IRS issues 2018 standard mileage rates

By Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.

The optional standard mileage rates for business use of a vehicle will increase slightly in 2018, after decreasing in the two previous years, the IRS announced Thursday (Notice 2018-3). For business use of a car, van, pickup truck, or panel truck, the rate for 2018 will be 54.5 cents per mile, up from 53.5 cents per mile in 2017. 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 18 cents per mile, which is one cent higher than for 2017. (The medical and moving expense deductions may be affected by the pending tax reform legislation.)

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

The portion of the business standard mileage rate that is treated as depreciation will be 25 cents per mile for 2018, unchanged from 2017.

To compute the allowance under a fixed and variable rate (FAVR) plan, the maximum standard automobile cost is $27,300 for 2018 (down from $27,900 for 2017) for automobiles (not including trucks and vans) and $31,000 for trucks and vans (a decrease of $300 from 2017). 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 (Sally.Schreiber@aicpa-cima.com) is a JofA senior editor.

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