Aircraft Tax Break Signed Into Law

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The "bonus depreciation" extension that aircraft manufacturers had lobbied for is now law. President Barack Obama signed the Small Business Jobs Act, which contains the provision, on Monday. "As the one tax provision we asked Congress to pass to help offset the decline in sales due to the recession, we are optimistic that the small-business law will help to re-energize America's general-aviation production lines and bring back lost jobs," said Pete Bunce, president of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. The law is effective as of Monday and applies to businesses' tax returns for 2010, according to the White House. The bonus depreciation item enables businesses to accelerate the rate at which they deduct capital expenditures.

Aircraft purchased before the end of 2010 must be placed into service by the end of 2011 to use the bonus-depreciation option. The tax break has proved effective in boosting sales, according to GAMA. One GA manufacturer said the provision helped close 55 percent of its aircraft sales last year. Ed Bolen, CEO of the National Business Aviation Association, also thanked President Obama for signing the bill. "Now that the president has signed the measure into law, companies will be able to take advantage of the provision right away, giving them access the benefits of business aviation," he said.