Tax Guru – Ker$tetter Letter

Helping real people win the tax game.

Lower IRS Mileage Rates for 2017

Posted by taxguru on December 13, 2016

The recently lower fuel prices have caused IRS to reduce their standard rate per mile deductions for business, medical and moving in 2017.  Only Congress has the power to modify the per mile cost that can be claimed as a Schedule A Charitable Donation from the 14 cents per mile rate that they cemented into the Tax Code rather than allow it to fluctuate with current costs as calculated by IRS.

From the IRS press release:

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2017, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

  • 53.5 cents per mile for business miles driven, down from 54 cents for 2016
  • 17 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down from 19 cents for 2016
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

While these rates are for 2017 miles driven, to be claimed in 2018 when preparing 2017 1040s, having this info now is very useful for employers who use the IRS rate for their own employee reimbursement policies.

My Standard Reminders in regard to deducting vehicle expenses:

Most State tax agencies synchronize their allowable deductions with what IRS allows; but some don’t.

For heavy business use of vehicles, it’s a good idea to keep track of actual operating costs.  In many cases, it is possible to switch back and forth between standard rate and actual expenses from year to year. 

The IRS rate is based on average costs that may not represent your actual operating costs.  For example, if you are like many motorcyclists and owners of older cars, who use the much more expensive Ethanol Free gasoline to prevent the expensive carburetor problems that Ethanol causes, your fuel costs will be much higher than what IRS has built into their standard rate. 

 

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