Sen. Coleman Seeks Increase in Mileage Reimbursement Rate

June 16, 2008

Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) last week wrote to and spoke to IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, requesting that mileage-deduction rates for business-related travel be increased to reflect higher gasoline costs:

The current rate — used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business . . . purposes — is 50.5 cents per mile. The IRS typically adjusts the rate on an annual basis [in January], but Coleman suggests the rate should be increased again to reflect rising fuel costs.

“With gas prices hitting record levels, drivers should not be further burdened with outdated rates,” Coleman wrote in a letter sent Thursday afternoon to IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, in which he did not suggest a specific amount for the increase.

Read the rest of the article here. Note that the article states that 50.5 per mile cents is the rate for medical, moving, and charitable reimbursements as well; this is incorrect. The mileage-deduction rate for medical and moving costs is only 19 cents per mile, and 14 cents per mile for charitable purposes.

The IRS adjusted the mileage deduction rate mid-year in 2005, so there’s some precedent for Coleman’s request. According to Daily Tax Report, the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) has also called for an adjustment, and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) has a bill pending (S. 3032) to temporarily standardize business, medical, and moving reimbursement rates at 70 cents per mile, with charitable reimbursement increased to 40 cents per mile.

Travel expenses and other business reimbursements became only partly reimbursable under the Tax Reform Act of 1986: see our comparison of before and after here.

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