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2021 Standard Mileage Rates Released

December 23, 2020

The 2021 standard mileage rates are out! Read up on the new decreased rates and how the changes will impact you.

Attention drivers, the 2021 standard mileage rates have been released. The IRS just announced the rates, which are used for determining the deduction for the costs of operating a vehicle for various business, charitable, moving, or medical reasons.

What are the changes for 2021?
Starting January 1st, 2021, the standard mileage rates (for use of a car, van, pickup or panel truck) are:

  • 56 cents for business miles driven (down from ­­­­­57.5 cents per mile in 2020)
    • 26 cents will be treated as depreciation for 2021 (down from 27 cents in 2020)
  • 16 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes (down from 17 cents per mile in 2020). Make note that the moving expense deduction is repealed except for U.S. armed forces members on active duty who move pursuant to a military order or permanent change of station.
  • ­14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations (no change from 2020)

Important Change under the TCJA

Make note that under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), taxpayers cannot claim a miscellaneous itemized deduction for unreimbursed employee travel expenses. Also, taxpayers are unable to claim a deduction for moving expenses (unless the taxpayer is a member of the armed forces on active duty moving under orders to a permanent change of station).

How are the rates calculated?

There are various factors that influence the standard mileage rates, including:

  • Gas and oil prices
  • Insurance costs
  • The state of the economy
  • The expected cost of typical wear and tear on a vehicle

Hence the rates are purposed to go over and above the amounts a consumer pays solely for gas.

How can I reduce my fuel consumption?

Looking for ways to save money and reduce fuel consumption? There are a few things you can do to make the most out of a tank of gas:

  • Make a concerted effort to maintain a constant speed, as speeding up and slowing down frequently can severely lower your gas mileage. Cruise control can help!
  • Stop speeding. For every 5 miles you drive over 60 miles per hour, you are reducing your fuel economy by potentially 7%.
  • Though tempting, letting your car warm up for 10 minutes during the heart of winter can cost you $0.04 per minute ($2.80 per week of wasted gas).
  • Consider a tune up—it can increase your mileage by 4%.
  • Consider cleaning your car and removing extra cargo from both the vehicle and the roof rack. Extra weight can reduce your fuel economy as well.

Is the standard mileage rate the only way to gauge deductions?

No, taxpayers always have the option to claim deductions based on the actual costs of using a vehicle, as an alternative to using the standard mileage rates.

Questions on the standard mileage rates for 2021? Contact any member of our Tax Services Team.

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