Help with IRS

Nassera Berlin

New Member
hello, my name is Nassera berlin and I have been working on my CFI for over a year. The expenses are high a big burden. The IRS recently audited us and denied all my training expenses, saying they did NOT advance my career, which is insane, CFI is definatey a path to higher things,. I need letters from professionals pilot who may have used being a CFI to advance to the regional or corporate world. I have worked very very hard and this tax burden is not right and hurting my family. If any professional pilot could write a letter on my behalf starting that CFI is necessary and an advance to ones aviation career I would be grateful. OI am appealing the IRS in a few weeks, thanks in Advance for anyones help, Nassera Berlin , nasseraberlin@gmail.com or can send to my husband Daniel , danodiver@aol.com
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
My accountant probably wouldn't allow me to write that off either.

Naturally you can write anything off you like to, but the IRS may vehemently disagree.

Like I want to deduct parking and she's always "Hell, it's a grey area for commuters, I'm not putting my name on that" :)
 

A Life Aloft

Well-Known Member
hello, my name is Nassera berlin and I have been working on my CFI for over a year. The expenses are high a big burden. The IRS recently audited us and denied all my training expenses, saying they did NOT advance my career, which is insane, CFI is definatey a path to higher things,. I need letters from professionals pilot who may have used being a CFI to advance to the regional or corporate world. I have worked very very hard and this tax burden is not right and hurting my family. If any professional pilot could write a letter on my behalf starting that CFI is necessary and an advance to ones aviation career I would be grateful. OI am appealing the IRS in a few weeks, thanks in Advance for anyones help, Nassera Berlin , nasseraberlin@gmail.com or can send to my husband Daniel , danodiver@aol.com
The IRS is not going to care about any letters from pilots on an internet forum, believe me. The time to seek advice/help should have been in hiring a professional CPA who is familiar and experienced with aviation careers, to properly prepare your taxes and answer your questions, upfront......not after you are getting an audit from the fact that you either prepared the taxes yourself or you had someone do them who has no clue what they are doing. If you had hired a professional, they would also be representing you with the IRS during any queries or audits, also. It simply doesn't pay in the long run to dink around and think you are saving money by not hiring a professional CPA. Besides, you can deduct 100% of what they charge you to fully prepare your taxes anyways.

What you should do now is seek out such a professional and have them go over/examine your taxes that you have already filed and see what they can do for you in the time remaining before your appeal. You really should not attempt to deal with the IRS on your own.
 
Last edited:

dustoff17

Well-Known Member
The problem with what you're trying to do is that there are millions of pilots that advanced their careers without a CFI. That means that, while a CFI is nice, it is not a "necessity".

+1 on the CPA!! I've used one for years. The fee is a bargain at twice the price!!!
 

Acrofox

All dragon~
hello, my name is Nassera berlin and I have been working on my CFI for over a year. The expenses are high a big burden. The IRS recently audited us and denied all my training expenses, saying they did NOT advance my career, which is insane, CFI is definatey a path to higher things,. I need letters from professionals pilot who may have used being a CFI to advance to the regional or corporate world. I have worked very very hard and this tax burden is not right and hurting my family. If any professional pilot could write a letter on my behalf starting that CFI is necessary and an advance to ones aviation career I would be grateful. OI am appealing the IRS in a few weeks, thanks in Advance for anyones help, Nassera Berlin , nasseraberlin@gmail.com or can send to my husband Daniel , danodiver@aol.com
Good luck with your appeal, but you're fighting ample precedent. The IRS has continually held that "commercial" and "CFI" are separate, and that one does not contribute to the other, unlike, say, a multi-engine addon to a commercial certificate.

If you dump a whole lot of money and lawyers at it, you might get that long-standing policy overturned... but most likely you're not going to win.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that most of the people on this forum were unable to write off much, if any, of their training.

Personally, I would suggest going back in time and doing a few web searches on the subject before trying to claim your training expenses—there's plenty of information out there from pretty much every source.

-Fox
 

NickH

Uber Driver
Good luck with your appeal, but you're fighting ample precedent. The IRS has continually held that "commercial" and "CFI" are separate, and that one does not contribute to the other, unlike, say, a multi-engine addon to a commercial certificate.

