IRS Announces New Mileage Rate

The Internal Revenue Service today issued its 2009 optional standard mileage rates that are used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2009, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickup or panel truck, will be: 55 cents per mile for business miles driven, 24 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes and 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.

Most of the new rates are lower than rates for the second half of 2008 that were raised by a special adjustment mid-year in response to a spike in gasoline prices. The rate for charitable purposes is set by law and is unchanged from 2008.

The business mileage rate was 50.5 cents in the first half of 2008 and 58.5 cents in the second half. The medical and moving rate was 19 cents in the first half and 27 cents in the second half.

The agency said that the 2009 mileage rates "reflect generally higher transportation costs compared to a year ago, but the rates also factor in the recent reversal of rising gasoline prices. While gasoline is a significant factor in the mileage rate, other fixed and variable costs, such as depreciation, enter the calculation."

By Sharon McLoone |  November 25, 2008; 4:15 PM ET Tax Tips
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