After years of false starts, the Florida legislature wisely passed legislation clarifying the rights of aircraft owners traveling to Florida. Under the new legislation aircraft owners who purchased their planes within the six months prior to coming to Florida will be able to keep their aircraft in state for any 21 days within this six month period. The 21 days can be for any purpose, and do not need to be contiguous. An aircraft owner may come to Florida within this period for an unlimited amount of time for the exclusive purpose of flight training, repairs, retrofitting, or modification without fear of being assessed use tax on the purchase price of the plane.

This legislation brings aircraft owners’ rights in line with boat owners, who have long enjoyed this “21 day” provision. Aircraft owners should maintain a file with “proof” of their presence for 21 days or less. This should include fuel receipts from other states on the days the owner is elsewhere, tie-down receipts for temporary stays, copies of hangar leases from the plane’s “state of origin” or home base, and, of course, fully updated flight logs showing comings and goings. Commercial flight records such as from FlightAware should be used to back up personal records and receipts. IFR flight plans also help. Contact us for further guidance on how to make sure you are protected from a Florida sales or use tax assessment.