As a business owner, I have the opportunity to file lots of taxes. February 28 is a big day, because W-2s, W-3s, 1099s, and 1096s are due to the IRS.

I’ve immersed myself in tax documents over the past 24 hours and I’ve learned something very interesting. The federal government cares a whole heck of a lot about fish. Specifically, “fish purchases for cash.”

Some of you may be familiar with Form 1099. It’s what you get when you do work as an independent contracter. When you receive it, Box 7 is filled out with the wages you’ve earned (independently) from a certain entity over the past year. What you probably don’t realize is that Box 7 is also where a business owner reports their “fish purchases for cash.” You report this in Box 7, despite the fact that there is a separate space, Box 5, to report your “fishing boat proceeds.” Obviously this makes perfect sense. After all, everyone knows that hiring an independent contractor and purchasing a fish are roughly equivalent experiences.

The IRS does not seem to be at all concerned with whether the business owners of America purchase poultry, beef, pork, vegetables, or minerals for cash. Only fish. Why? I have no idea, but it makes me want to leave the country. Fast.

“Fish purchases for cash.” I don’t know what else to tell you, so I’ll just leave you with a quote – straight from your government to you:

“You must report total cash payments of $600 or more paid during the year to any person who is engaged in the trade or business of catching fish. Report these payments in Box 7… ‘Fish’ means all fish and other forms of aquatic life. ‘Cash’ means U.S. and foreign coin and currenccy and a cashier’s check, bank draft, traveler’s checks, or money order.”