI), Murray (D-WA), Shelby (R-AL), and Snowe (R-ME). These amendments will allow fishermen to use income averaging and to establish tax-deferral risk management accounts.

The first amendment reinstates the income averaging provisions for fishermen. This means fishermen can average their income over several years to level off their tax liabilities, thereby reducing economic hardship during poor seasons and avoiding the burdensome Alternative Minimum Tax. "U.S. fishermen are familiar with the unpredictable pattern of fishing seasons, just as farmers are familiar with droughts," said Justin LeBlanc, NFI's Vice President of Government Relations. "Record harvest years can be followed by near-disasters. Fishermen need to be able to even out the ups and downs."

The second is a revision to the agricultural Farm and Ranch Risk Management (FARRM) account that will allow farmers to shelter a portion of farm income from taxation for up to five years, place the funds in an interest-bearing account and pay taxes on the funds as ordinary income in the year withdrawn from the account. If enacted, the benefits will also extend to fishermen and the name of the account will change to Farm, Fishery and Ranch Risk Management, FFARRM.

"U.S. fishermen deal with market realities everyday and, in the past, have not been given the flexibility they need," LeBlanc continued. "The NFI praises the efforts of Senator Stevens and all the Senate sponsors to help fishermen and their families."

NFI is a non-profit trade association representing more than 1,000 companies involved in all aspects of the fish and seafood industry. The Institute also acts to ensure an ample, sustainable and safe seafood supply for consumers.

NOTE: All NFI releases and related information can be found on NFI's Web page at http://www.nfi.org.
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 2, 1999
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