Tax advantages could make this an ideal time to buy

October 23, 2008

If you’ve been thinking of owning an airplane for business use, there may be no better time than now to make your move. There are excellent tax benefits for those who use an airplane for business and, if you’ve got good credit, you can find some real bargains.

Slow sales of piston aircraft combined with worries about economic conditions have created strong availability at reasonable prices. And, with insurance and fuel costs declining in recent weeks, your cost to own is falling.

Under the 2008 economic stimulus package, buyers of aircraft that will be used at least 51 percent for business can benefit from Section 179 expensing up to $250,000, and you can take 50-percent bonus depreciation in the first year of ownership for new aircraft costing at least $200,000—an amount that does not count toward the threshold for the alternative minimum tax. And, in some cases, you can take full advantage of these benefits if you sign a purchase contract this year, even if you won’t take delivery of your new airplane until 2009. The IRS also is proposing improvement to leasing business passive activity revenue grouping. Be sure to ask your tax professional how current tax laws would apply to your purchase.

Learn more about how AOPA can help you with the purchase of a new or used aircraft  or find out more about current tax advantages by calling the experts in AOPA’s Pilot Information Center at 800/USA-AOPA (872-2672).

Elizabeth Tennyson

Elizabeth A Tennyson | Director of Government Affairs and Executive Communications, AOPA

Director of Government Affairs and Executive Communications Elizabeth Tennyson joined AOPA in 1998, the same year she earned her private pilot certificate. She also holds an instrument rating and enjoys jumping out of planes almost as much as flying them.