February 9, 2020 - Douglas Myser

New IRS standard mileage rates. The optional standard mileage rates for business use of a vehicle will decrease slightly in 2020 after increasing significantly in 2019, the IRS announced in Notice 2020-05. For business use of a car, van, pickup truck, or panel truck, the rate for 2020 will be 57.5 cents per mile in 2020, down from 58 cents per mile last year after increasing from 54.5 cents per mile in 2018. Taxpayers can use the optional standard mileage rates to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile. Because the law known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, suspended the miscellaneous itemized deduction under Sec. 67 for unreimbursed employee business expenses from 2018 to 2025, the notice explains that the standard mileage rate cannot be used to claim a deduction for those expenses during that period. New IRS standard mileage rates.

However, self-employed taxpayers can deduct automobile expenses if they qualify as ordinary and necessary business expenses. And an exception to the disallowance of a deduction for unreimbursed employee business expenses applies to members of a reserve component of the U.S. armed forces, state or local government officials paid on a fee basis, and certain performing artists. They are permitted to deduct mileage expenses on line 11 of IRS Schedule 1040, U.S. individual tax returns and may continue to sue the 57.5 cents per mile business standard deduction rate. The standard mileage rate also can be used under Rev. Procedure 2019-46 as the maximum amount an employer can reimburse an employee for operating an automobile for business purposes without substantiating the actual expense incurred.

Under Notice 2020-05, driving for medical care or for certain limited moving expense purposes for members of the armed forces may be deducted at 17 cents per mile, which is 3 cents lower than for 2019. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act repealed the moving expense deduction for individual taxpayers from 2018 to 2025. New IRS standard mileage rates.

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