NBAA Tax, Regulatory & Risk Management Conference

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Program Schedule

Day 1: Sunday, October 8, 2017

8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Registration & Continental Breakfast
9:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.
Welcome and Conference Introduction
9:15 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.
Political and Regulatory Changes for Aircraft Owners and Operators
Presenter: Scott O’Brien, NBAA

Learn how changes currently being considered in Congress to privatize the air traffic control system could have significant tax impacts on business aircraft owners and operators. Congress is also considering comprehensive tax reform that could significantly change the depreciation system, like-kind exchanges and other key tax provisions. Review both of these key legislative issues with specific focus on the direct impacts for business aviation.

9:45 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Applying FAA Regulations to Common Aircraft Utilization Strategies
Presenters: Joanne Barbera, Barbera & Watkins, LLC; David Norton, Shackelford, Bowen, McKinley & Norton, LLP

Ever heard the phrases “What do you mean I can’t do that? Everyone does it that way!” Or “How can that be commercial? We are only sharing fuel costs!” Business aircraft owners and operators face common challenges under FAA regulations in sharing aircraft use and seeking reimbursement for flights, and the differences between some common industry understandings and what the rules actually require can be significant. Learn how the FAA regulations present opportunities and limitations to structuring aircraft utilization. The presentation will cover dry leasing for FAR Part 91 and 135 operations, time sharing, interchange, joint ownership, co-ownership and personal use reimbursement arrangements.

10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Morning Break
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
How Depreciation Drives Federal Tax Planning
Presenters: Alan Goldstein, CPA; John Hoover, Cooley LLP

Understanding the complexities of tax depreciation as it applies to business aircraft ownership and operation is key to your company’s bottom line. Learn about the various depreciation schedules that apply to business aviation and the qualifications/tests for each. Also, analyze potential limitations on depreciation including personal use, hobby loss rules and the ordinary and necessary test. Tax Depreciation is truly a deduction every airplane owner can learn to love!

12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Breakout Sessions

Option A: New Products in the Aircraft Financing Markets
Presenters: Ed Kammerer, Hinckley Allen; Jim Simpson, First Republic Bank

You’re buying a new aircraft. Now how are you going to pay for it? Over 50% of aircraft purchases are financed through third party sources. This panel, consisting of aviation finance professionals, will discuss secured and unsecured loans, traditional leases, operating leases and other financing alternatives. Emphasis will be placed on new developments and products in aviation finance including private banking, aviation finance brokers, “non-bank” lenders and internet resources. Audience questions and participation will be encouraged.

Option B: Tax and Legal Implications of Aircraft Equipage Mandates
Presenters: Nick Cook, Satcom Direct; Glenn Hediger, Aviation Financial Consulting, LLC

This session will discuss several important aspects of upcoming aviation equipment mandates and popular new cabin technology. Learn what and when mandatory changes must be made to your aircraft, how they are implemented and what tax treatment is appropriate for each mandate. The speakers will also discuss some popular new technology upgrades, costs, installation timing and service center lead times. Topics include FANS, ADB-B, Link2000 and Ka Band communications.

2:30 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
Breakout Sessions

Option A: Federal Excise Tax Collection and Reporting
Presenters: Mark Dennen, Solairus Aviation; Nel Stubbs, Conklin & de Decker

A review of how the commercial Federal Excise Tax (“FET”) can apply to both Part 91 and 135 operations. Specific examples of commercial FET calculations for charter flights, addressing challenging calculations such as; Alaska/Hawaii flights, uninterrupted international flight and the 225-mile zone. Processes for reporting and remitting the commercial FET to the IRS; including maintaining deposit accounts to avoid penalties. In addition, learn how to how to deal with FET credits and safe harbor reporting. A brief review of audit issues and where we are today with previous audits of management company fees.

Option B: Tax and Regulatory Considers when Bringing Aircraft into the U.S.
Presenters: Stewart Lapayowker, Lapayowker Jet Counsel, P.A. (moderator); Alvaro Pascotto, Law Offices of Alvaro Pascotto; Lee Rohde, Essex Aviation Group

Analyze recurrent issues of international transactions when importing an aircraft into the United States including aircraft due diligence (aircraft history, ownership and operations), review of registration, recordation and registry matters (owner or operator registry, leases, liens, where to find relevant filings, etc.), legal and beneficial ownership, lien releases, OFAC compliance, location of pre-purchase inspection and closing, closing mechanics, export Certificate of Airworthiness, de-registration, foreign customs and taxes and exportation, FAA registration and Designated Airworthiness Representative (DAR) and FAA Certificate of Airworthiness, US customs entry, placing aircraft into service, governing law and dispute resolution, and discussing how to manage the process from beginning to conclusion.

3:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Afternoon Break
3:30 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
State Tax Planning
Presenters: Jordan Miller, CenterPoint Aviation Law PLLC

Review key sales/use tax considerations during the acquisition process and beyond. Through a discussion of common structuring and exemption options, develop an acquisition strategy that accommodates, and, where possible, mitigates the potential application of sales/use taxes and other similar taxes/ fees in the state of delivery, the home base, and any state(s) where the aircraft is regularly used. Finally, understand common traps for the unwary at acquisition, practical use tax challenges to the aircraft’s subsequent operations, and managing those taxes during the ownership of the aircraft.

