The IRS has increased the standard mileage rate to 55.5 cents per mile for business miles driven from July 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011. The standard mileage rate is an optional rate that taxpayers can use to calculate their deduction for the cost of using an automobile for business purposes. The IRS usually sets the standard mileage rate annually but decided to make this special adjustment for the second half of 2011 because of the recent increases in gasoline prices. The rate is 4.5 cents higher than the 51 cent rate that was in effect for the first six months of 2011.
Self-employed people can deduct their business miles using the standard mileage rate or by calculating actual costs. To use the standard mileage rate, you must use that method the first year you use the vehicle in your business, and you can't have claimed accelerated depreciation deductions or have taken any Section 179 deductions for the vehicle.
Injured workers who are receiving workers' compensation benefits from the State of California also use the IRS mileage rate when they request reimbursement for miles driven to and from medical appointments, pharmacies, and the like.