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WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today announced an increase in the optional standard mileage rates for the final six months of 2011. Taxpayers may use the optional standard rates to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business and other purposes.
The rate will increase to 55.5 cents a mile for all business miles driven from July 1, 2011, through Dec. 31, 2011. This is an increase of 4.5 cents from the 51 cent rate in effect for the first six months of 2011, as set forth in Revenue Procedure 2010-51.
In recognition of recent gasoline price increases, the IRS made this special adjustment for the final months of 2011. The IRS normally updates the mileage rates once a year in the fall for the next calendar year.
“This year’s increased gas prices are having a major impact on individual Americans. The IRS is adjusting the standard mileage rates to better reflect the recent increase in gas prices,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “We are taking this step so the reimbursement rate will be fair to taxpayers.”
While gasoline is a significant factor in the mileage figure, other items enter into the calculation of mileage rates, such as depreciation and insurance and other fixed and variable costs.
The optional business standard mileage rate is used to compute the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business use in lieu of tracking actual costs. This rate is also used as a benchmark by the federal government and many businesses to reimburse their employees for mileage.
The new six-month rate for computing deductible medical or moving expenses will also increase by 4.5 cents to 23.5 cents a mile, up from 19 cents for the first six months of 2011. The rate for providing services for charitable organizations is set by statute, not the IRS, and remains at 14 cents a mile.
The new rates are contained in Announcement 2011-40 on the optional standard mileage rates.
Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates.
Mileage Rate Changes
|Purpose||Rates 1/1 through 6/30/11||Rates 7/1 through 12/31/11|
- Standard Mileage Rates (whiteheadcpas.wordpress.com)
- Representatives ask IRS for mid-year hike of standard mileage rates (dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com)
- IRS not likely to bump up optional standard mileage deduction rates … yet (dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com)
IRS Patrol:IRS to Hold Special Open House Saturday, Sept. 25 for Veterans and Persons with Disabilities
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service will host a special nationwide open house on Saturday, Sept. 25 to help taxpayers –– especially veterans and people with disabilities –– solve tax problems and respond to IRS notices.
One hundred offices, at least one in every state, will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time. IRS staff will be available on site or by telephone to help taxpayers work through issues and leave with solutions.
In many locations, the IRS will partner with organizations that serve veterans and the disabled to offer additional help and information to people in these communities. Partner organizations include the National Disability Institute (NDI), Vets First, Department of Veterans Affairs, National Council on Independent Living and the American Legion.
“Taxpayers have tremendous success solving their tax issues at our open houses,” IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said. “I want to encourage veterans and people with disabilities to come in on Sept. 25. Just like we reached out earlier this year to small businesses and victims of the Gulf Oil Spill, we want to help other taxpayers put their toughest problems behind them.”
IRS locations will be equipped to handle issues involving notices and payments, return preparation, audits and a variety of other issues. At a previous IRS open house on June 5, over 6,700 taxpayers sought and received assistance and 96 percent had their issues resolved the same day.
At the Sept. 25 open house, anyone who has a tax question or has received a notice can speak with an IRS employee to get an answer to their question or a clear explanation of what is necessary to satisfy the request. A taxpayer who cannot pay a balance due can find out whether an installment agreement is appropriate and, if so, fill out the paperwork then and there. Assistance with offers-in-compromise — an agreement between a taxpayer and the IRS that settles the taxpayer’s debt for less than the full amount owed — will also be available. Likewise, a taxpayer struggling to complete a certain IRS form or schedule can work directly with IRS staff to get the job done.
Taxpayers requiring special services, such as interpretation for the deaf or hard of hearing, should check local listings and call the local IRS Office/Taxpayer Assistance Center ahead of time to schedule an appointment.
The open house on Sept. 25 is the third of three events scheduled after this year’s tax season. Plans are underway for similar events next year. Details will be available at a later date.
Reminder for Small Tax-Exempt Organizations
The IRS also encourages representatives of small tax-exempt charitable community organizations, many of which serve people with disabilities and veterans, to file Form 990-N before the Oct. 15 deadline. Community organizations that fail to file a Form 990-N by this date risk losing their tax exempt status. As of June 30, more than 320,000 organizations were at risk of losing their exempt status.
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- IRS seeking tax returns from small nonprofits (knoxnews.com)
- Tell the IRS what you think about the new Form 1099 reporting requirement (dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com)
- National Taxpayer Advocate Submits Mid-Year Report to Congress; Identifies Priority Challenges and Issues for Upcoming Year (prweb.com)
- IRS offers reprieve for charities missing deadline (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Tax Resolution Scams 101 (blogs.forbes.com)
- Charities Get Tax-Return Extension (online.wsj.com)
- National Society of Accountants Opposes Any Tax Preparer Exemptions from Proposed IRS Rules (eon.businesswire.com)
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