Standard mileage rates will go down in 2016

By Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.

Optional standard mileage rates for business use of a vehicle will go down in 2016, the IRS announced on Thursday (Notice 2016-1). For business use of a car, van, pickup truck, or panel truck, the rate for 2016 will be 54 cents per mile, compared with 57.5 cents in 2015. Taxpayers can use the optional standard mileage rates to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile.

Driving for medical or moving purposes may be deducted at 19 cents per mile, which is four cents lower than for 2015.

The rate for service to a charitable organization is unchanged, set by statute (Sec. 170(i)) at 14 cents a mile.

The portion of the business standard mileage rate that is treated as depreciation will be 24 cents per mile for 2016, the same as 2015.

To compute the allowance under a fixed and variable rate (FAVR) plan, the maximum standard automobile cost is $28,000 for 2016 (down from $28,200 in 2015) for automobiles (not including trucks and vans) and $31,000 for trucks and vans (an increase of $200 from 2015). Under a FAVR plan, a standard amount is deemed substantiated for an employer’s reimbursement to employees for expenses they incur in driving their vehicle in performing services as an employee for the employer.

Sally P. Schreiber ( is a JofA senior editor.


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