IRS 2016 Standard Mileage Rates for Business, Medical and Moving

On December 17, 2015, the IRS issued its 2016 standard mileage rates to calculate deductible automobile operation costs for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

The 2016 standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

54 cents per mile for business miles driven, down from 57.5 cents for 2015
19 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down from 23 cents for 2015
14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

These 2016 standard mileage rates are effective January 1, 2016 and they are optional; taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates.

There are some circumstances where a taxpayer cannot use the business standard mileage rate. These exceptions include where a vehicle is depreciated using any depreciation method under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) or after claiming a Section 179 deduction for that vehicle. Furthermore, the business standard mileage rate cannot be used for more than four vehicles used simultaneously.

The 2016 Standard Mileage Rates apply to the vehicles that the taxpayers own or lease (though, there may be additional complications if the vehicle is leased). In addition to standard mileage rates, taxpayers may also deduct, as separate items: parking fees and tolls attributable to the use of a car for business purposes; interest related to the business purchase of a car; state and local personal property taxes (to the extent allowed by IRC Sections 163 and 164).

Parking fees and tools are also available for deduction, as separate items, for the use of a car for charitable, medical, or moving expense purposes. The interest related to the purchase of a car and state/local property taxes are not deductible as charitable, medical or moving expenses; however, they may be deducted as separate items to the extent allowed by IRC Sections 163 and 164.

IRS Notice 2016-01 contains the 2016 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.

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