Upgrades For Business Aircraft May Qualify For Bonus Depreciation, Cessna Says

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According to the folks at Cessna, you may not have to buy a new airplane to qualify for the tax benefits of bonus depreciation in 2009 -- upgrades such as new avionics, which add value to the aircraft or increase its lifespan, may qualify. The company added a note that it can't give tax advice, but it offered to work closely with customers' accountants to ensure they have all the information they need to explore specific tax situations. "This is a good time to consider enhancements to your Citation, such as a glass cockpit, productivity features in the cabin, upgraded operational or navigational systems," said Mark Paolucci, senior vice president, Cessna Customer Service. "As a result of the current business climate, utilization is lower which makes now the perfect time to schedule major upgrades -- less disruption to operations," Paolucci said.

Upgrades that may qualify include new communications and avionics gear, TCAS and radar upgrades, enhanced instrumentation, RVSM, WAAS/FMS updates, interior upgrades, and new paint, he said. The upgrades must be installed on the aircraft before Dec. 31, 2009, to qualify. Bonus depreciation for 2009 is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (also known as the Stimulus Act), which was signed into law last month.