If you're in business, you're interested in the IRS mileage deduction rates. The 2005 rates fluctuated because of high gas prices and now the 2006 rates have been released.
Standard Mileage Deduction - 2005
In a move not seen for some time, the IRS actually issued two different mileage deduction rates in 2005. Mileage deduction rates are the dollar value per business mile traveled that you can claim as a deduction. For instance, if you traveled 1,000 miles in your vehicle on business in 2005, you can deduction 1,000 multiplied by the designated rate.
For the first eight months of 2005, the standard mileage deduction rate was 40.5 cents a mile. Using our previous example, a person who drove 1,000 business miles in the first months of 2005 would be able to deduct $405.
As we all know, gas prices went through the roof in the last four months of the year. In a tremendous move, the IRS raised the standard mileage deduction to 48.5 cents for business miles undertaken from September through December. This equates to a deduction of $485 using our example.
This increased rate only applies to the time period of September through December. It does not retroactively apply to the first eight months of the year. The IRS has not issued any directions regarding how the two different rates will be noted on 2005 tax returns.
Standard Mileage Deduction - 2006
This past week, the IRS issued the standard mileage rates for the 2006 year. The new rate for standard business mileage will be 44.5 cent per mile. This rate should be used when you prepare your tax return for the 2006 year, to wit, in 2007.
The IRS should be applauded for raising the standard mileage rate for the last four months of 2005. Still, I am sure we would all prefer lower gas prices.