The IRS has issued the 2019 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical, or moving purposes.

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2019, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups, or panel trucks) are:

  • 58 cents for every mile of business travel driven, up 3.5 cents from 2018
  • 20 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, up 2 cents from 2018
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations. This rate is set by statute and remains unchanged.

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.

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

Limitations

In announcing the new mileage rates, the IRS noted that under the 2017 tax reform law taxpayers cannot claim a miscellaneous itemized deduction for unreimbursed employee travel expenses, nor can they claim a deduction for moving expenses (except members of the Armed Forces on active duty moving under orders to a permanent change of station).

In addition, taxpayers may not use the business standard mileage rate for a vehicle after using any depreciation method under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System or after claiming a Section 179 deduction for that vehicle.

And the business standard mileage rate cannot be used for more than four vehicles used simultaneously.