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Tax deduction for Law Enforcement Flight Training ?


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Hey all - new to the boards and to the Rotor community in general. I have a question related to taxes.

 

I am currently a PO in a large metro police department. I am thinking of trying to get my PPL and Commercial ratings, in order to qualify for the Air Unit and eventually fly the Department Helos.

 

Our Department requires the ratings before transfer, and does not pay to train pilots. As Police Officers, have any of you ever claimed the expenses of training as business related ?

 

My tax man says that I cannot do it, (combined income w/ wife + no children) ) but I have talked to others that say it's possible.

 

 

HELP !

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YES YOU CAN!

 

Your department MUST have IN WRITING the requirements for the position. I am retired Denver PD. DPD required 200 hours helicopter and a commercial rating for consideration for a position as either a pilot or TFO. I was able to write off under "job related" (IRS FORM 2106 -same one you write off your weapon, vest, etc on) expenses all of my training, books, medical, etc. that are required for the position. You must also be actively seeking and qualified to get the position, i.e. enough time on the job and rank, etc. Make sure it's in your evals as a career goal!

 

DPD required 3.5 years in patrol first. Meaning, if you want a helo rating, but have no desire to be in the unit, you cannot write it off. Once you get your rating(s), then all of your flight time devoted to maintaining that rating is also covered.

 

Good luck!

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Well, I am sworn - 13 years. Rank of Detective, which means I will have to give up my Detective's star, and the 15 grand a year, and the company car that goes with it. So, it will be a HUGE kick in the wallet, and a demotion, along with the risk of getting tossed out of the Air Unit if it disbands - back to the beat.

 

My wife is a Pharmacist, so we do ok financially. Apparently too much according to my tax man.

 

I really want to fly. I just don't know if it's worth the risk. I did some MWSS in the Marines, some Helo time (back seats) and I loved it. I am hoping that this can come together for me, just wanting to minimize the monetary hit, since the Dept. won't pay for it.

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Well, I am sworn - 13 years. Rank of Detective, which means I will have to give up my Detective's star, and the 15 grand a year, and the company car that goes with it. So, it will be a HUGE kick in the wallet, and a demotion, along with the risk of getting tossed out of the Air Unit if it disbands - back to the beat.

 

My wife is a Pharmacist, so we do ok financially. Apparently too much according to my tax man.

 

I really want to fly. I just don't know if it's worth the risk. I did some MWSS in the Marines, some Helo time (back seats) and I loved it. I am hoping that this can come together for me, just wanting to minimize the monetary hit, since the Dept. won't pay for it.

 

Stay in your present position and get your ratings on your own,think towards your retirement/pension and choose the flying job you want after that.I retired after 30 yrs in the PD,knew all the pilots in the unit-they were always looking over their shoulder-hrs,ratings,how you fly doesn't count.It's not worth it.One day your there,next day your out because the mayor's cousin wants to fly,who's got two years on the job-stay put!

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Stay in your present position and get your ratings on your own,think towards your retirement/pension and choose the flying job you want after that.I retired after 30 yrs in the PD,knew all the pilots in the unit-they were always looking over their shoulder-hrs,ratings,how you fly doesn't count.It's not worth it.One day your there,next day your out because the mayor's cousin wants to fly,who's got two years on the job-stay put!

 

 

Superglide I disagree with that. Sounds like a poorly managed unit and exception to the rule. WB you can write off at least some of your training. I got my fixed wing ticket on my own and my accountant included it as a deduction. I can PM for details.

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  • 1 month later...
Superglide I disagree with that. Sounds like a poorly managed unit and exception to the rule. WB you can write off at least some of your training. I got my fixed wing ticket on my own and my accountant included it as a deduction. I can PM for details.

 

Hi there, I saw that you work for ABLE. I fly for Burbank and was just curious about how you like those EC-120s. All my experience is in the R-22, 500E and 520N. I was told we had a small chance at buying SBSDs old 120s a few years ago but some influences were put in motion against it. That was before I was with the unit so I don't have all the details. Do you top off your fuel for every flight? How long are your patrol missions? Do you fly a lot of survs? Any info would be appreciated.

 

Best Regards,

 

Steve Conaway

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I was told we had a small chance at buying SBSDs old 120s a few years ago but some influences were put in motion against it.

 

Steve, I have never flown the 120, so I'll let AV8R respond with firsthand knowledge. I did however, have a nice conversation with the LT who was retiring a few months ago from the SBSD air unit. He felt the 120 was unsafe in their hot climates, and could not wait to get rid of them. Perhaps at sea level they do not have these same performance issues.

