msankaran wrote:Thank you very much for the post, Steve. So, if one rented an airplane to be used for PnP flights, one could deduct the cost of rental, which includes maintenance, repair, insurance, etc., but those same costs cannot be deducted if one owns the same plane? It seems a little unfair, but I guess tax laws aren't required to be fair.
What it boils down to is the difference in cost between flying the mission and not flying the mission. If you don't rent a plane today because your not flying a mission, your cost is zero. On the other hand, if you don't fly today and you own a plane, you are still incurring insurance costs, as well as a fair amount of maintenance costs. I can tell you from experience, a plane still costs plenty to maintain even if you're not flying it. There are some items that are directly proportional to the number of hours flown, but many maintenance items are simply calendar based.
The IRS is simply allowing you to deduct money you spent on the transport that you otherwise would not have spent. The same thing goes for automobiles. If you own a car, you can deduct fuel and oil, where if you rent one, you can deduct the rental charge.