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4 Answers

Flight training and taxes

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Instrument Rating, Private Pilot, Student Pilot

About to do my taxes and was woundering if anyone knew if I ccould write off my flight school? What about books? Fuel?

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4 Answers



  1. Gary Moore on Jan 14, 2013

    Well – you should totally consult your tax consultant – but – NO

    🙂

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  2. Jonathan Seitz on Jan 14, 2013

    Definitely consult your accountant. There are some instances where flight school would be deductible, but there are very strict circumstances surrounding that. I deducted a lot of my flight training, but I went to a flight training university, so a lot of that was rolled into student loans. There are plenty of CPAs who are pilots or specialize in flight expenses, I am sure you can find one who can help you out.

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  3. Jonathan Seitz on Jan 14, 2013

    Gary’s right about asking an accountant, but the blatant no is not correct. There are some instances where it could be deductible, such as job training, as part of a university education, etc. I wwent to a flight training university and then into a flying career, so I have deducted many flying expenses. Just be careful what you try to deduct, and MAKE SURE you consult a CPA or CCA. There are plenty of accountants who are familiar with aviation, I am sure you can find a good one.

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  4. LTCTerry on Jan 15, 2013

    The answer might be different if you are enrolled in an aviation program at a college/university, but if you are going to a flight school somewhere or the local FBO it’s easy – no.

    The IRS will not let you deduct expenses if it qualifies you for a new job. Training for commercial certificate is not deductible because it qualifies you to fly for a living – a new job. What most of us thing of as “adding on CFI…” is considered by the IRS to be a new job – instructor – not commercial pilot. This is backed up somewhat in the FARs by the fact you can be paid to instruct w/o a second class medical or, as a sport pilot, without even a commercial certificate.

    If you are actively working as a CFI, then CFI-I and -MEI are likely deductible. If you do all three all at once, probably not.

    If you are actively working as a commercial pilot, then training related to being a better, more capable commercial pilot is deductible.

    So, if you are a working commercial glider pilot, then adding on Commercial Power is deductible. If you are a CFI-G then adding on CFI (A) is deductible.

    The above is my paraphrase from a CPA who makes his money dealing with nothing but pilots and mariners.

    You can be a glider instructor with 25 hours, so become a CFI-G and work your way through ratings. The power ones are then deductible…

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