Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Q:  Somebody told me that the mileage rate for 2011 was 51 cents per mile and then my college son who took a tax class last semester said it was 55 cents.  Who is right?  Am I getting my monies worth for all the tuition I am paying?

A:  I don’t know what grade your son received in the tax class.  I teach an income tax at our local college one semester a year.  I teach so I can say that I am a “professor emeritus,” whatever that means.  Anyway, if he would have taken my class I would be disappointed because he is wrong.

Here is the deal.  If you used an auto for business travel last year and claim the standard mileage deduction, be sure to pay attention to when you took the trips. High gasoline prices in 2011 prompted the IRS to increase the deduction rate at midyear.

The mileage rate for business use of a vehicle was 51 cents per mile from Jan. 1, 2011, through June 30, 2011. On July 1, 2011, the rate increased to 55.5 cents a mile.

This type of tax deduction change is why good tax record keeping is so important.