Ask Tax Cat: What The Heck Is Going On With The Business Mileage Rate For 2011?

Every year around this time, Tax Cat emerges from his basket to answer questions and offer advice to you, the fine people of the internet.

Q: Dear Tax Cat, I plan to itemize this year because I have my own business. What was the business mileage rate for 2011? There are so many rates, I’m confused.

A: Luckily, as a cat, I do not have to own a car. Sometimes I actually get a little depressed about it, because car commercials make driving look like so much fun. Then I remember that I can jump on top of the refrigerator without even trying, and you people can’t. That makes me feel better.

Anyway, Gas prices rose so much last year that the IRS actually had two mileage rates for business. From January 1 to June 30, it was 51 cents per mile. From July 1 to December 31, it was 55.5 cents per mile.

Mileage rates for other types of travel:

Medical: 19 cents per mile from Jan. 1 to June 30; 23.5 cents per mile from July 1 to December 31.
Moving (for a job): The same as medical.
Charitable: 14 cents per mile for the whole year. Unlike the other mileage rates, which are regularly reset by the Treasury Department, this one has to be changed by law. It hasn’t budged in years.

If you have a question for Tax Cat, write to him at tips@consumerist.com, put “Tax Cat” in the subject of your email.