Employees in Germany

Flight costs and their tax treatment

If you go on business trips often by plane, then you must have wondered if you can claim the flight costs in your tax return as tax deductible.

This is indeed possible in some cases such that you can actually deduct the expenses for your business flights from the tax. This is because the aircraft in itself, is a means of transport like all others and the costs are not to be treated in a tax-discriminatory manner.

In these cases, you may specify flight costs in your tax return as professional expenses

You can either have a tax-free reimbursement from your employer or you may claim it as a professional expense on Appendix N of your tax return. In any case, the flights concerned must be purely professional and you should be able to prove that to the tax office. Flights that are necessary during your activities as a result of double budget management are also deductible. In principle, it doesn't matter which means of transport you use for your weekly journey home. At best, the rule is that flight costs should be proportionate. It will therefore be difficult to put first-class flights in the tax return as an expense for double budget management.

Tax treatment of private flights with business planes

Again, the situation is different if you are using an airplane from your company for private flights. If you are an employee of a company, where the private use of company aircraft is allowed, then you as an employer have a taxable wag which you must indicate in your tax return, in order to avoid trouble with the tax authorities. If you are a shareholder of a company and you use the company aircraft for private purposes, then it is treated differently. In other words, the use of the aircraft is a private withdrawal, which has to be recorded in terms of accounting and which has an impact on the company's income.

No matter what kind of purpose an airplane serves, in case of ambiguity about how you should deal with it in your tax return, the use of professional assistance is advisable in any case. Both tax consultants and income tax assistance union can help you with the correct completion of your tax return, so that you always stay on the safe side with the tax office. The resulting costs can as well be deducted in the following year.