As of July 1, 2011 the IRS optional standard mileage rate for business use of an automobile is 55.5 cents per mile. This new rate will apply for the six-month period of July 1 through December 31, 2011. The rate for January 1 through June 30, 2011 was 51 cents per mile. In addition to this rate, you are also allowed to claim an expense for parking fees and tolls that are associated with the business use of your car.

As an alternative to the optional standard rate per mile, a person is permitted to compute the business portion of the actual expenses incurred for gasoline, repairs, insurance, depreciation, licenses, etc.

You can learn more about income tax issues at www.irs.gov.

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