Air charter faces tax lien from IRS | AspenTimes.com
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Air charter faces tax lien from IRS

Already in arrears to the tune of a $31 million court judgment, an Aspen upscale charter service now faces a tax bill for more than $1 million, according to public records on file at the Pitkin County Clerk & Recorder’s Office.A notice of a federal tax lien claims Aspen Executive Air is delinquent in its tax payments for seven tax periods, the first ending Dec. 31, 2004. All told, Aspen Executive Air, which does business as AEXJet, owes $1,013,038, according to the IRS notice.The apparent tax troubles are the latest fiscal problem to emerge for the charter service, which bills itself as the provider of a luxury alternative to the hassle that comes with flying commercial. The charter flies out of Aspen nonstop to New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta, South Florida, Houston and Austin, Texas.In July, Minnesota-based JLT Aircraft Holding Co. LLC and Walker Aircraft LLC filed papers in Pitkin County District Court in an effort to collect judgments totaling $31 million. The two firms, which lease aircraft to AEXJet, filed the documents after a federal judge ruled in April 2006 that AEXJet owed them money for the leases on two Gulfstream G-200s and a Dassault Falcon 900B. AEXJet lease agreements called for it to pay $128,000 a month for each Gulfstream to JLT Aircraft, and $142,000 monthly to Walker Aircraft for the Falcon, according to court papers.Meanwhile, the tax bill is being disputed by the AEXJet its tax attorney, Tom Stalzer of Atlanta, said Wednesday.”We feel it should be substantially less,” he said.The IRS is pursuing what’s known as an excise tax from AEXJet. There are two types of excise taxes airlines pay – one is a fuel excise tax, the other a passenger tax. The IRS claims that AEXJet owes it for the passenger taxes.”We’ve been working on this matter for several months now,” Stalzer said. “We had been dealing with the IRS computers [instead of a human being], and now we have an agent who has been assigned to the case.”Stalzer also said AEXJet is entitled to credit for the fuel excise taxes it has paid, which should lower the amount the IRS claims it’s owed. He said he hopes to have the matter settled within two weeks.Since it launched in March 2003, AEXJet has marketed its services through a three-tier program with memberships ranging from $125,000 to $500,000. The programs function like a debit account, with fliers’ accounts charged each time they fly, based on an hourly rate and other fees. Rick Carroll’s e-mail address is rcarroll@aspentimes.com


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