WASHINGTON, D.C. --- After bumping up automobile mileage deduction rates for the second half of the year, the Internal Revenue Service is lowering rates for 2009 to coincide with falling gasoline prices.

The 2009 rates, used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, are a bit lower than rates for the second half of 2008, which the IRS raised in response to a spike in prices at the pump.

The standard rate for business use beginning in January will be 55 cents a mile, down from 58.5 cents since July.