If you dump a whole lot of money and lawyers at it, you might get that long-standing policy overturned... but most likely you're not going to win.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that most of the people on this forum were unable to write off much, if any, of their training.

Personally, I would suggest going back in time and doing a few web searches on the subject before trying to claim your training expenses—there's plenty of information out there from pretty much every source.

-Fox
If you were working as a CFI, then I could see Multi and MEI if completed at the same time, being deductable. Maybe.
 

DE727UPS

Well-Known Member
I agree on seeking professional help. I had done my own taxes for years and thought it was pretty simple. So, we are cruising along and the F/O is complaining about the IRS and taxes. He says "Don, you hit the AMT right". I had heard of it but didn't really know what it was. You should have seen the look on his face. I got a CPA to review my taxes and I was supposed to be paying this AMT thing for a while. We did an amended return for the previous year and she said the year before that it was such a small amount to not worry about it. Wrote the IRS a check and never heard another word. CPA does my taxes now.....
 

Bob Ridpath

Pit Bull love
I also note that professional help is CRUCIAL to resolving tax issues. My problems were of my own making. The cost of a tax attorney both resolved the issue I'd allowed to develop, and brought immense, amazing peace-of-mind in "this" moment and for the future. There was a financial cost to my sloth, but that price was FAR less than the IRS and NYS were seeking, despite the cost of the professional.

The IRS (and state tax agencies) are NOT working to resolve issues in your favor. While you can try to negotiate with them yourself, or work out a payment plan; I'll tell you that my personal experience is that an advocate working FOR you is a better option.

If you have a need, my encouragement would be to consult a local tax professional. The cost of a consult can provide tremendous insight and direction. A retainer can both save you money and, potentially, your freedom

Don't fart around.
 

FlyingAccountant

Well-Known Member
#1. Absolutely seek the advice of a CPA. Now that you're being audited, this is an absolute must.

#2. There are two tests the IRS uses to determine what can be deducted as a work expense, but the phrase you're interested in is minimum education required. The idea being, that since the certificate and your flight training is the bare minimum of what you would need to be a CFI, it's non-deductible.

As others have said, it seems like there's plenty of precedent here working against you, so I wouldn't even bother trying to fight it. I'd wager the IRS has seen this same case thousands of times before and you're not going to do any better than they did. Enlist the help of a good CPA, amend your taxes if needed, and play nice with the IRS and they could cut you a nice settlement vs what your tax liability actually is.
 

texas_pilot

Well-Known Member
The IRS is not going to care about any letters from pilots on an internet forum, believe me. The time to seek advice/help should have been in hiring a professional CPA who is familiar and experienced with aviation careers, to properly prepare your taxes and answer your questions, upfront......not after you are getting an audit from the fact that you either prepared the taxes yourself or you had someone do them who has no clue what they are doing. If you had hired a professional, they would also be representing you with the IRS during any queries or audits, also. It simply doesn't pay in the long run to dink around and think you are saving money by not hiring a professional CPA. Besides, you can deduct 100% of what they charge you to fully prepare your taxes anyways.

What you should do now is seek out such a professional and have them go over/examine your taxes that you have already filed and see what they can do for you in the time remaining before your appeal.

You really should not attempt to deal with the IRS on your own!!!!
What he said!

I got blindsided early one morning at the IRS office-$18,000 later, I will never talk to one of those A$$hats again - hire the help, it's cheaper
 
Last edited by a moderator:

A Life Aloft

Well-Known Member
I am telling you, people fear the IRS more than cancer. There's a reason for that! They will take your damn underwear if they want to. Just ask Redd Foxx. lol They took all of his cars, his home, his bank accounts and all of his belongings/furnishings. They left him a bed. Probably because all of the moving vans were full.

The penalties and interest alone that they slap you with are far higher than Fat Tony the loan shark would charge.
 
Last edited:

dustoff17

Well-Known Member
Pretty sad that breast enhancement surgery for a stripper IS deductible but a CFI is NOT! Guess it depends on the add-on, huh?

Not complaining about the end result, just think it's a bit inconsistent on the part of the IRS.
 

