IRS and the mileage rate increase

The last time we saw a steep increase in gas prices at the pump, the IRS helped ease the pain with an increase in the allowable standard mileage deduction/reimbursement rates. There was a mid-year mileage rate adjustment in 2005, and another one in 2008 when the business mileage rate was increased to a record 58.5 cents per mile.
 
Last week, Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), along with eight other house Republicans and three Democrats, sent a letter to IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman asking the agency to consider increasing the mileage rates for the rest of 2011. Specific rate increase recommendations were not mentioned in the letter.
 
Meanwhile, IRS spokesman Ligeia Donis, assistant branch chief at the IRS Office of Chief Counsel, spoke with payroll industry representatives in a conference call last week, and explained why, in spite of spiking gas prices, we should not expect an increase in the standard mileage rate this summer.
 
Donis told those who attended the conference call, “Changing the rate in middle of the year could present logistical challenges, and if the price of gas dropped, there would be more complications.”
 
The current mileage rates are:
  • 51 cents per mile for business miles
  • 19 cents per mile for medical or moving purposes, and
  • 14 cents per mile for charitable organizations.
 

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