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Hunting, fishing, and… filing

IRS 1040 tax return

We’ve just passed tax season. In April, many of our listeners – like, we suspect, many of our supporters – were busy gathering their paperwork and mailing off their returns.

For some in our region, however, it’s not just a matter of breaking out the calculator and double-checking their W-2 and 1040.

Non-cash income, as KNOM reporter Zachariah Hughes recently reported, figures into the tax returns of rural Alaskans who, like many in KNOM’s listening area, lead a subsistence lifestyle. Subsistence has long been an issue of vital importance both to Western Alaskans and to KNOM’s news department, since traditional hunting, fishing, and food gathering is so central to the culture of our region. (Ongoing debates about the scope and limits of subsistence rights are a regular staple of KNOM news.)

Zach’s report on the tax implications of subsistence took him to the community of Savoonga (suh-VOON-guh), Alaska, and it delved into some interesting questions: if a large portion of one’s “income” is, say, walrus meat and ivory, is that reported on a tax return?

To hear Zach’s report, listen to our Update News broadcast for March 21st, 2014.

As always, thank you for making this reporting possible!

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Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that KNOM Radio Mission is located on the customary lands of Indigenous peoples. 

Based in the Bering Strait region, KNOM broadcasts throughout the homelands of the Iñupiaq, Siberian Yup’ik, Cup’ik and Yup’ik peoples.