The optional standard rate allowed by the Internal Revenue Service for the business use of an automobile during the first half of the year 2011 (January 1 through June 30) is 51 cents per mile. In the second half of the year 2011 (July 1 through December 31, 2011) the rate is 55.5 cents per mile. In addition to the standard rate, a person is also allowed to claim an expense for parking fees and tolls associated with the business use of your car.

An alternative to the standard rate per mile is to compute the business portion of the actual expenses for gasoline, repairs, insurance, depreciation, licenses, etc.

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

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