Five on the Fly: Daniel Cheung

Five on the Fly: Daniel Cheung

Five on the Fly: Daniel Cheung

WHO: Daniel Cheung

Aviation Tax Consultants

CPA, Aviation Tax Planning Expert

Columbus, Indiana and Scottsdale, Arizona (SDL)

1. What does Aviation Tax Consultants do and what is your role?

ATC works with business aircraft owners to structure their ownership to be tax efficient and at the same time compliant with federal and state tax laws and FAA regulations. We work closely with our client’s existing advisors and we are focused on all aircraft related compliance matters.

2. Describe an average day for you at ATC.

Whether I am in the office or on the road, I spend most of my time on the phone speaking or corresponding on emails with clients, CPA’s, prospects and aircraft salespersons. I spend a significant amount of time traveling and networking with business aviation professionals around the country. For a tax accountant handling tax return preparation and research, to work in this great GA community is something I never imagined! I love the tight-knit nature of the general aviation community and the talented folks from all walks of life who are involved.

3. The tax landscape has changed dramatically in the last two years. What changes in the tax code have especially benefitted aircraft owners?

It would be the expansion of bonus depreciation in December 2017 to include new or pre-owned aircraft. This change benefited the pre-owned aircraft segment tremendously with a tax incentive that has been reserved for factory new aircraft in the history of bonus depreciation.

The longer-term impact, however, is the creation of much greater interests across the business aircraft market, which ultimately helps new aircraft sales.

4. For the individual or company looking to upgrade or purchase a business aircraft, why is it important to work with an aviation tax planning expert before inking the purchase contract?

Business aircraft owners operate in a unique compliance environment – the confluence of federal income tax laws, state sales and use tax laws, and Federal Aviation Regulations. 

Our understanding of how the myriad of regulations interact with each other, or the non-interaction of some regulations, and our experience working with these different government authorities, offer our clients and their advisors a critical perspective in formulating an ownership structure that is tax efficient and in full compliance of these regulations.

5. Looking into your crystal ball, what are the top tax issues or changes the aviation industry will face in the next two years?

We do not see any drastic change in the tax laws relating to business aviation prior to the next election cycle in 2020. The election results, and how the economy performs in the next twelve months, will certainly bring about changes to tax laws affecting general aviation aircraft.  

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