IRS Mileage Rate Drops for 2020

Posted by: Gail Cecchettini Whaley, J.D. on Thursday, January 2, 2020

The IRS has issued the 2020 optional standard mileage rate, with a slight half-cent drop for the new year. The optional standard mileage rate is used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

Beginning January 1, 2020, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

  • 57.5 cents per mile driven for business use, down one half of a cent from the rate for 2019
  • 17 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down three cents from the rate for 2019
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations (same rate as 2019)

The standard mileage rate for business use is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs. The charitable rate is set by statute and remains unchanged.

Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates.

California employers are required by law to provide reimbursement for all expenses necessarily spent in the discharge of their job duties. In general, the Labor Commissioner has stated that the IRS mileage rate will be viewed as a reasonable measure of business-related vehicle expenses.

Yet, this rate is not conclusive. If an employee can show that actual expenses are more than the standard mileage rate, the employer will need to pay the difference between the two.

Questions? Let CEA help you. Give us a call at 800.399.5331.


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