It *might* be if you are doing it under some circumstances, I would check the FAR's, maybe someone on here knows, but it would have to be some really weird circumstances. If your just doing it for recreation, no it's not tax deductable.
There are also some interesting things that happen once you have a Commercial Certificate. That is, just about everything is deductable. Our accountant is SUPER conservative and is a-ok with writing off anything aviation related once a Commercial is in hand. This includes AOPA membership, new ratings, proficiency flights, etc.
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If you take out a home equity loan in order to pay for your flight training, then it's tax deductible.
[/ QUOTE ]Negative, Ghostrider. The interest you'd pay is deductible, but not the amount spent on your training. As others have said, flight training is deductible only if it's in furtherance of your occupation, which doesn't necessarily limit it to if you're already a professional pilot. A traveling salesman could deduct flight training expenses (except for the commercial rating) as it would reasonably further his sales business. Air traffic controllers have been successful with the deduction as well, as knowing what the other side is like improves their ability to do their job. The caveat is that the training cannot prepare you for a different job, which is why training for a commercial certificate isn't deductible as it qualifies you for employment as a pilot. That said, if you're already a professional pilot--for example, a CFI--you could deduct the cost of your multiengine rating or MEI/CFII add-on to your flight instructor ticket. Realistically speaking, however, a CFI isn't going to be making the kind of dough where itemizing would make sense.
I believe that you can claim your expenses (licenses and ratings) as a continuing education credit, not a deduction. It does not give you all that much (about 1500 I believe) but it helps. I guess the difference is that you are getting a credit and not a deduction (I know that one is confusing). Otherwise, once you get your commercial, everything is free game. Also if you took money out on a student loan, the interest should be deductible under the new tax laws as relates to educational expenses.
However, as has already been stated by others, unless you are itemizing it is not worth the headache. So if you have a mortgage, 2nd mortgage, spouse, etc.... than it is worth looking into. If not, you will probably do better with the standard deductions.
Now that I have put that out there, has anyone talked to an accountant (aviation) on this issue. Problem is most accountants don't deal with this and all seem to have their own interpretation on these issues anyway.
I hardly ever make enough (even with the wife's income) to both itemizing. As far as accounting, I have to take financial accounting from Riddle Distance Learning to get my BS. I'm SURE this topic will come up.