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New direction for charitable travel

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in Small Business Tax

The IRS raised the standard mileage rate for business and medical travel for the last six months of 2008, but not the rate for charitable-related expenses. Reason: It doesn’t have the authority to do so.

This figure, which is set by law, isn’t subject to IRS oversight. So it remains at just 14 cents per mile for 2008. But a movement in Congress backed by Sen. Chuck Grassley, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, would finally give the IRS the authority to adjust the standard rate for charitable travel.

Reminder: In lieu of using the standard rate, you can keep detailed records of actual auto expenses while you perform charitable services. This is likely to result in a bigger deduction.

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