Texas Proposed Lease of Aircraft Subject to Tax

An aircraft owner’s proposed agreement to lease its aircraft to an air carrier to provide flight services to the owner and third parties was not exempt as an operating lease by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. The agreement does not give exclusive control and possession of the aircraft to the lessee over the life of the agreement since the agreement permits the owner to take operational control of the aircraft during owner flights. Furthermore, during these flights the owner hires and pays the flight crews as independent contractors and agents, and thus the aircraft would be under the operational control and possession of the owner at times during the agreed contract period. Absent a valid (exempt) operating lease, the owner would be liable for use tax in the event the aircraft is brought into the state within one year of the aircraft’s purchase. Use tax would be based on the price originally paid for the aircraft. (Letter No. 200702945L, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts)

Posted on January 4, 2008