The Watson CPA Group has been preparing tax returns since 1997 for airline pilots and flight attendants across the country for a variety of airlines and aviation companies. We pride ourselves in tackling the most challenging tax situations including flight crew taxes, flight attendant taxes and airline pilot taxes - all for a flat fee. Combining a CPA-prepared tax return with the direct experience and participation of an airline pilot maximizes the quality of your tax return.
Per Diem, How Does It Work?
Per diem allowances and deductions are huge. We calculate your per diem allowances using both methods recognized by the IRS (city by city or standard daily rate) and use the method that maximizes your deduction. Most tax preparers are unfamiliar or simply will not take advantage of this incredible tax deduction. In fact, correctly deducting per diem allowances alone increases our average pilot and flight attendant tax refunds by several hundred dollars.
How does per diem work? is a common question that we get. Please see our Per Diem FAQs for more details regarding your pilot and flight attendant per diem deductions including examples of per diem rates and calculations.
Some airlines such as United, Frontier, Delta, etc. or those who use Sabre as their crew scheduling backbone can provide a report detailing your overnights and the associated per diem allowance (such as a FLICA report). We are generally comfortable with their calculations and will use the computed per diem allowance amount. In these situations, our fee will reduced by $10 for domestic crewmembers and $25 for international crewmembers.
We have also rolled out a new online per diem calculator where you can calculate the IRS per diem allowance by simply inputting your schedule. And the best part, it's free!
Deductions, Travel Expenses
Dry cleaning and rollaboards are obvious allowable deductions but have you considered your shoe shines or printer supplies? Or cell phone, laptop / iPad and Internet charges? There are numerous expenses associated with being a crewmember which are recognized by the IRS as employment related deductions and we will take full advantage of them! We have developed an exhaustive Flight Crew Expense Report to list all your pilot tax deductions and flight attendant tax deductions.
Many tax preparation companies charge you a basic rate, and then add on additional charges for eFiling, joint returns, rental properties, capital gains, small businesses, etc. And once you’re committed and find out the total fee, it’s too late. Most pilot and flight attendant tax returns are prepared for $75 or $150 depending on your situation. Our fee always includes your state tax return, small biz or rental, and per diem calculations. Please review our Fee Structure for more information.
The Watson CPA Group is not just tax preparers- we are tax consultants, and our firm will take you through the cycles of your personal and business lives. We are a resource that is always available throughout the year. Have a question? Need advice? Received a notice from the IRS just before Happy Hour on a Friday? You can contact us anytime, day or night.
Our fee is not just for tax preparation- it offers the continuous peace and mind of knowing that you are not alone in your tax world. We are airline minded people who are also small business owners and have rentals properties- we can speak your language, not just in a theoretical sense but in a practical down to earth manner.
Moreover, our goal is to always prepare a comprehensive and accurate tax return but equally important is your understanding of how a tax return 'works'- to the extent necessary, we want you to be comfortable with your tax consequences so together we can successfully plan for your future.
Please see our Flight Crew FAQs for additional answers to your frequently asked questions and concerns. We also encourage you to contact Jason Watson via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-641-0201.
We promise a response within a few hours, not days, not weeks.
Do It Yourselfers
If you want to prepare your own taxes, we can still offer assistance for completing your crewmember expenses and per diem calculation for you. Please contact us for more information.