Tax laws that affect business aircraft owners are constantly changing, and a new law this year makes the process of complying with these tax laws even more complex. Dean Sonderegger, director of product management at Bloomberg BNA Software, explained the new law and how his company’s software helps owners keep track of tax implications to ensure that they meet the legal requirements and don’t pay more tax than is necessary.
Accelerated depreciation for private aircraft became a hot topic again this past June when President Obama repeatedly cited it as a prime example of special tax breaks for the rich he wanted to eliminate.
President Bush signed an economic stimulus plan on February 13 that extends bonus depreciation for new aircraft purchased and placed in service through next year. The legislation makes it possible for purchasers who plan to use their aircraft primarily for trade or business purposes, and thereby qualify for MACRS accelerated depreciation, to write off 50 percent of the purchase price during the first year of ownership.
The $168 billion economic stimulus plan President Bush signed yesterday includes a provision that alters section 168(k) of the Internal Revenue Code to allow buyers of factory-new aircraft to take the bonus depreciation for aircraft that will be used more than 50 percent of the time for business purposes and are placed in service this year and, in many cases, next year. Minimum value of aircraft that fall into section 168(k) is $200,000.
At the NBAA Convention last month, credit for a recent increase in used aircraft sales was frequently given to the bonus depreciation benefit that is part of the Jobs and Growth Tax Relieve Reconciliation Act that went into effect this year. “It has already been a boost to used aircraft sales, and it is going to affect new aircraft sales,” said a sales executive at the convention.