Tax Question


Well-Known Member
I know this question has come up, but I have never really heard an answer. After receiving your private license, my understanding is that if you intend on becoming a commercial pilot, your ratings after private are tax deductible.

Anyone with any experience on this?
in general no. (perhaps if you lost your job and had "retraining" benefits)

If you have your Comml, and get hired and as a requirement for that job specifically, for example:they required you to pay for your own type rating. that is a pre employment conditional expense. not all too different than moving expenses to get that job.

I do not know if in the example above you would be able to deduct it all or only part of it, but that is why we pay someone to do our taxes.
I am no expert but from what I've heard you can deduct for your CFII and MEI after you have your CFI because you are increasing your qualifications for the job. I don't believe you can write off everything after your private.

Like Eagle said, I'd talk to a tax lawyer to be sure.
Eagle is correct, or he used to be anyway. I was always told that required training after I was a commercial pilot could be deducted as a business expense.

However! There are some new re-employment programs that have been put in by Bush and company that may allow you to deduct the cost of re-training for an airline career, even if you haven't lost your job due to 9/11!

I know of at least one person who successfully deducted his ATA costs as well as the cost for a B737 type rating, and he still does not have an airline job!!!

Others have told me you may be required to show viability, etc. On the whole it seems to be something worth investigating. Contact the IRS for an official answer of course!
Generally, any expenses incurred that qualifies you for a new job are not tax deductible. Therefore, costs to obtain a commercial pilot certificate or the initial flight instructor certificate will not be deductible. However, there are ways to deduct flight training expenses.

If you are pursuing an aviation degree in college you will get a tax credit (up to a max of $2,000 per year) for costs associated with that degree--including flight training expenses.

If your job requires substantial travel and you can justify the costs of traveling in your personal aircraft, expenses to acquire your private pilot certificate and instrument rating can be deducted as a business expense. This will include costs to maintain proficiency (flight review, recurrent training, etc) and business use of your aircraft.

Once you obtain your commercial/flight instructor certificates, and are employed in the field of aviation, any reasonable expenses associated with maintaining and improving your skills can be deducted. For example, adding additional ratings (including type ratings), medicals, charts, uniforms not suitable for everyday use, etc.

Remember, when dealing with the IRS be prepared to substantiate everything you report on your return.

Remember, when dealing with the IRS be prepared to substantiate everything you report on your return.

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great answer!

I was thinking today you can deduct ANYTHING. it is just the Audit thing that makes one weary.