Bonus Depreciation and You, the New Aircraft Buyer

Anyone on the decision-making fence about springing for a new aircraft needs to act fast. The stimulus 50-percent bonus depreciation law covers new aircraft delivered by year end, and the tax savings can be huge. Essentially, buyers are able to accelerate half the overall depreciation of the aircraft into one year, allowing a significant tax deduction. Buyers who take delivery of a new aircraft before the ball drops in Times Square can claim the deduction for 2010. But even if you don't actually fly the airplane away before the deadline, you can still benefit from the tax incentive. If the aircraft you purchase is unavailable for one of a number of specific reasons (including 'it's still on the production line"), the benefit may be extended to 2011. If the delivery is secured with a 10 percent payment for delivery next year, you can take the bonus depreciation benefit as part of your 2011 tax return. Check with your tax specialist for details.