IRS Standard Mileage Rate for Business Driving

2018 Standard Mileage Rate for Business Driving

A man driving a car
••• Westend61/Getty Images

Driving for Uber or another ride-sharing company? Driving for your own business? Driving a truck as an independent? No matter what kind of business driving you do, you need to know the IRS standard mileage rate for the year, in order to do your business taxes. 

The Mileage Rate to Use

Important: Use the standard mileage rate for the year of the tax return, not the year you are working on the return. For example, use the 2018 rate for 2018 business tax returns, even though you are working on the return in 2019.

2018 Standard Mileage Rates 

The Standard Mileage Rate is the maximum per-mile rate allowed by the IRS for calculating mileage for operating a car or truck for business purposes. This is the rate you will use when preparing your 2018 business taxes. See below for the 2017 business mileage rate, which you will use to file your 2017 business taxes in 2018. 

  • 54.5 cents per mile for business miles driven (up from 53.5 cents in 2017)
  • 18 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes (up from 17 cents in 2017)
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations (fixed by Congress, never adjusted for inflation). 

2017 Business, Medical/Moving, and Charitable Driving Rates

This is the rate you will use when preparing your 2017 business taxes, in 2018.

  • 53.5 cents per mile for business miles driven 
  • 17 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes  
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations (fixed by Congress, never adjusted for inflation)

2016 Business, Medical/Moving, and Charitable Driving Rates

  • 54 cents per mile for business miles driven  
  • 19 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes  
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations  

2015 Mileage Rates

  • 57.5 cents per mile for business miles
  • 23 cents per mile for medical or moving purposes
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

Standard Mileage vs. Actual Costs 

The first step in calculating business mileage is determining which method to use. Businesses have two options for taking expense deductions for mileage: the standard mileage rate or actual costs. Each has advantages and disadvantages.

Calculating Business Mileage Expenses

After you have determined which mileage expense method to use, you must then do a calculation to determine the actual expense to deduct. R 

Adding Business Mileage Expenses to Your Business Tax Return

Finally, after you have the calculation for your business mileage for the tax year, you must add the mileage calculation to your business tax return. 

Before you prepare your business tax return, you will need to gather information on the use of your vehicle for business purposes. Depending on how you record mileage - using the IRS standard deduction, or actual miles - you will need specific information.

First, you will need to determine if you should take the IRS standard mileage deduction or use actual expenses. The method you choose depends on how many miles you traveled and how much you used the vehicle.

Using the Standard Mileage Deduction

If you are taking the IRS standard mileage deduction, you will need to provide a listing of all business trips, reason, dates, and mileage.

Using the Actual Expense Method

If you are taking actual expenses, you will need complete information on all expenses associated with your business use of the vehicle, including:

  • Gasoline Purchases
  • Oil and maintenance expenses
  • Interest expenses on the vehicle loan
  • Or, lease payments for the tax year
  • Annual depreciation of the vehicle
  • Registration Fees
  • Insurance
  • Repairs
  • Tolls
  • Tires
  • Garage rent
  • Parking fees

Finally, add your business mileage expense to your business tax return: 

On Schedule C for small businesses: Enter car and truck expenses on Line 9. Then, you must also complete Part IV: Information on Your Vehicle, unless you are depreciating your business car.