Tax Expert: Smart Parts Sales Tax Not Unusual

 - April 7, 2010, 10:20 AM

Although some operators expressed concern because Bombardier has begun charging sales tax for parts covered under its Smart Parts program, this is a fairly normal requirement, according to tax expert Nel Stubbs, vice president of Conklin & de Decker. “If an aircraft is based in a state that has a sales/use tax,” she explained, “and the part is brought into that state and installed on an aircraft, that state’s tax rules apply. There can be exemptions, such as a [Part] 135 exemption.” One California operator told AIN that the newly assessed taxes added extra costs that his flight department hadn’t budgeted. In California, businesses and individuals are required to pay a use tax equal to their local sales tax on physical merchandise purchased from out of state, whether the purchases are made online or via other methods. So, technically, California-based Smart Parts buyers should have been paying taxes on those parts all along.