The Internal Revenue Service issued its 2006 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2006, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (including vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

  • 44.5 cents per mile for business miles driven;
  • 18 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes; and,
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations, other than activities related to Hurricane Katrina relief.

The new rate for business miles compares to a rate of 40.5 cents per mile for the first eight months of 2005. In September, the IRS made a special one-time adjustment for the last four months of 2005, raising the rate for business miles to 48.5 cents per mile in response to a sharp increase in gas prices, which topped $3 a gallon."The IRS took the extraordinary step of temporarily increasing the standard mileage rates in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina," IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson said in a statement. "We promised to continue closely monitoring the situation. The 2006 mileage rates reflect that gas prices have dropped."
The standard mileage rates for business, medical and moving purposes are based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile. Runzheimer International, an independent contractor, conducted the study for the IRS.

For the first eight months of 2005, the standard rate for miles driven for medical or moving purposes was 15 cents per mile, and, except for special Hurricane Katrina rates, the standard rate for miles driven in service of a charitable organization was 14 cents per mile. For the last four months of 2005, the agency raised the standard rate for miles driven for medical or moving purposes to 22 cents per mile. The standard rate for charitable miles remained at 14 cents per mile -- except for charitable miles relating to Hurricane Katrina.

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