IRS Mileage Rate Increase for the Remainder of 2008

“Rising gas prices are having a major impact on individual Americans. Given the increase in prices, the IRS is adjusting the standard mileage rates to better reflect the real cost of operating an automobile,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “We want the reimbursement rate to be fair to taxpayers.”

While gasoline is a significant factor in the mileage figure, other items enter into the calculation of mileage rates, such as depreciation and insurance and other fixed and variable costs.

The optional business standard mileage rate is used to compute the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business use in lieu of tracking actual costs. This rate is also used as a benchmark by the federal government and many businesses to reimburse their employees for mileage.

The new six-month rate for computing deductible medical or moving expenses will also increase by eight (8) cents to 27 cents a mile, up from 19 cents for the first six months of 2008. The rate for providing services for charitable organizations is set by statute, not the IRS, and remains at 14 cents a mile.

The new rates are contained in Announcement 2008-63 on the optional standard mileage rates.

Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates.

Of course, you still have the option to deduct actual expenses rather than mileage, but mileage is a lot easier to track.

If you drive 100 business miles per day in a side business, you could potentially deduct $58.50 from any gross revenue you generated. Additionally, if you use your personal vehicle for your employer, you should be able to get reimbursement from your employer. If not, you can deduct those miles from your personal taxes. As always, when dealing with taxes, be sure you check with a qualified tax adviser before making any decisions on deductions.