Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto is calling on the Internal Revenue Service to help lower costs for people who use their cars for business and medical purposes.
Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet and Cortez Masto, both Democrats, wrote the IRS Friday requesting that the federal tax agency increase the standard mileage rate used to deduct their costs for operating a vehicle.
In the letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, Cortez Masto and Bennet argue with inflation soaring and nearly all costs of living on the rise, the IRS should use its administrative authority to update the standard mileage rates to reflect current high gas prices and deliver more cost relief for Americans.
The current IRS mileage rate was released on Dec. 17 when the national average gas price was less than $3.40 per gallon. Average gas prices have since increased 28 percent nationally – to more than $4.34 per gallon, said the senators.
In Nevada, the average gas price is currently $5.21.
“High gas prices are hurting American families just as the cost of groceries, housing, and other energy sources rise and large portions of the workforce are returning to in-person work,” the senators wrote. “An increase in the per-mile reimbursement rate will offer some relief to Americans who use a personal vehicle for everyday needs like work travel or medical transport.”
The Federal Highway Administration estimates that the average American drives about 1,200 miles per month, or about 39 miles per day.
The senators argue that allowing independent contractors and businesses to adjust for the high cost of gas “will also offer relief to medical service providers and nonprofits providing critical care to families in need, particularly in rural areas.”
There is precedent for the IRS to take mid-year action to increase the standard mileage rate, said the letter. In 2011 and 2008 when gas prices were high the IRS used its authority to adjust standard mileage rate.
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