IRS Increases Standard Mileage Rate
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has increased the standard mileage rate for business use of automobile from 36 cents a mile to 37.5 cents a mile. The new rate becomes effective Jan. 1, 2004. The IRS also announced that beginning Jan. 1, 2004 taxpayers who use no more than four vehicles at the same time for business may also use the standard mileage method rather than having to track actual expenses. This is seen as an improvement over the current rule which forces taxpayers who use more than one vehicle for business to deduct actual expenses rather than using the more simple standard mileage rate. However, taxpayers who use any depreciation method under the Modified Cost Recovery System, claimed a Section 179 deduction for the vehicle or use the vehicle for hire are not permitted to use the standard mileage rate.Standard mileage rates were also changed for medical travel and moving expenses. The medical and moving mileage rate will increase from 12 cents a mile to 14 cents a mile. The rate for charitable travel will remain at 14 cents a mile.