IRS Mileage Rate Set For 2008

The IRS announced the standard business mileage rate for 2008 is 50.5 cents per mile.  The IRS posted the following on its website yesterday:
The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2008 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2008, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (including vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

* 50.5 cents per mile for business miles driven;
* 19 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes; and
* 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.

The new rate for business miles compares to a rate of 48.5 cents per mile for 2007. The new rate for medical and moving purposes compares to 20 cents in 2007. The rate for miles driven in service of charitable organizations has remained the same.
California's DLSE has maintained that employers are required to reimburse employees for business miles driven at the IRS mileage rate in order to comply with California Labor Code section 2802.  However, this year, the California Supreme Court ruled in Gattuso v. Harte-Hanks (as discussed here) that the reimbursement rate does not have the be the IRS mileage rate but can be negotiated by parties as long as it fully reimburses the employee. The Court stated:
We agree that, as with other terms and conditions of employment, a mileage rate for automobile expense reimbursement may be a subject of negotiation and agreement between employer and employee. Under section 2804, however, any agreement made by the employee is null and void insofar as it waives the employee’s rights to full expense reimbursement under section 2802.
UPDATE:  On June 23, 2008, the IRS announced that the mileage rate would increase effective July 1, 2008 to 58.5 cents a mile for all business miles driven.  Click here to read updated post. 
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