The Internal Revenue Service is trying to cope with rising gas prices by increasing the optional standard mileage rates that taxpayers can use to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile.

The change will take effect on July 1, earlier than usual. The rate will increase to 58.5 cents a mile for all business miles driven from July 1, 2008, through Dec. 31, 2008, an increase of 8 cents from the 50.5 cent rate in effect for the first six months of 2008, as set forth in Rev. Proc. 2007-70.

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