The Republican tax bill contains a sneaky break for private jet owners

  • The Senate GOP tax bill contains a tax break for owners of private jets.
  • People that own jets would have payments relating to their exempted from an excise tax.

The Republican tax plan contains several small carve-outs for specific industries — from craft beer tax breaks to changes on how people can sell stocks.

One of those exemptions in the Senate version of the bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), would give a break to owners of private jets.

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Currently, the federal government imposes an excise tax on the use of private planes for every flight an aircraft makes. Under the Republican tax legislation, costs for maintenance and other support activities for the planes would be exempt from the excise tax. Here's what that exempts, per the Joint Committee on Taxation's description of the provision:

"Applicable services include support activities related to the aircraft itself, such as its storage, maintenance, and fueling, and those related to its operation, such as the hiring and training of pilots and crew, as well as administrative services such as scheduling, flight planning, weather forecasting, obtaining insurance, and establishing and complying with safety standards."

It appears that the excise tax would still apply to costs directly incurred by flying. According to the JCT, the exemption would lose less than $50 million in revenue over 10 years.

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