The Internal Revenue Service announced the 2009 optional standard mileage rates for 2009, which are used to calculate deductible costs on taxes. The rates can be used when operating a vehicle for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

The 2009 rates, which go into effect on Jan. 1, are: -55 cents per mile driven for business travel – 24 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes -14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.

The 2009 rates reflect lower rates than the last half of 2008, when a special adjustment was added to account for higher gasoline prices. But rates for business and medical/moving travel are higher than the first half of 2008.

Some exceptions: Taxpayers may calculate the actual costs of operating their vehicles and may not use the business standard rate after writing off wear and tear using certain depreciation methods. In addition, the business standard rate cannot be used for taxis or limousines (or other cars for hire) or on more than four vehicles simultaneously.

For more information, consult the IRS rules or check with your accountant or enrolled agent.

Nov. 25, 2008.