Don't Store Documents On Your Aircraft

Don't Store Documents On Your Aircraft

Recently one of my clients told me he could not get his documents to me because they were in his aircraft and he was in a different location. My immediate reaction was “That is dangerous”!.

He said, “Everyone leaves their logs and other documents in his aircraft. We have to” Now that seemed reasonable so I had to check my attitude. Where had I gotten the idea from that it was dangerous?

I realized I had heard that warning many times from aviation attorneys at tax seminars. I also remember that the warning came regarding aircraft flying home from an out of state purchase location with the original copies of all the sale and closing docs and FAA registration documents. Yes, accidents can happen. Some aircraft never make it home. If all the documents are lost in a crash the result of the crash is magnified. It isn’t just the loss of human life. It can become an insurance problem as well as a tax problem.

After I thought through the whole thing I realized my warning was still valid and not unreasonable from my point of view. Let’s say you are working on gathering the documents to support an exemption for transaction tax in your state. Or to make my point, let’s say you are gathering the documents the IRS is going to demand to support your business use. Furthermore you believe the FAA or your boss wants those documents to remain on the aircraft.

My suggestion is to pull out your cell phone and take pictures that are legible, and immediately send them to either your own office or the tax professional that is assigned to gather the documents. IPads can do this also.

The extra 60 seconds can save you a great deal of grief in the long run.

Tom Alston Image

by Thomas A. Alston Mr. Alston is the Founder and CEO of Aero & Marine Tax Professionals. His company has prepared and filed hundreds of tax returns with a 100% success rate. Mr. Alston’s management and tax experience are the foundation and guiding hand for all of Aero & Marine activities. His full-proof system to legally avoid paying sales tax on aircraft purchases has never failed. Aero & Marine Tax Professionals is the premier California sales and use tax consulting firm specializing in the area of Mobile Transportation Equipment (aircraft, vessels and vehicles).

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