Speed Reads

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A GOP tax cut has sparked a mad rush for wholly deductible corporate jets

There's never been a better time to buy or upgrade corporate jets, thanks to a change in the tax laws that allows companies to write off the entire cost of new or used airplanes against earnings, The Wall Street Journal reports. Being able to deduct 100 percent of a corporate jet purchase, via a provision in the tax overhaul Republicans pushed through last December, is a big change, and business executives have taken note.

"Demand for used jets — especially aircraft priced under $7 million — has taken off in recent months as the tax change draws new, young, and previously reluctant buyers off the sidelines," the Journal says. "The race is on to get plane deals wrapped before the end of the year in order to get the tax write-off for 2018, though the break doesn't expire for several years." Bill Papariella, CEO of Jet Edge International, says he searches the international market for used jets for his clients, and it can take three to five months to find one in decent condition. "It's like a frenzy out there," he tells the Journal.

"The 100 percent write-off rule isn't exactly free money," because if you resell the plane right away, you have to pay back most of the deduction, the Journal notes. There are other rules, too, according to California accountant George Rice: The cost to operated and maintain the jet has to be reasonable for the size of your company, and you have to use the plane for business. Still, Rice estimates that half of prospective buyers are able to take the full deduction on their jet. You can read more at The Wall Street Journal.