Imports of business aircraft into the UK have ground to a halt since tax authorities there scrapped its zero-VAT rating in January, according to Gama Aviation CEO Marwan Khalek. The change was forced on the UK by the European Commission with the intent of harmonizing VAT rules for aircraft sales, but the outcome has been a confusing muddle in which no one seems sure how VAT should now be applied.
Advocacy efforts by NBAA members, the Connecticut Legislative Aviation Caucus and the Connecticut Business Aviation Group to fight a personal property tax on all aircraft based in the state were successful. On Tuesday night, the House and Senate in Connecticut passed a budget that does not contain “the potentially devastating tax increases for aviation that were proposed in earlier versions,” NBAA said.
The UK business aviation lobby has launched a vigorous campaign to convince the British government that its plans to extend the existing airline passenger duty (APD) to private aviation are discriminatory and disproportionate.
Britain’s coalition government–composed of an exotic combination of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats–is at war with itself in more ways than one. But its recent proposals for a new tax on private aviation are a prime example of this conflict.
The UK government signaled its intention yesterday to start taxing business-jet passengers in a process that would mirror the country’s existing airline passenger duty (APD). A decision on the proposed per-passenger tax will be made in June, and if approved could be implemented as soon as this fall. What remains unclear is whether the tax would apply only to charter flights and what exemptions might be allowed.
The recent removal of the loophole that allowed aircraft owners to import aircraft into the European Union (EU) via the UK at a zero rate of value-added tax has prospective buyers scrambling for fiscally friendly alternatives. One option is for private operators to find a way to get registered for tax purposes under a commercial aircraft operatorπs certificate, but this could subject the operator to unfavorable scrutiny by the authorities.
Universal Weather & Aviation (Stand C235) has doubled the number of countries covered by its UVAir service to provide fuel invoicing that is compliant with requirements for value added tax (VAT) due on aircraft fuel in Europe.
The recently passed Senate FAA reauthorization bill eliminates the so-called fuel fraud tax that has been causing major annoyance and expense for U.S. FBOs, according to the National Air Transportation Association. The bill does increase fuel taxes to 36 cents from 22 cents per gallon.
Operators of Bombardier jets are dismayed because they now have to pay state sales taxes on parts purchased through Bombardier’s Smart Parts program. Several operators who spoke to AIN on condition of anonymity said one of the primary reasons they participate in Smart Parts is to control and budget annual operating costs. “This adds a new dimension to overhead we didn’t budget for 2010,” one said.
NBAA applauded the Washington State legislature’s decision to scuttle a provision for an “onerous” tax proposal for aircraft in its annual spending bill. To oppose the tax hike, NBAA banded with other groups–including the Pacific Northwest Business Aviation Association, AOPA and the Washington Pilots Association–to form a unified grassroots coalition known as the Washington Aviation Coalition.