4:15 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
From Corporate Reorganizations to New Regulations: Managing Change in Your Flight Operation
Presenters: Jeff Agur, VanAllen Group; David Hernandez, Vedder Price

“The only constant is change.” Mergers, acquisitions, spin-offs, reorganizations and foreign investments. These are all inevitable in today’s shifting and dynamic corporate environment. Flight operations personnel must navigate these complex changes and while also delivering safe and efficient travel. Numerous regulatory, tax, operational, organizational, and strategic considerations exist that must be managed simultaneously. This panel of experts will discuss recent real-world client experiences and case studies to highlight the complexities and strategies to successfully managing a reorganization.

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Reception for Attendees and Speakers

Day 2: Monday, October 9

8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Registration & Continental Breakfast
9:00 a.m. – 9:10 a.m.
Welcome and Conference Introduction
9:10 a.m. – 10:10 a.m.
Tax Implications of Non-Business Flights
Presenters: Keith Swirsky, GKG Law, P.C

This session will discuss the tax implications of personal use flights (both entertainment and non-entertainment), including how such flights impact federal tax deductions for the company and the impact on the executives, with emphasis on planning considerations.

10:10 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Morning Break
10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Non-Business Flights: Scenarios and Discussion
Presenters: Ryan DeMoor, Satcom Direct; Sean Fitzgibbons, Walmart

Building on information from the preceding session, analyze specific flight scenarios to understand the tax implications of non-business flights. The speakers will use scenarios drawn from actual flight department experiences and provide a step by step process to review each flight. Attendees will also learn best practices for managing personal use including recordkeeping strategies and information flow between various divisions within a company.

11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Must Know Tax Issues For Aircraft Acquisition Or Sale
Presenters: Angel Houck, CliftonLarsonAllen; Cliff Maine, Barnes & Thornburg

Successful tax planning during an aircraft acquisition or sale requires bringing together federal and state tax considerations and FAA regulatory issues. Drawing from many of the preceding sessions, participate in an interactive aircraft acquisition scenario to issue spot the key tax/regulatory considerations and see how the process works in the real world.

12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Breakout Sessions

Option A: Tax and Regulatory Considerations for Foreign-Owned/Registered Aircraft
Moderator: Jed Wolcott, Wolcott & Associates
Presenters: Sue Folkringa, Wolcott & Associates; Jim Meyer, Harper Meyer

For foreign aircraft (both N-registered and foreign-registered) owners face several unique IRS, FAA, and state tax issues not encountered by US-owned and operated aircraft. In addition for foreign-based charter operators there are rules and regulations with which are not commonly understood. This session will review tax and regulatory rules that such owners and operators must contend with, including income and Federal Excise Tax reporting, FAA considerations that may conflict with home-country regulations, state sales and use tax concerns, and charter operator issues.

Option B: Regulatory Considerations when Using Independent Contractors
Presenters: Todd Guelich, Airsure; Gregory Ripple, Miller Johnson

They go by many names -freelancers, contract flight crew, temporary employees, consultants – but the use of independent contractors in business aviation is common. Proper utilization of independent contractors can save the operator from future tax, risk and regulatory problems. This session will explore those issues and the factors that you should consider before using independent contractors in your flight operations.

2:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Afternoon Break
2:45 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Tax Considerations for Non-Traditional Structures/Owner Flown
Presenter: George Rice, Rice & Associates, Inc

What are the unique federal tax considerations when an aircraft is owned outside of a traditional corporate structure or owner-flown? For example, the analysis related to tax depreciation is significantly different when the aircraft isn’t owned/operated within a corporate structure. There are also challenges related to non-business use and making sure the aircraft operation meets the ordinary and necessary test.

3:30 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
IRS Audit Scenario
Presenters: Rick Farley, PwC; Tony Gasaway, Gasaway Tax Law; Brint Smith, John F. Throne & Co.

Through a mock audit scenario, help the audience gain a better understanding of the goals of the IRS auditor and to implement strategies to both limit the scope of the audit and avoid damaging disclosures/admissions that could lead to unsavory results. The mock scenario will focus on topics such as understanding the IRS’ audit plan and limiting the IRS’ audit inquiries to that plan, understanding the IRS’ National Office involvement in the audit and any limitations on the auditors ability to resolve an issue, avoiding “surprise” questions from the IRS and instead providing written responses to IRS formal document requests, discover any third-party or industry contacts the IRS has made as part of the audit, and understanding the hazards of making the client available for the initial IRS audit conference.

4:15 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Questions and Answers with NBAA Tax Committee

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Conference Sponsors


  Aerlex   Bombardier  
  DeBee Gilchrist   Husch Blackwell  
  Lapayowker Jet Counsel   Satcom Direct
  Vedder Price   Wolcott and Associates


  Barnes and Thornburg   TVPX  



  Crowell & Moring LLP


  Barbera and Watkins   CUTTER