The Internal Revenue Service has announced a new standard mileage rate for 2011, which is generally used to estimate the costs of operating an automobile for tax purposes. The new rate, effective January 1, 2011, is 51 cents per mile, up one cent from last year. In addition, the standard mileage rate for medical or moving and medical expenses has been raised from 16.5 to 19 cents per mile, and the rate for charitable purposes remains at 14 cents per mile.
While there are generally no Pennsylvania laws requiring employers to use the IRS’ rate, there may be some tax advantage for doing so. The IRS will deem employers who make qualifying reimbursements up to 51 cents per mile as meeting their accounting requirements, thus no income reporting or withholding is required for those reimbursements. However, employers need to make sure that their employees have provided adequate proof that the mileage was strictly for business use. Qualifying employees who are not reimbursed for their business mileage will be able to deduct 51 cents per mile on their individual tax returns.