GSA / IRS Mileage Reimbursement Rates

In addition to standard Lodging and M&IE Per Diem, you may also receive reimburse for travel in a Personally Owned Vehicle (POV) for authorized business purposes. The GSA publishes Personally Owned Vehicle (POV) reimbursement rates each year based on studies of the actual cost of operating a POV. Under 5 U.S. Code ยง 5707(b), the GSA rates must be used to reimburse federal employees. Many private employers adopt the GSA rates as well. There are five different mileage rates based on type of vehicle and availability of a government owned vehicle:

1) Standard Mileage Rate is used for travel in a Personally Owned Automobile (POA) when a government owned vehicle is not available or not in the government's best interest. You may drive no more than 400 miles a day. For travel farther than 400 miles, you must use commercial air-travel.

2) Government Vehicle Available Rate is given when use of a government owned vehicle is available but the traveler chooses to use a personally owned vehicle anyway. If the use of a government owned vehicle would not save the government money then the Standard Mileage Rate may be given.

3) Motorcycle Rate is given when a motorcycle is used for business travel.

4) Airplane Rate is given when an employee uses a personally owned airplane for official business travel. It seems unusual for there to be an airplane rate, however, use of a personally owned aircraft is more common in remote areas such as Alaska. Distance is calculated based on direct distance on the surface of the earth - not nautical miles.

5) When traveling by Aircraft, except and airplane (i.e. helicopter), you are reimbursed actual costs of fuel, oil, maintenance, etc.

Example Mileage Reimbursement Calculation

In 2016, if driving a personally owned automobile for business travel and your destination is 100 miles from your home and you drive 50 miles in-and-around for approved business purposes at your destination, your mileage reimbursement would be:

100 miles one way x 2 = 200 miles round trip
200 miles + 50 miles in-and-around = 250 miles
250 miles x $0.540 per mile = $135.00 mileage reimbursement
Year Personal Owned Vehicle (POV) Government Owned Vehicle Available Motorcycle Airplane

IRS Mileage Reimbursement Rates

The IRS uses slightly different mileage reimbursement rates than the GSA but they are very close. As you can see below, the IRS breaks down how much you can deduct based on the purpose of your travel. These rates apply regardless of whether you drive a car, truck, or motorcycle. You may deduct driving costs from your taxable wages at the prescribed rates below or you may deduct the actual cost of travel instead of using the standard mileage rates.

Year Business Travel Medical or Moving Purposes Charitable Activity
2018 $0.545 $0.18 $0.14
2017 $0.535 $0.17 $0.14
2016 $0.54 $0.19 $0.14
2015 $0.56 $0.235 $0.14
2014 $0.56 $0.235 $0.14
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