A Life Aloft

Well-Known Member
Pretty sad that breast enhancement surgery for a stripper IS deductible but a CFI is NOT! Guess it depends on the add-on, huh?

Not complaining about the end result, just think it's a bit inconsistent on the part of the IRS.
Who do you think that most government employees and politicians spend their time with? It ain't pilots.
 
Last edited:
D

Deleted member 27505

Guest
hello, my name is Nassera berlin and I have been working on my CFI for over a year. The expenses are high a big burden. The IRS recently audited us and denied all my training expenses, saying they did NOT advance my career, which is insane, CFI is definatey a path to higher things,. I need letters from professionals pilot who may have used being a CFI to advance to the regional or corporate world. I have worked very very hard and this tax burden is not right and hurting my family. If any professional pilot could write a letter on my behalf starting that CFI is necessary and an advance to ones aviation career I would be grateful. OI am appealing the IRS in a few weeks, thanks in Advance for anyones help, Nassera Berlin , nasseraberlin@gmail.com or can send to my husband Daniel , danodiver@aol.com
Sorry, not being able to deduct many training expenses has been pretty well established for some time. I'm not saying I concur, just saying you're likely going to have a very tough time fighting it. But, hey, it's a brave new world now, so... ??
 
D

Deleted member 27505

Guest
The IRS is not going to care about any letters from pilots on an internet forum, believe me. The time to seek advice/help should have been in hiring a professional CPA who is familiar and experienced with aviation careers, to properly prepare your taxes and answer your questions, upfront......not after you are getting an audit from the fact that you either prepared the taxes yourself or you had someone do them who has no clue what they are doing. If you had hired a professional, they would also be representing you with the IRS during any queries or audits, also. It simply doesn't pay in the long run to dink around and think you are saving money by not hiring a professional CPA. Besides, you can deduct 100% of what they charge you to fully prepare your taxes anyways.

What you should do now is seek out such a professional and have them go over/examine your taxes that you have already filed and see what they can do for you in the time remaining before your appeal. You really should not attempt to deal with the IRS on your own.
I don't disagree with the general arc of your statement. However, most CPAs who prepare individuals' personal tax returns use Turbo Tax or HRBlock or similar. Used properly and conscientiously, those programs -especially HRB- will keep one pretty safe... perhaps even safer than one really wants to be - given current audit distributions.


Pretty sad that breast enhancement surgery for a stripper IS deductible but a CFI is NOT! Guess it depends on the add-on, huh?

Not complaining about the end result, just think it's a bit inconsistent on the part of the IRS.
Why the shock and awe?!? Everybody loves boobies!
 

A Life Aloft

Well-Known Member
I don't disagree with the general arc of your statement. However, most CPAs who prepare individuals' personal tax returns use Turbo Tax or HRBlock or similar. Used properly and conscientiously, those programs -especially HRB- will keep one pretty safe... perhaps even safer than one really wants to be - given current audit distributions.
My CPA did my taxes when I was still flying the line. She uses her own software plus she has to modify and make adjustments by hand. (on her computer system obviously) to my taxes. She knows what is allowable and what isn't. She knows/understands what can be pushed and what so be left alone as not being worth it. She's savvy on what triggers the red flags with the IRS. She can answer all of my questions and takes care of any issues and also advises me. She set up a system for me on my computer where I keep track of everything and make my entries throughout the year. She taught me all the basics of general bookkeeping when I started a charter business and did those taxes, payroll, etc., for me and worked with my business attorney.

So besides our personal taxes, now that I have dissolved that business and sold it's assets, she now handles the small personal trust, foundation and non profit that we set up for our charitable activities. She strictly handles a a variety of business tax work and some professional individual's taxes.

I had a friend (another pilot who had some side business/ventures) that was using her at the time and that is how I got her. She's been with me for decades now. She's wonderful. If you are a professional and have to file a lot of schedules, have a variety of assets and perhaps some side ventures, and other streams of income, you just are far better off with someone who keeps abreast of all the constant changes to the various tax laws and regulations and most importantly, who will also appear for you/represent you if you ever do have an audit.
 
Top