New Standard Mileage Rates for 2019

In December 2018, Washington D.C. embraced the Holiday spirit with a federal tax update, resulting in an increase to standard mileage rates and presumably many happy drivers. This marks the second year in a row that the federal government has increased rates for mileage deductions and reimbursements used by taxpayers.

The IRS standard mileage rates for the use of a vehicle (including cars, pickups, vans or panel trucks) in 2018 were:

  • 54.5 cents for every mile of business travel driven
  • 18 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

The standard mileage rates starting on January 1, 2019 are as follows:

  • 58 cents for every mile of business travel driven
  • 20 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

Standard mileage rates aren’t the only vehicle expense adjustments included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act though; miscellaneous deductions subject to the 2% adjusted gross income limitation are no longer available to individual taxpayers. Thus, itemized claims on unreimbursed employee travel expenses cannot be deducted. It is important for taxpayers to note that the business standard mileage rate cannot be used where MACRS depreciation amounts are taken or after claiming a Section 179 deduction for a vehicle. Further, the business standard mileage rate cannot be applied to more than four vehicles at the same time.

According to the IRS News Release, the standard mileage rate for business use is determined through an annual study of fixed and variable costs of vehicle operation, although the rate for medical and moving purposes is established on variable costs alone. If you have any questions regarding the implications of vehicle expense adjustments or mileage rates, please contact your local Schneider Downs tax associate.

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