The IRS has issued the 2017 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, 2017, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups, or panel trucks) are:

  • 53.5 cents per mile for business miles driven, down from 54 cents in 2016
  • 17 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down from 19 cents in 2016
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations (unchanged from last year)

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 the standard mileage rates.

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 or after claiming a Section 179 deduction for that vehicle.

In addition, the business standard mileage rate cannot be used for more than four vehicles used simultaneously.