Flight Instructing at ATP

Hey guys,

I read somewhere that pilots cannot be independent contractor as per the IRS. I that some pilots do ferry flying and instruct on the side, but if a pilot works for a school such as ATP, they cannot be considered independent contractors. Since contractors determine their own schedule and ATP obviously has a curriculum to be followed (understandably so), it can’t technically be considered a contractor job. Can anyone better inform me on how it works? I just don’t want to be “in the wrong” when filing taxes when I instruct.


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I am certainly not a tax expert, but I do know that ATP’s instructors are considered to be independent contractors. You don’t really need to worry about which way to file your taxes as it will be very clear. Employees are issued a W-2 while independent contractors are issued a 1099 at tax time, that is what will make the distinction for you when filing taxes.



Like Chris I’m no accountant but ATP can and has been paying thousands of instructors as independent contractors for decades and I’ve never heard of a single problem with the IRS. If you truly aspire to be a pilot I’d be more concerned with the FARs than the tax code.



Sorry for the late reply. Thanks again for taking care of any questions I may have!