In recognition of recent gasoline price increases, the IRS made this special adjustment for the final months of 2008. The IRS normally updates the mileage rates once a year in the fall for the next calendar year.
"Rising gas prices are having a major impact on individual Americans. Given the increase in prices, the IRS is adjusting the standard mileage rates to better reflect the real cost of operating an automobile," said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. "We want the reimbursement rate to be fair to taxpayers."
The standard IRS mileage rate is used to compute the deductible costs of operating an automobile and is also used as a benchmark by the federal government and many businesses to reimburse their employees for mileage.
The rate increased at the first of the year 2 cents to 50.5 cents per mile. A mid-year change is unusual and reflects the impact that rising gas prices have on the American economy.
As the high price of oil trickles down the economy, expect to see businesses continue to raise their fees to cover these new higher costs.
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