San Diego Business Journal

The Internal Revenue Service has issued its 2006 optional standard mileage rates, used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

Beginning Jan. 1, the standard mileage rates for the use of an automobile will be 44.5 cents per mile for business miles driven, up 4 cents a mile from 40.5 cents for the first eight months of 2005.

In September, the IRS made a special one-time adjustment for the last four months in 2005, raising the rate for business miles to 48.5 cents per mile in response to a sharp increase in gas prices.

"The IRS took the extraordinary step of temporarily increasing the standard mileage rates in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina," said Mark Everson, an IRS commissioner.

For medical or moving purposes, mileage rates will increase from 15 cents per mile, for the first eight months of 2005, to 18 cents per mile. The amount for charitable organizations, 14 cents per mile, will not change, other than activities related to Hurricane Katrina relief.

The standard rates for business, medical and moving purposes are based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile. The mileage rate for charitable miles is set by statute.

, Stacey Bengtson