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Aircraft Operations & Law

Aircraft operators can control liability exposure through ownership structures, contractual agreements, insurance, and ensuring compliance with FAA regulations. How you plan for liability protection will often provide protection for key corporate and personal assets.

Owning and operating a business aircraft can serve as an incredible time saver, connecting you to your products, clients, colleagues and project more effectively and efficiently. However, those clear skies can get significantly more troubled when an IRS audit requires your full time and attention. While there is no way to insulate yourself from the possibility that the IRS will choose to examine your business aircraft, the following are a few simple steps that may decrease the likelihood of examination, or make any resulting exam less painful and disruptive to your business operations.

  • Structure the transaction correctly from the beginning
  • File appropriate elections to group
  • Keep contemporaneous logs and use them for disallowance calculations reflected on the return

There is no magic bullet that insulates you from undergoing a tax audit, or that makes a personal aircraft that is outside a business context tax deductible. The above information, however, provides a few concrete steps that you can take to help ensure that the business aircraft that you are operating continues to make business easier and more efficient, rather a source of a headache with the IRS.

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Small Piston Comprehensive Service Agreement

For Piston Aircraft with a gross takeoff weight of less than 6,000 lbs and costing less than $500,000 – $3,000 per year

Large Piston Comprehensive Service Agreement

For Piston Aircraft with a gross takeoff weight of more than 6,000 lbs or costing more than $500,000 – $5,000 per year

Small Turboprop Comprehensive Service Agreement

For Turboprop Aircraft with a gross takeoff weight of less than 12,500 lbs, and not subject to “truth in leasing” – $7,500 per year

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