As 2024 unfolds, one key topic both for individuals and businesses is the IRS Mileage Rate. Understanding these rates is crucial for accurate expense tracking and tax preparation. In this post, our team at Lewis. CPA will delve into the latest updates and insights on the IRS Mileage Rate for 2024 to ensure you're well-equipped for efficient financial planning.
The IRS Issues 2024 Mileage Rates
The IRS has announced the standard mileage rates for 2024, reflecting changes that are important for taxpayers to note. Beginning January 1, 2024, the rates are set as follows:
- 67 Cents per Mile for Business Use. The rate for business use of a vehicle (including cars, vans, pickups, and panel trucks) has increased to 67 cents per mile, up by 1.5 cents from the 2023 rate.
- 21 Cents per Mile for Medical or Moving Purposes. For those driving for medical reasons or moving purposes, specifically qualified active-duty members of the Armed Forces, the rate is now 21 cents per mile, which is a decrease of 1 cent from 2023.
- 14 Cents per Mile for Charitable Organizations. The rate for driving in service of charitable organizations remains unchanged at 14 cents per mile, as this rate is set by statute.
These rates are applicable to electric and hybrid-electric vehicles, in addition to traditional gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles. The standard mileage rate for business use is based on an annual study of both fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile. Conversely, the rate for medical and moving purposes is based solely on the variable costs.
What Is the Current Mileage Rate?
The current 2023 IRS mileage rates are:
- 65.5 cents per mile for business purposes.
- 22 cents per mile for medical and moving purposes.
- 14 cents per mile for charitable purposes.
What Influences IRS Mileage Rates?
IRS mileage rates are not fixed figures but dynamic estimates influenced by various factors. These variables play a crucial role in determining the annual adjustments to mileage rates:
- Gas Prices: Fuel costs are pivotal in rate changes. Sudden spikes or drops in gas prices directly affect vehicle operation expenses, prompting rate adjustments. Higher gas prices often lead to increased mileage rates to cover the added cost, while lower prices may result in rate reductions.
- Vehicle Maintenance Costs: Rising parts, labor, and tire costs necessitate rate increases to bridge the gap. Conversely, improvements in vehicle reliability and reduced maintenance expenses contribute to a slower rate of growth.
- Insurance Premiums: Fluctuations in insurance premiums, especially for commercial rideshare services, can impact mileage deductions as pricing trends in this sector influence rate adjustments.
- Inflation: High inflation in transportation costs drives up mileage rates, while low inflation leads to slower rate growth.
- Used Car Prices: The state of the used car market affects mileage rates. Strong used car prices translate to higher depreciation costs included in the rates, whereas weaker prices have the opposite effect.
- Tax Policy: Changes in tax codes related to business mileage directly influence rate decisions.
- Industry Factors: Broader economic and industry issues that impact personal transportation costs factor into the annual analysis.
For 2024, inflation and gas prices had the most significant influence on rate adjustments, with other factors considered as well.
IRS Mileage Rate Trend
IRS Mileage Rates 2014-2023
- 2014 - 56 cents per mile
- 2015 - 57.5 cents per mile
- 2016 - 54 cents per mile
- 2017 - 53.5 cents per mile
- 2018 - 54.5 cents per mile
- 2019 - 58 cents per mile
- 2020 - 57.5 cents per mile
- 2021 - 56 cents per mile
- 2022* - 58.5 cents/62.5 cents per mile
- 2023 - 65.5 cents per mile
- 2024 - 67 cents per mile (Starting January 1)
*In 2022, to tackle increasing expenses, the IRS bumped up the mileage rate from 58.5 cents to 62.5 cents for the latter half of the year.
Over the last ten years, the IRS mileage rates have been quite flexible. Between 2016 and 2018, rates dropped because gas prices were low, and inflation was modest. But in recent times, things have changed. Rates have gone up, reflecting the fact that gas and overall prices are higher now. These higher rates better match the actual costs people face when using their cars for business, especially when prices are on the rise.
What Records Do I Need to Keep to Support My Mileage Deductions?
To support your mileage deductions on your tax return, it's crucial to maintain accurate and detailed records. The IRS may request documentation as proof of your claims in case of an audit. Here are the records you should keep:
- Mileage Log: Maintain a mileage log that includes the date of each trip, the purpose of the trip (e.g., business meeting, medical appointment, charity event), the starting and ending odometer readings for each trip, and the total miles driven. You can use a physical notebook or a mileage-tracking app to record this information.
- Trip Documentation: Keep supporting documentation related to each trip, such as appointment schedules, meeting agendas, or charity event invitations. This helps establish the purpose of the trip.
- Receipts and Expenses: If you incur expenses related to your mileage (e.g., tolls, parking fees), retain receipts and records of these expenses as they are also deductible.
- Vehicle Information: Document details about your vehicle, including its make, model, year, and any additional features that affect its operating costs. This information can be useful when calculating depreciation.
- Proof of Ownership or Lease: If you own the vehicle, keep records related to its purchase, including the sales contract, title, and loan documentation. If you lease the vehicle, retain a copy of the lease agreement.
- Maintenance and Repair Records: Maintain records of vehicle maintenance and repair expenses, as these costs are factored into the mileage rate.
- Business Purpose Documentation: For business mileage deductions, be prepared to provide evidence of your business activities, such as client invoices, meeting notes, or other relevant documents that establish the need for the travel.
- Charitable Contributions: If you're claiming mileage for charitable activities, keep records of your volunteer work, including dates, organizations, and descriptions of your volunteer duties.
- Medical Necessity: If you're deducting medical or moving expenses, have documentation from your healthcare provider or employer verifying the necessity of the trips for medical care or relocation purposes.
- Tax Returns: Keep copies of your filed tax returns and any related schedules where you reported mileage deductions. This provides a historical record of your claims.
It's essential to maintain these records throughout the year as you incur mileage expenses, rather than trying to reconstruct them at tax time. Good record-keeping not only helps support your deductions but also ensures compliance with IRS regulations and can save you time and stress during an audit.
The Bottom Line
In summary, staying current with the IRS mileage rate for 2024 is crucial for individuals and businesses seeking to maximize their deductions and remain in compliance with tax regulations. For expert guidance and assistance tailored to your specific needs, consider reaching out to Lewis CPA firm. Backed by 36+ years of experience our tax professionals are ready to help you navigate the complexities of mileage deductions. Contact us today to ensure you make the most of your eligible deductions and achieve your financial goals.