IRS updates guidance for deductible mileage

The IRS has issued Revenue Procedure 2019-46, which updates the rules for using the optional standard mileage rates in computing the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving expenses.

The guidance, which reflects changes from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, also provides rules to substantiate the amount of an employee’s travel expenses reimbursed by an employer using the optional standard mileage rates. (Taxpayers are not required to use a method described in this revenue procedure and may instead substantiate actual allowable expenses provided they maintain adequate records.)

Sign in front of IRS building in Washington, D.C.
The IRS building in Washington, D.C.

The TCJA suspended the miscellaneous itemized deduction for most employees with unreimbursed business expenses, but self-employed individuals and certain employees — such as armed-forces reservists, qualifying state or local government officials, educators and performing artists — may continue to deduct unreimbursed business expenses.

The TCJA’s suspension of the deduction for moving expenses also does not apply to an active-duty member of the U.S. Armed Forces who moves because of a military order or a permanent change of station.

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