Flying High

Today TaxMama hears from Kathleen in the TaxQuips Forum, who is curious. “I attended a flight school in ’09 and earned my helicopter commercial pilot certificate as well as flight instructor certificate. I now work as a commercial pilot & flight instructor. The school is not a typical college/university. But I did receive my certificates from the FAA (a government institution I believe). Can my expenses be counted towards a tax deduction?”

Hi Kathleen,

 Congratulations. What a terrific way to make a living. I’ve always wanted to learn to fly.

You must be awfully coordinated. I understand that to fly a helicopter you must be able to do much more than pat your head and your stroke your stomach at the same time.

 Yes, you can get educational benefits for vocational schools.  Most likely, even for the helicopter school.

Better than a deduction, you can claim a tax credit  for some of your education costs. That’s a direct reduction of taxes, rather than a reduction of taxable income.

Test all the options in your tax software and see which one gives you the best benefits.

 I’ve outlined them all and how they work, in a recent article about Education Benefits.

And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of education benefits other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At

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