Italy’s parliament passed proposed changes to the aircraft luxury tax today, according to NBAA.
A 1996 document issued by the House Committee on Ways and Means appears to underscore the intent of Congress regarding application of the so-called “ticket tax” (excise tax) to airline passengers. The document contradicts a March 9 Internal Revenue Service memo that seeks to apply the 7.5-percent excise tax to fees charged by aircraft management companies to aircraft owners flying in their own aircraft for their own business or personal reasons.
NBAA staff members met with officials at the Italian embassy in Washington last week to explain the negative effect that a recently enacted business aircraft tax could have on commerce between Italy and the U.S. The new tax, which imposes a levy on all civil aircraft that spend more than 48 hours on the ground in Italy, could total more than $393,630 annually for aircraft weighing more than 22,046 pounds, NBAA said.
The release of an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) memo on March 9 outlining guidance on how to apply the federal excise tax (FET) to fees paid to aircraft management companies adds to business aviation’s burden at a time when the industry continues to suffer from weak demand, high fuel prices and public criticism of this form of travel. This memo isn’t the first time the IRS has attempted to apply the 7.5-percent FET to non-commercial Part 91 flight operations.
Idaho Governor Butch Otter has signed bill H.417, which exempts sales tax on aircraft parts installed on out-of-state aircraft. An emergency clause included in the legislation makes the bill take effect immediately.
The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) is calling on its members to urge their congressional representatives to include language in pending legislation to repeal the “fuel fraud” provision. The provision, part of the 2005 Highway Bill, changed the collection of taxes for non-commercial jet fuel and required them to be deposited into the Highway Trust Fund.
With the House of Representatives scheduled to vote this week on H.R.7, a Federal Highway Administration reauthorization bill, NATA is lobbying to get a provision included in the bill that would repeal the “onerous fuel fraud tax.” The fuel fraud provision, which was included in a 2005 FHA bill, changed the collection of taxes for noncommercial aviation jet fuel and required the funds to be deposited into the Highway Trust Fund.
Italy’s parliament has approved plans for a new tax on all business aircraft, regardless of country of registration, as part of the effort to reduce the country’s massive national debt. Business aviation interests expect to learn the details of how the legislation will work by the end of February, but it could impose a tariff of several hundred thousand dollars on the owner of a large jet that spends more than 48 consecutive hours in the country.
Italy’s parliament this week approved plans for a new tax on business aircraft, but details of how the legislation will work in practice are not anticipated until later next month. However, it is expected that tariffs could reach about $385,000 for larger business jets that spend more than 48 consecutive hours in the country. The tax will apply only to privately owned aircraft and will exclude those operated under commercial air operator certificates, as well as aircraft operated by governments and for purposes such as emergency medical services.
The U.S. government claims that NetJets owes the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) nearly $643 million in federal excise taxes, assessed penalties and interest. The amount is just $125 million less than the $768 million in pre-tax earnings that NetJets parent Berkshire Hathaway reported in its last financial report for the “other” category of subsidiaries that includes NetJets, FlightSafety International and other businesses.