I recently attended the NBAA Business Aviation Taxes Seminar on May 4th in Denver, CO. I wanted to briefly write about how good I thought the program was. It was very well attended and had great topics and speakers. These continuing education opportunities hosted by NBAA are great ways to earn CPE/CLE credits and freshen up on the issues surrounding taxes and regulations facing Business Aviation. These are constantly evolving issues and it is important to stay informed. Denver has a robust Business Aviation community and it was nice to have an event locally to attend.
Topics of discussion ranged from structuring aircraft operations to pre-purchase tax planning to personal use strategies to candidate and lobbying transportation. In an election year, this last one provided very interesting information. Due to the Jack Abromoff lobbying scandal several years ago rules have tightened dramatically and there is an almost complete ban on providing non-commercial aircraft as a gift to members of Congress or Presidential candidates. Presidential and U.S. Senate candidates are now required to pay full charter rates for the use of non-commercial aircraft, as opposed to previous rules allowing a first-class ticket reimbursement rate. This makes private aircraft very expensive for Senate candidates, but especially Presidential candidates who travel the entire country for months on end campaigning. These trips are also subject to Federal Excise Taxes (FET). This is just some of the information gleaned from this seminar.
Although we are not tax advisors for our clients, continuing to stay educated and informed on the constantly changing tax and regulatory issues facing Business Aviation is such an important element to providing the level of service we strive for with all of our clients. If we know of an issue that is evolving in these regards we can certainly bring it to our client’s attention and advise them to seek further outside council. Our firm is committed to attending these seminars and we thank NBAA for working so hard to provide them for us and the entire Business Aviation community.