 

Goldy

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I am the Sgt. of ABLE and have flown R-22's, 500 E's, NOTAR's, EC120's and A-Stars. We purchased a MD520N after a history of operating the MD500E. It was our newest ship and the 1st one to go when we purchased our EC120's. It has a modern cockpit (love the VEMD) with better ergonomics and better visibility than the MD products. It has a cargo bay and an avionics bay so you are not shoving radios under the seats and cargo on top of the seats. It is easy to fly with no nasty habits (NOTAR tuck and the NOTAR shuffle) Is the EC120 the perfect ship? No. It could use more power. If you are going to operate hot and high then the 120 is not for you. If you are looking for a patrol ship with D.A.s below 4,000 feet than the 120 will fly every mission the 520N can with no problem. With all our gear, 2 police pilots and a full bag of gas (109.9 gallons) we are at max gross. and we can stay airborne over 3 hours. Put in 75 gallons and you can take and extra crew member and still fly over 2 ½ and closer to 3 hours. Our standard fuel load is 550 lbs (75 gals) which gives us the ability to pick up a passenger at any time with out worrying about weights. There is a lot of flexibility in the EC120 as long as you plan ahead. You will get a max of 2 hours in a NOTAR with full fuel. It took a while to get behind the idea of not "topping off" the tank after every flight because that was the way we did it for years. After a while it sinks in that even with 75% fuel you can still stay airborne longer than a NOTAR with full tanks. We do not fly a ton of surveillances but we do our fair share. Our scheduled patrols are 1 1/2 - 2 hours long. It is no problem to stay up 2 1/2 hours on 550 lbs of fuel.

 

Goldy,

I agree that the EC120 is not the helicopter for law enforcement to be flying to 10,000 feet in the summer trying to effect a rescue. It would be silly to try. However, at sea level it is a great helicopter for police patrol work. PS did I mention the A/C on hot days...

 

Now the disclaimer; these are my personal opinions / observations and do not necessarily represent those of management. Your mileage may vary etc… If you would like to talk more about it my number is in the ALEA directory.

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Hey all - new to the boards and to the Rotor community in general. I have a question related to taxes.

 

I am currently a PO in a large metro police department. I am thinking of trying to get my PPL and Commercial ratings, in order to qualify for the Air Unit and eventually fly the Department Helos.

 

Our Department requires the ratings before transfer, and does not pay to train pilots. As Police Officers, have any of you ever claimed the expenses of training as business related ?

 

My tax man says that I cannot do it, (combined income w/ wife + no children) ) but I have talked to others that say it's possible.

 

Here's my experience and even survived an IRS audit.

 

Back in the 1980s, I was a full time officer who was flying part time fixed wing. I actually held the job position as a part time pilot, but we didn't get any extra pay back then for it.

 

The PT pilot position description (PD) said I was to be qualified in all Department aircraft. We had just obtained a mil surp TH-55. I wanted to comply with the provisions of my PD, so I did a helicopter commercial add on at my expense through a local provider. Wrote the whole thing off as employee incurred business expense.

 

Back then it was a bit of $$ and obviously drew attention to out return, so we got audited.

 

Auditor was pretty strict, but when I produced the part time pilot PD that said qualified and current in all department aircraft along with the documentation of the receipt and service entrance of the TH-55, the deduction was allowed without further debate.

 

He did comment that absent all this they likely would have disallowed the training write off.

 

Who knows if that was true, but I was greatly relieved.

 

Then the full timer flying the TH-55 crashed it and I didn't fly ehlicopters again until the late 90s.

 

At least I was certified and ready!!

 

Good luck.

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Hi there, I saw that you work for ABLE. I fly for Burbank and was just curious about how you like those EC-120s. All my experience is in the R-22, 500E and 520N. I was told we had a small chance at buying SBSDs old 120s a few years ago but some influences were put in motion against it. That was before I was with the unit so I don't have all the details. Do you top off your fuel for every flight? How long are your patrol missions? Do you fly a lot of survs? Any info would be appreciated.

 

Best Regards,

 

Steve Conaway

 

Steve,

 

Jeff covered it. I never flew the NOTAR. In fact other than the R22, the EC120 is the only other ship I have flown. That said, I like it. I was a TFO in the MD500E days, so like Jeff said, I was used to topping it off at the end of each flight. For our 2 Hr. flights, I like to take off with 3 plus hours of fuel "just in case". Never fails, the perimeter or pursuit always comes at the end of the flight.

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