New 2019 Rules for Mileage Expenses

In Notice 2019-02, the IRS detailed the mileage rates for 2019. The optional standard mileage rates are used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. Starting January 1, 2019, the rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

  • 58 cents/mile driven for business use,
    • Up 3.5 cents from 2018;
  • 20 cents/mile driven for medical or moving purposes
    • Up two cents from 2018;
  • 14 cents/mile driven in service of charitable organizations.
    • No change from 2018

The IRS reminded taxpayers, “Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, taxpayers cannot claim a miscellaneous itemized deduction for unreimbursed employee travel expenses. Taxpayers also cannot claim a deduction for moving expenses, except members of the Armed Forces on active duty moving under orders to a permanent change of station.”

The Notice also reminded taxpayers that they can always calculate the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates. “They may not use the business standard mileage rate for a vehicle after using any depreciation method under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System or after claiming a Sec. 179 deduction for that vehicle. The business standard mileage rate also cannot be used for more than four vehicles used simultaneously.”  These limitations are detailed in Revenue Procedure 2010-51.

The application of the optional mileage expense rules can be complicated so please consult with your professional tax advisor if you have questions on these rules.