- Longtime downtown Cape bartender Marcellus Jones remembered by friends (6/12/18)2
- Stormy Daniels to visit East Cape Girardeau (6/13/18)20
- Peter Kinder resigns federal agency post, concludes position unnecessary and waste of tax dollars (6/16/18)2
- Singer Neal Boyd dies after struggle with health issues (6/12/18)1
- Cape man charged with stabbing, killing dog for revenge (6/8/18)9
- Feeding deer in Bollinger, Cape and Perry counties prohibited soon to help curb spread of CWD (6/13/18)7
- Couple charged in beating death at Brick's (6/13/18)
- 'All Nite Skate' filming in Jackson this weekend (6/8/18)
- New Zaxby's restaurant open in Cape (6/13/18)3
- New urban dance studio opens on Broadway (6/15/18)2
Bigger tax write-off ready for high-cost fuel
WASHINGTON -- The Internal Revenue Service, citing the drain that high gas prices are having on people's finances, said Monday it raised the automobile mileage rate that businesses and others can claim.
The tax agency said the optional standard rate to calculate deductible operating costs for business vehicles will rise from 50.5 cents a mile to 58.5 cents for the final six months of 2008.
That rate also applies to businesses and others entitled to depreciation allowances that operate automobiles for charitable, medical or moving purposes.
"Rising gas prices are having a major impact on individual Americans," said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. "Given the increase in prices, the IRS is adjusting the standard mileage rates to better reflect the real cost of operating an automobile."
Shulman said the agency has been keeping an eye on gas prices since 2005 when there was a spike in prices following Hurricane Katrina. He said officials wanted to get the guidance out on the new rate so businesses can do midyear adjustments on July 1.
The IRS said it was also changing the rate for computing deductible medical or moving expenses from 19 cents to 27 cents a mile for the final six months of the year.
That applies to individuals not entitled to depreciation allowances.
Congress must enact legislation to change the rate for providing services for charitable organizations, so that will stay at 14 cents a mile.
The IRS normally updates the mileage rates once a year in the fall for the next calendar year.
"This is welcome news for a lot of folks out there. There's no question that the cost of operating a vehicle has risen exponentially due to the dramatic increase in gas prices," said Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn.
Coleman last week sent a letter to Shulman and called him to urge that the rate be increased to better reflect rising transportation costs.
Coleman said he talked to Shulman again Monday and "he said that these are certainly unusual times, these are volatile times, and it requires that we act nimbly and quickly."