The Biden administration is looking to the skies for government revenue, scrutinizing corporate jets as it tries to get big companies to pay more in taxes and to crack down on rich tax evaders.

From Taylor Swift to Fortune 500 chief executives, private air travel has for years been portrayed to exemplify lavishness and excess, putting it on the radar of Democrats who want to rid the tax code of incentives that promote its use.

Companies have long benefited from laws that allow them to write off the cost of jets more quickly than commercial airlines can, and to pay less in fuel taxes. Included in the $5 trillion of tax increases proposed by the White House were plans to target corporate aviation and ramp up scrutiny of executives who use company planes for private trips.

President Biden raised the taxation of corporate jets at his State of the Union address this month and at a campaign event in Philadelphia last week as he laid out his ideas to make big companies “pay their fair share.”

At a Senate hearing on Thursday, Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen praised the Internal Revenue Service for embarking on a “new initiative to end abuse of corporate jet write-offs.”

The ideas have drawn swift backlash from the corporate aviation industry, which argues that the proposals unfairly undercut American companies that rely on private planes to allow their executives to more easily visit factories and remote offices.


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