S.C. Code Regs. 117-331 - Airport Fixed Based Operators

Current through Register Vol. 45, No. 9, September 24, 2021

Airport fixed base operators do business in a number of ways. In addition to making sales of new and used aircraft, charter service is available, in some instances aircraft are available for lease or rental or flight instruction, and gasoline, lubricating oils and greases and repair services are generally sold.

Only aircraft purchased for resale or rental may be purchased tax free as for resale.

When an aircraft is withdrawn for use primarily in flight instruction or charter service a tax is due measured by the reasonable and fair market value (purchase price) of the aircraft and a tax is also due when the aircraft is subsequently sold.

Conversely, when an aircraft purchased for resale is regularly demonstrated for that purpose and also used for charter, instruction, or for the private use of the owner, the tax may be paid on the value of the aircraft (purchase price), or the tax base may be arrived at by multiplying the actual number of flight hours by fifty percent (50%) of the posted hourly solo rental rate. By electing to pay a tax on the value of the aircraft withdrawn for demonstration purposes a person may reduce his tax liability on a replacement demonstrator up to the amount realized on the sale of the used demonstrator.

In general, the following would be for application:

1. Sales. All sales of new and used aircraft are subject to the tax when delivered to customers in South Carolina. When aircraft are purchased for use outside this State the tax likewise applies unless the seller, as a condition of the sale, delivers the aircraft to customers at points outside this State. The most acceptable proof of transportation outside the state would be a trip ticket signed by the seller's delivery agent and showing also the signature and address of the person outside this State who received the delivered aircraft.
2. Rental of aircraft. Proceeds derived from lease or rental of aircraft are subject to the tax.
3. Flight instruction. Receipts from courses of instruction given by base operators to students seeking private, commercial, instrument and/or instructor's licenses are not subject to the sales tax. Included in such exempt services are receipts from dual and solo flights which are a part of a course of instruction.
4. Charter service. No tax is due on charges made for charter service. Additionally, no tax would be due on withdrawals of aircraft for use in charter flights originating and terminating in states other than South Carolina.
5. Sales of gasoline for use in aircraft are subject to the tax.
6. Sales of lubricating oils and greases are subject to the tax. Charges made for lubricating services are not taxable, the tax being paid on the value of the lubricant or grease used in furnishing this service.
7. Repair service.
a. No tax is due on the purchase or withdrawal of parts used to repair or recondition aircraft for sale. Likewise, no tax is due on repairs by a person electing to report use on the basis of flight hours.
b. No tax is due on parts withdrawn for use in replacing parts under written warranty contracts given without charge to the purchaser at the time of original purchase, provided the tax was paid on the sale of the part found to be defective or on the sale of the property of which the defective part was a component, and provided no charge for labor or materials is made to the warrantee.
c. All other proceeds derived from the sale of repair parts and service are subject to the tax; provided, however, that where a separation is made between the sale of the parts and the sale of the service, the tax is due only on the sale of the repair parts. The invoice to the customer must show this separation.
8. Rental of hanger or tie space. No tax.


S.C. Code Regs. 117-331
Added by State Register Volume 26, Issue No. 6, Part 2, eff June 28, 2002.

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