Archive for June, 2011

IRS Increases Vehicle Mileage Rate to $55.5 Cents per Mile Effective July 1, 2011

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Notice in the table at the end of this announcement that in addition to the automobile mileage rate increase from $ .51/mile (January 1, 2011 to June 30, 2011) to $ .555/mile (July 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011) the optional automobile mileage rate for obtaining medical care and for the moving expenses deduction also increased from $ .19/mile to $ .235/mile for the remainder of 2011,  However, the automobile mileage rate associated with charitable services did not change.  It remains at $.14/mile.  

 IR-2011-69, June 23, 2011


WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today announced an increase in the optional standard mileage rates for the final six months of 2011. Taxpayers may use the optional standard rates to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business and other purposes.

The rate will increase to 55.5 cents a mile for all business miles driven from July 1, 2011, through Dec. 31, 2011. This is an increase of 4.5 cents from the 51 cent rate in effect for the first six months of 2011, as set forth in Revenue Procedure 2010-51.

In recognition of recent gasoline price increases, the IRS made this special adjustment for the final months of 2011. The IRS normally updates the mileage rates once a year in the fall for the next calendar year.

“This year’s increased gas prices are having a major impact on individual Americans. The IRS is adjusting the standard mileage rates to better reflect the recent increase in gas prices,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “We are taking this step so the reimbursement rate will be fair to taxpayers.”

While gasoline is a significant factor in the mileage figure, other items enter into the calculation of mileage rates, such as depreciation and insurance and other fixed and variable costs.

The optional business standard mileage rate is used to compute the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business use in lieu of tracking actual costs. This rate is also used as a benchmark by the federal government and many businesses to reimburse their employees for mileage.

The new six-month rate for computing deductible medical or moving expenses will also increase by 4.5 cents to 23.5 cents a mile, up from 19 cents for the first six months of 2011. The rate for providing services for charitable organizations is set by statute, not the IRS, and remains at 14 cents a mile.

The new rates are contained in Announcement 2011-40 on the optional standard mileage rates.

Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates.

Mileage Rate Changes


Rates 1/1 through 6/30/11 

  Rates 7/1 through 12/31/11 










Are Either You or Your Business Prepared for a Sudden Disaster?

Friday, June 10th, 2011

In the past year or longer we’ve watched disaster after disaster in the news media or via the Internet. Whatever the causes (i.e. global warming) the meteorologists are reporting that, compared to past decades in which these were anomalies, the new extreme weather conditions will now be the new “norm.” Catastrophic losses are not always caused by the weather. Other causes include arson, carelessness by others, collateral damage from other sources, sabotage, an act by a disgruntled former employee, hacker, etc. Often there are no warning signs and there is no time to adequately prepare especially for a tsunami, flood, forest fire, tornado, hurricanes, electrical power failures, and other disasters.

A recent Google search using “disaster recovery” provided the following information related to the post-disaster outcome from businesses that experienced a major loss of business data:

  •  43% never re-opened again:
  •  51% closed within two years afterward
  •  only 6% survived in the long term

While the source of this data was not provided, and the percentages may be subject to further discussions, it is evident that any disaster can have a severe impact on either individual families or a business operation.  The compelling argument is to be prepared and to provide for a potentially catastrophic loss for either your family or your business BEFORE the catastrophe happens.  Certainly it is better to have a viable recovery plan and never need it than it is to need a plan and to not have adequately planned for it. 

Use your search engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo) to search the Internet for “Disaster Recovery Plans”.  Examples will also be provided in your search results.  Regardless of the plan that you formulate, test it as soon as possible to ensure that it meets all of your requirements and is viable.  Globally, almost all societies are capturing the benefits of the information technology age which includes a reliance on electronic media and data.  While there have been improvements in the reliability of storage media, it is made by humans and will fail at some point in time.  A former employer always reminded us that “Backing up your data is NOT an option!”

Other important tips and recommendations include:

  1. Back up your important data daily.  Don’t rely on just one back up source/media.  The more important that your data (information) is, the greater the number of different back ups that you should have;
  2. Use an automated software application that performs this task daily without any initiating action by either you or an employee;
  3. If you have your own business, including one that you operate from your home, consider using a disaster recovery services provider such as IBM, Sungard, EDS, etc
  4. For important documents that are not already in electronic media format, buy a inexpensive scanner and scan them in to an electronic file (i.e. Acrobat Reader/pdf) for safe storage;
  5. Make digital photographs or video of your home and business to facilitate the preparation of a casualty loss claim;
  6. Prepare an inventory of all of your assets, including serial numbers, vendors, and original cost.  Enter the data in to an appropriate file (Microsoft Word, Excel, Access etc) for safe storage;
  7. Store back up copies, electronic files and important documents at a different location – bank safety deposit box, a relative or friend’s home, or data storage site;
  8. If there is a catastrophe or natural disaster you will probably lose electrical power for a potentially extended period of time.  Depending on your situation, it may be appropriate to purchase both an auxiliary power generator unit and a back up Uninterruptible Power Unit (UPS) ( .  The latter item is for use for very short periods of time.

Additional information is provided regarding the recovery of your Federal tax records:  (more…)