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TAX - and claiming your plane

Guest Fred Bear

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Guest Fred Bear

Gents and ladies,


I visited my accountant this morning (by aircraft) and spoke at length about claiming the use of my aircraft work work purposes. I had him do some research for me after previously asking him to.


In summary, if you are employed by someone (a company lets say) and you use your aircraft for work, you will need to be backed by your company to say that you needed to use your aircraft for the purposes of saving significant amounts of time, or a similar "worthy" excuse.


The first question they would ask is apparently "why didn't you just use your car." - if you don't have an answer for this or a valid reason, you will struggle to claim legally. Short of demo flights, flying lessons etc for an aviation related business, apparently claiming for work use rarely takes place. There are a limited number of businesses where time is so important that it warrants taking an aircraft.


It's all a little grey for my liking.... I would be interested to know if someone else has already claimed their aircraft operating costs and under what pretence.





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Guest Mullokintyre

Clem, I am part owner of a Piper Comanche and all three of us members have claimed aircraft usage at some time. One of our number regularly does business in wineries in South Australia. Its basically two full days driving. However, he can fly there in three hours. Another guy is a printer and has clients throughout NSW. he often flies to amore than one airport in a day and is home before dark. Otherwise if he drove, it would be a three day trip. My wife does locums in out of the way places(shes a pharmacist). I fly her there. She could drive herself, but this is not always easy. last year she had alocum in Olympic dam. She would have had to drive to melbourne, catch a flight to Adelaide, then aregional flight to Olympic dam. A whole day gone. I flew he over in four hours at only slightly higher cost. The secret is not to be greedy in your costings.


One of our aeroclub memebrs was a project manager on aq large abbatoirs and feedlot near Wagga. he often flew up there for a days work , rather than driving and getting only half a days work in as well as having to stay overnight.


Another pilot I know whose wife is a real estate agent will often take potenntial purchasers up in the aircraft. They think its cool, and gives them a good overall view of the property. Perfectly acceptable to the Tax man. part of doing business. If your time is valuable, it should not be a problem.


Good Luck.





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Guest Fred Bear

Ok, all sounds fair thanks.


Seems as though it's purely time related and the value there-of.


Thus if you didn't have a car at all, flying wouldn't be deductible, if that makes sense.



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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest DRickett

The article "Financial Roulette & the Tax Office" on page 74 of the latest edition (July/August 2006) of Australian Flying is very relevant to this topic. Short, one page, discusses a recent case which involved owners of a yacht, but as the author states it has "wider ramifications" and is "a forerunner of a wider net that will be cast by the Commissioner of Taxation because it has been a major victory for him and it will provide the energy to press ahead in other areas".


To give you the gist of the article, here are a couple of important quotes:


"What was at the heart of this matter was whether a deduction is allowable for expenses incurred where there is a reasonable doubt about the purpose for which the asset has been purchased and used."


"The Court took the view that there was an absence of credible commercial rationale for the acquisition of the yacht."


"This case has significant ramifications for anybody with an aircraft 'on-line' and careful re-examination of what is being done should immediately be undertaken by those who could be affected".







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It seems to me that if, as an example, you were required to travel to a destination on business and you decided to use your private aircraft instead of driving or flying with a commercial carrier, you could then claim the alternative cost, at an ATO agreed car allowance or the cost of commercial flights etc (& maybe even overnight accommodation if dictated by commercial timetables).


But it would be a stretch to claim all costs associated with a private aircraft unless it is used 100% commercially.


RegardsA Bush Lawyer



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