2011 Standard Mileage Rates

2011 Standard Mileage rates used to calculate the deductible cost of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes has been announced by the IRS.

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2011, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

  • 51 cents per mile for business miles driven

  • 19 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes

  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs as determined by the same study. Independent contractor Runzheimer International conducted the study.

A taxpayer may not use the business standard mileage rate for a vehicle after using any depreciation method under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) or after claiming a Section 179 deduction for that vehicle. In addition, the business standard mileage rate cannot be used for any vehicle used for hire or for more than four vehicles used simultaneously.

Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates.

Here are a few things the IRS wants you to know about record keeping:

Keeping well-organized records also ensures you can answer questions if you return is selected for examination or prepare a response if you receive an IRS notice. In most cases, the IRS does not require you to keep records in any special manner. Generally speaking, you should keep any and all documents that may have an impact on you federal tax return.

Individual taxpayers should usually keep the following records supporting items on their tax returns for at least three years:

  • Bills

  • Credit card and other receipts

  • Invoices

  • Mileage logs

  • Cancelled, imaged or substitute checks or any other proof of payment

  • Any other records to support deductions or credits you claim on your return

You should normally keep records to property until at least three years after you sell or otherwise dispose of the property. Examples include:

  • A home purchase or improvement

  • Stocks and other investments

  • Individual Retirement Arrangement transactions

  • Rental property records

If you are a small business owner, you must keep all your employment tax records for at least four years after the tax becomes due or is paid, whichever is later. Examples of important documents business owners should keep include:

  • Gross receipts: Cash register tapes, bank deposit slips, receipt books, invoices, credit card charge slips and Forms 1099-MISC

  • Proof of purchases: Cancelled checks, cash register tape receipts, credit card sales slips and invoices

  • Expense documents: Cancelled checks, cash register taxpes, account statements, credit card sales slips, invoices and petty cash slips for small cash payments

  • Documents to verify your assets: Purchase and sales invoices, real estate closing statements and cancelled checks