The update mileage reimbursement rate or optional standard mileage rate from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) became effective on January 1, 2012. This rate is typically used by businesses to help calculate mileage expenses for employees. The rate was last adjusted during mid-2011 and the new rate is unchanged from that.
Beginning from January 1, 2012, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be 55.5 cents per mile for business miles driven. This rate is particularly important in states like California where the labor code (CA Labor Code section 2802) states that an employer is obligated to indemnify employees for all expenses incurred in the scope of their employment.
An employer has the option of providing the standard mileage rate of 55.5 cents per mile or reimbursing the employee based on actual costs. If the actual cost option is chosen by the employer and the employer elects to reimburse at a rate less than the IRS standard mileage rate, the employer bears the burden of proving that the rate is reasonably based on the total vehicle expenses incurred during the preceding year. At the same time, if the employee contends the actual costs are greater than the IRS mileage rate, the employee bears the burden of showing the greater amount is reasonably based on total vehicle expenses incurred during the preceding year. The actual costs of business-related use includes gas, oil, lease or purchase payments, garage rent, repairs, tires and vehicle depreciation. 01.23.2012