The UK government is considering a demand from the European Commission (EC) that it change its tax legislation to remove an exemption from value added tax (VAT) for privately operated aircraft weighing more than 8,000 kg (17,636 pounds). On June 25 the EC “formally requested” through a so-called “reasoned opinion” that Britain bring its VAT rules into line with those of the 27-state European Union.
A 21-day sales tax exemption provision for out-of-state residents bringing newly purchased aircraft into Florida failed to pass the Florida Legislature last month. The bill passed the state’s House in late April, but the Senate refused to hear the bill based upon language that “allegedly created a negative revenue impact on the state budget.”
• Normal Congressional activities came to a screeching halt in late September and early October as the legislature turned its attention to deciding what to do about the nation’s financial crisis. A lot of midnight oil was burned by a host of instant money experts. First the House rejected a $700 billion bill, then the Senate worked out a compromise, passed that bill and sent it on to the House, where it was accepted and passed.
Several U.S. operators of business aircraft report that they have received invoices this week from NavCanada for a retroactive 5-percent goods and services tax (GST) on air navigation service charges. The Canadian Revenue Authority (CRA) has assessed the tax to NavCanada, which is attempting to recover payments from aircraft operators who have flown in its airspace in the last five years, the length of the statute of limitations.
The business aviation downturn will last at least another year or two but there is still plenty of room for good deal-making, according to financial advisors First Equity. Director of investment banking Brett Pogany told NBAA Convention News that new aircraft sales are being stifled by “negative factors” such as supply pressure from a strong pre-owned market.
Valued-added taxes (VAT) may now amount to 25 percent of a jet fuel purchase in some parts of Europe. But that’s the bad news. The good news is that in most cases this tax may be refunded, as may VAT levied on many other business-
related goods and service expenses incurred by company employees traveling abroad.
Prodded by perceived FAA failings and the threat of summer air travel delays, the Senate Transportation and Finance Committees reached agreement late last week on how to fund the FAA for the next four years. If the bill is approved by the full Senate today, it is expected to keep avgas taxes at the current rate of 19.3 cents per gallon but increase jet fuel taxes to 36 cents per gallon, up from 21.8 cents.
Conklin & de Decker last month released the 2008 State Tax Guide for General Aviation. The guide contains the latest taxes and fees for all 50 states, as well as sales and use tax applicable to aircraft sales, ownership, lease, parts and labor.
The Senate last week passed the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act (the “Highway Bill”), which authorizes surface transportation spending through fiscal year 2009. The legislation includes two provisions that could affect business aviation if signed into law, according to NBAA.
NBAA and the National Air Transportation Association are creating a joint working group to address the fuel tax provisions of the Highway Bill that was signed by the President earlier this month. “Of particular concern is that taxes on jet fuel will be assessed at the diesel fuel rate [24.4 cents per gallon instead of the 21.9-cent per-gallon jet fuel rate] and deposited into the Highway Trust Fund,” NBAA said.