Member Guide

AOPA member services that keep you flying

March 1, 2011

ANSWERS FOR PILOTS: Tax breaks for business-use aircraft

On December 17, 2010, Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 that became the second tax bill in 2010 to extend bonus depreciation for new aircraft purchasers whose aircraft will be used at least 50 percent for business in 2011. A September bill had already extended 50-percent bonus depreciation for the 2010 tax year, and the December bill allows a 100-percent bonus depreciation for the 2011 tax year for aircraft placed in service after September 8, 2010.

In addition, 50-percent bonus depreciation is available on any new aircraft purchased in 2012, and certain larger aircraft might carry this benefit on a new purchase that has a 2013 placement-in-service date. Bonus depreciation also applies to new avionics, new or factory-certified remanufactured engines, or any new major component on an existing business aircraft. Again, this applies to aircraft used at least 50 percent for business purposes.

Used aircraft, as well as new aircraft used at least 50 percent for business, may benefit from the December tax bill, as it extends IRS Section 179 expensing options into 2012. The September bill had already provided the Section 179 expensing option of 100 percent of the first $500,000 of purchase cost up to a $2 million purchase price, for 2010 and for 2011. The new bill extends Section 179 expensing at 100 percent of the first $125,000 of purchase cost up to a $500,000 purchase price, for 2012. New and used equipment added to existing aircraft can also be expensed under this Section 179 option.

Read more in AOPA’s online Answers for Pilots. AOPA does not provide individualized tax advice; you’ll need to contact a tax professional for that, and we can help you find one. Give AOPA a call Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern, 800-USA-AOPA (872-2672).

Renter’s insurance: Coverage is more affordable than ever

Selecting the right level of insurance for your needs can be daunting, especially if you’re a renter and unsure of the value of the aircraft you fly or the likely cost of repairs. How can you make the best decision while keeping your premiums affordable?

The AOPA Insurance Agency has simplified the process for you by offering comprehensive packages starting as low as $99, making it easy and more affordable than ever to obtain coverage.

As an AOPA member you will get a 5-percent discount and may also qualify for a 10-percent discount at renewal (for claims-free records). Revenue from this program also helps AOPA offer additional benefits and funds important GA initiatives.

Take this opportunity to review your renter’s insurance limits and visit us online or call 800-622-AOPA (2672).

Support GA in a whole new way with the AOPA Lifestyles Collection

Make your commitment to general aviation this year with a $2,500 gift to the AOPA Foundation and receive AOPA membership for life. You can join more than 1,300 aviators who are AOPA Life Members and receive:

  • A $2,000 charitable tax-deduction benefit.
  • Free AOPA membership for life in appreciation of your significant commitment to GA safety.
  • An AOPA Life Member certificate, special identification card, and exclusive lapel pin to distinguish you as a leading supporter of aviation safety.

The generosity and dedication of AOPA Life Members allows the AOPA Foundation to perform its vital work to improve pilot training, keep our skies accident free—and, most important of all, support the future of general aviation.

For more information on how to become an AOPA Life Member, go online or call 800-955-9115.

AOPA Membership Services and Products

AOPA
421 AVIATION WAY
FREDERICK, MARYLAND 21701

TOLL-FREE PILOT INFORMATION CENTER
Call 800/USA-AOPA (872-2672)
Click www.aopa.org

NEW ADDRESS?
Send your new address and AOPA membership number to:
AOPA, 421 Aviation Way, Frederick, Maryland 21701-4798
Fax 301/695-2375
Click www.aopa.org/coa-form.html

AOPA AIR SAFETY FOUNDATION
Call 800/638-3101
Click www.aopa.org/asf/

AOPA CREDIT CARD PROGRAM
Call 800/523-7666
Click www.aopa.org/info/cc/

AOPA AIRCRAFT INSURANCE
Call 800/622-AOPA (622-2672)
Click www.aopa.org/aircraftinsurance.html

AOPA LEGAL SERVICES PLAN
Call 800/USA-AOPA (872-2672)
Click www.aopa.org/legalservices.html

AOPA ONLINE TRAVEL
Click www.aopa.org/travel/

OTHER AOPA MEMBER PRODUCTS
Call 800/USA-AOPA (872-2672)
Click www.aopa.org/memberproducts/

Kathy Dondzila

Kathy Dondzila | Manager, Technical Communications, Pilot Information Center

Technical Communications Manager, Kathy Dondzila, joined AOPA in 1990 and is an instrument-rated private pilot.