Beginning January 1, 2020, the IRS changed the optional standard mileage for the calculation of deductible costs of operating an automobile (sedans, vans, pickups and panel trucks) for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. Let’s discuss in more detail these new 2020 IRS Standard Mileage Rates.
2020 IRS Standard Mileage Rates for Business Usage
For the tax year 2020, the business-use cost of operating a vehicle will be 57.5 cents per mile. This is half a cent lower from 2019. The standard mileage rate for business use is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile.
As in previous years, a taxpayer may not use the business standard mileage rate for a vehicle after using any depreciation method under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) or after claiming a Section 179 deduction for that vehicle.
2020 IRS Standard Mileage Rates for Medical and Moving Purposes
For the tax year 2020, the medical and moving cost of operating a vehicle will be 17 cents per mile. This is lower by three cents from 2019. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs.
2020 IRS Standard Mileage Rates for Charitable Purposes
For the tax year 2020, the costs of operating a vehicle in the service of charitable organizations will be 14 cents per mile. The charitable rate is set by statute and remains unchanged.
2020 IRS Standard Mileage Rates vs. Actual Costs vs. Miscellaneous Itemized Deductions
It is important to note that under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, taxpayers can no longer claim a miscellaneous itemized deduction for unreimbursed employee travel expenses. With the exception of active duty members of Armed Forces, taxpayers also cannot claim a deduction for moving expenses. Notice-2019-02.
However, taxpayers are not forced to use the standard mileage rates; rather, this is optional. Sherayzen Law Office advises taxpayers that they have the option of calculating the actual costs of using a vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates. If the actual-cost method is chosen, then all of the actual expenses associated with the business use of a vehicle can be used: lease payments, maintenance and repairs, tires, gasoline (including all taxes), oil, insurance, et cetera.
IRS Notice 2020-05
IRS Notice 2020-05, posted on IRS.gov, contains the standard mileage rates, the amount a taxpayer must use in calculating reductions to basis for depreciation taken under the business standard mileage rate, and the maximum standard automobile cost that a taxpayer may use in computing the allowance under a fixed and variable rate plan. In addition, for employer-provided vehicles, the Notice provides the maximum fair market value of automobiles first made available to employees for personal use in calendar year 2020 for which employers may use the fleet-average valuation rule in § 1.61-21(d)(5)(v) or the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule in § 1.61-21(e).