New “Drone Tax” – What this Means

The drone tax has been one of the hot topics in the news in recent days. This is a requirement by all aviators to register their drones with the Federal Aviation Administration. We are going to go into what this tax is and the consequences which follow if the tax is not paid.AirplanePic

What is the Tax?

The Federal Aviation Administration has introduced a $5 fee for registering any unmanned aircraft. You have to register by February 19th using a brand new web system. This system has recently come into force on December 21st 2015. This fee is waived for the first 30 days as a compromise to critics of the bill.

It’s part of a new drive to track unmanned aircraft, to ensure that they’re unable to be used for nefarious purposes. The ID number presented with each successful registration must be stuck onto the device whenever it’s in flight.

The Consequences of Not Paying the Tax

Fines can hit $27,000 for the worst offenses. It can go even higher if you have committed a crime alongside it. However, the reality is the drone tax is extremely difficult to enforce, particularly if you only use your drone in remote areas.

It’s not clear how many drone owners will comply with the law or how much the authorities will look to enforce it. Nevertheless, that does not mean people should go out of their way to avoid registering. The penalties could be stiff upon being caught, even if the odds of it happening are slim.

If you register before the end of January, you can avoid paying anything, thus not paying a tax at all.

Image credit: Tim Lenz

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