Standard Mileage Rate May Actually be Better

by Property Management Software on January 14, 2010

You have the option of deducting your vehicle costs using the standard mileage rate or the actual vehicle expenses.

The standard rate may be more beneficial for individuals who have high mileage rates and low vehicle costs.

The standard mileage rate is used to figure the deductible cost of a vehicle that is owned or leased, and is written-off at a rate of 55 cents per mile driven (for 2009).

Using the standard mileage expense, you can deduct the cost of travel related to your rental activity, like trips to the hardware store, property inspections, tenant interviews, and rent collection.

Whether using the standard mileage or actual expense deduction, be sure to track mileage and expenses related to your rental activity. You usually won’t know which method to use until the end of the tax year, so it’s best to just keep a good record of all vehicle activities.

Applicable Period Rates (in cents per mile) Source
Business 50
Charitable 14
Medical and moving 16.5
Business 55
Charitable 14
Medical and moving 24
July 1 – December 31, 2008
Business 58.5
Charitable 14
Medical and moving 27
January 1 – June 30, 2008
Business 50.5
Charitable 14
Medical and moving 19
Business 48.5
Charitable 14
Medical and moving 20
Business 44.5
Charitable contribution:
(a) General 14
(b) Hurricane Katrina deduction 32
(c) Hurricane Katrina reimbursement 44.5
Medical and moving 18

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