Tax Issues for Airplane Purchases: Planning Strategies, Tax Reform Changes, Federal Excise Tax, State Taxes

An encore presentation with live Q&A.

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE/CPE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Thursday, November 5, 2020

Recorded event now available

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Program Materials

This CLE/CPE webinar will outline guidance to tax attorneys and advisers on the impact of the 2017 tax reform on business aircraft purchases and ownership. The panel will discuss available planning options for purchases and ownership, reduced or eliminated tax deductions, and opportunities for tax savings, the federal air transportation and fuel excise taxes, and methods to minimize state income, sales, and use taxes.


The purchase and ownership of business aircraft comes with significant federal, state and local tax implications but can also offer opportunities for optimum tax benefits with careful planning. Tax attorneys and advisers must recognize the impact of key tax provisions on business airplane purchases and ownership and implement tax planning techniques to ensure the best results for taxpayers.

New bonus depreciation rules allow an immediate 100% deduction of the purchase price of a new or used airplane. However, taxpayers will no longer receive income tax deferral benefits from like-kind exchanges of aircraft. Also, business entertainment use of an aircraft is no longer deductible, which could potentially diminish the business value of owning an airplane. Current owners or potential buyers of business use airplanes, and their tax counsel, must wade through the numerous changes and complexities of the TCJA of 2017 to determine their impact on business ownership of an aircraft.

In addition to these tax reform changes, tax counsel and owners must consider the hobby loss rules, personal use calculations, and federal excise taxes along with many other federal tax issues. Advisers must also address state sales tax and state income tax differences.

Listen as our panel of experts discusses the tax considerations of owning an airplane and critical issues stemming from tax reform changes. The panel will offer strategies for minimizing upfront state and excise taxes and on-going concerns, including imputing personal use and avoiding classification as a hobby loss.



  1. Tax treatment of aircraft ownership under current tax law
  2. Key planning techniques to maximize tax benefits
  3. Application of the federal fuel and air transportation excise taxes
  4. Navigating state sales tax issues


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are the key considerations in structuring an aircraft purchase?
  • What are the most effective methods in calculating travel, meals, and entertainment deductions?
  • How can you determine state sales tax liability?
  • What are the hobby loss rules and traps to avoid after tax reform?

An encore presentation with live Q&A.


Rolf, Troy
Troy A. Rolf


Mr. Rolf is an aviation and tax attorney concentrating in the areas of corporate aircraft transactions and operations....  |  Read More

Younger, Christopher
Christopher B. Younger


Mr. Younger focuses his legal practice on business aircraft transactions as well as issues relating to federal and...  |  Read More

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Strafford will process CLE credit for one person on each recording. CPE credit is not available on recordings. All formats include program handouts.

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