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Expect IRS To Increase Standard Mileage Rate

Posted by taxguru on May 20, 2022

In normal years, IRS adjusts its standard mileage deduction rate once a year for those taxpayers who don’t want to keep track of their actual expenses, as well as for employee reimbursements.

The standard rate, which has been 58.5 cents per mile for business purposes since the beginning of 2022, is intended to include the operating and ownership costs of an “average” car based on prior year (2021) costs. These include such things as fuel, insurance, oil changes, repairs, registration, washing, and tires. It also includes a factor for the depreciation of the vehicle.

Having been in the tax business for over 45 years, I can remember some years where fuel prices shot up as quickly as they are currently doing. In some of those cases, IRS increased their mileage rates mid-year. Sometimes this was as of July 1, while in other cases it was as of October 1. This meant that taxpayers had to keep track of and report their business miles separately for each time period.

I haven’t seen anything from IRS indicating that this will happen this year, but, given the insane price increases in gasoline and diesel we have been dealing with all over the country, it seems inevitable. The higher purchase prices for both new and used vehicles makes an increase in the depreciation component of the standard mileage rate also very likely.

Whether IRS raises its standard deduction rate or not, this is a perfect example of why it is important for everyone to keep track of their actual vehicle expenses because they will almost certainly be higher than whatever standard rate IRS allows for 2022.

Update 5/25/22: During today’s CPELink Monthly Tax Update, there was a mention of a recent letter that some CongressCritters wrote to the IRS Commissioner, requesting an increase in the standard mileage allowance to account for the drastic increases in fuel prices since 2021.
Press Release From Arizona Congressman
Copy of Letter

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