IRS ups standard mileage rates

The Internal Revenue Service has increased to 55.5 cents the optional standard mileage rates for the final six months of 2011.

Taxpayers may use the optional standard rates to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business and other purposes, the IRS said.

The rate will increase to 55.5 cents a mile for all business miles driven from July 1, 2011, through Dec. 31, 2011. This is an increase of 4.5 cents from the 51 cent rate in effect for the first six months of 2011, as set forth in Revenue Procedure 2010-51.

The IRS normally updates the mileage rates once a year in the fall for the next calendar year.

“This year’s increased gas prices are having a major impact on individual Americans. The IRS is adjusting the standard mileage rates to better reflect the recent increase in gas prices,” IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said in a news release. “We are taking this step so the reimbursement rate will be fair to taxpayers.”

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