Standard mileage rate.(p2)
For 2008, the standard mileage rate for the cost of operating your car for business use is:
- 501/2 cents per mile for the period January 1 through June 30, 2008, and
- 581/2 cents per mile for the period July 1 through December 31, 2008.
Depreciation limits on cars, trucks, and vans.(p2)
For 2008, the first-year limit on the total section 179 deduction, special depreciation allowance, and depreciation deduction for most cars has increased to $10,960 ($2,960 if you elect not to claim the special depreciation allowance). For trucks and vans, the first-year limit has increased to $11,160 ($3,160 if you elect not to claim the special depreciation allowance). Depreciation limits
are explained in chapter 4.
Special depreciation allowance.(p2)
Generally, new cars, trucks, and vans purchased and placed in service in 2008 qualify for a special depreciation allowance. The special allowance is a depreciation deduction equal to 50% of the adjusted basis of the vehicle. See Special Depreciation Allowance
in chapter 4.
Meal expenses when subject to "hours of service" limits.(p2)
Generally, you can deduct only 50% of your business-related meal expenses while traveling away from home for business purposes. You can deduct a higher percentage if the meals take place during or incident to the Department of Transportation's (DOT) "hours of service" limits. (These limits apply to certain workers who are subject to certain federal regulations.) For 2008, the percentage is increased to 80%.taxmap/pubs/p463-000.htm#en_us_publink100033739
Photographs of missing children.(p2)
The Internal Revenue Service is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Photographs of missing children selected by the Center may appear in this publication on pages that would otherwise be blank. You can help bring these children home by looking at the photographs and calling 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) if you recognize a child.
You may be able to deduct the ordinary and necessary business-related expenses you have for:
- Gifts, or
An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in your trade or business. A necessary expense is one that is helpful and appropriate for your business. An expense does not have to be required to be considered necessary.
This publication explains:
- What expenses are deductible,
- How to report them on your return,
- What records you need to prove your expenses, and
- How to treat any expense reimbursements you may receive.
You should read this publication if you are an employee or a sole proprietor who has business-related travel, entertainment, gift, or transportation expenses.taxmap/pubs/p463-000.htm#en_us_publink100033741
If an employer-provided vehicle was available for your use, you received a fringe benefit. Generally, your employer must include the value of the use or availability in your income as pay. However, there are exceptions if the use of the vehicle qualifies as a working condition fringe benefit (such as the use of a qualified nonpersonal use vehicle).
A working condition fringe benefit is any property or service provided to you by your employer for which you could deduct the cost as an employee business expense if you had paid for it.
A qualified nonpersonal use vehicle is one that is not likely to be used more than minimally for personal purposes because of its design. See Qualified nonpersonal use vehicles
under Actual Car Expenses
in chapter 4.
For information on how to report your car expenses that your employer did not provide or reimburse you for (such as when you pay for gas and maintenance for a car your employer provides), see Vehicle Provided by Your Employer
in chapter 6.
Partnerships, corporations, trusts, and employers who reimburse their employees for business expenses should refer to their tax form instructions and chapter 11 of Publication 535, Business Expenses, for information on deducting travel, meals, and entertainment expenses.
If you are an employee, you will not need to read this publication if all of the following are true.
- You fully accounted to your employer for your work-related expenses.
- You received full reimbursement for your expenses.
- Your employer required you to return any excess reimbursement and you did so.
- There is no amount shown with a code "L" in box 12 of your Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement.
If you meet all of these conditions, there is no need to show the expenses or the reimbursements on your return. If you would like more information on reimbursements and accounting to your employer, see chapter 6
If you meet these conditions and your employer included reimbursements on your Form W-2 in error, ask your employer for a corrected Form W-2.
If you perform services as a volunteer worker for a qualified charity, you may be able to deduct some of your costs as a charitable contribution. See Out-of-Pocket Expenses in Giving Services in Publication 526, Charitable Contributions, for information on the expenses you can deduct.taxmap/pubs/p463-000.htm#en_us_publink100033745
We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions.
You can write to us at the following address:
Internal Revenue Service
Individual Forms and Publications Branch
1111 Constitution Ave. NW, IR-6526
Washington, DC 20224
We respond to many letters by telephone. Therefore, it would be helpful if you would include your daytime phone number, including the area code, in your correspondence.
You can email us at *firstname.lastname@example.org
. (The asterisk must be included in the address.) Please put "Publications Comment" on the subject line. Although we cannot respond individually to each email, we do appreciate your feedback and will consider your comments as we revise our tax products.
to download forms and publications, call 1-800-829-3676, or write to the address below and receive a response within 10 days after your request is received.
Internal Revenue Service
1201 N. Mitsubishi Motorway
Bloomington, IL 61705-6613
If you have a tax question, check the information available on www.irs.gov
or call 1-800-829-1040. We cannot answer tax questions sent to either of the above addresses.
You may want to see:
Publication 225 Farmer's Tax Guide 529 Miscellaneous Deductions 535 Business Expenses 946 How To Depreciate Property 1542 Per Diem Rates Form (and Instructions) Schedule A (Form 1040): Itemized Deductions Schedule C (Form 1040): Profit or Loss From Business Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040): Net Profit From Business Schedule F (Form 1040): Profit or Loss From Farming 2106: Employee Business Expenses 2106-EZ: Unreimbursed Employee Business Expenses 4562: Depreciation and Amortization
See chapter 7, How To Get Tax Help
, for information about getting these publications and forms.