Editor's Note: This article is part of our 2013 Tax Tips series. Robert Flach is an expert with almost 40 years of experience as a tax professional and also blogs as The Wandering Tax Pro.

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — The IRS has announced the new 2014 standard mileage allowance rates for business, charitable, medical and moving travel.

Effective January 1, 2014, the standard mileage rates are –

  • Business Mileage = 56 cents per mile
  • Medical and Moving Mileage = 23.5 cents per mile
  • Charitable Mileage = 14 cents per mile

The 2014 business and medical and moving rates are a half cent less than those that apply for 2013.

These rates apply no matter where in the United States you drive, and no matter what type, model or make of car you drive. It is available for both a car that you own and a car that you lease.

The standard mileage allowance is based on an annual study of the costs of operating an automobile conducted by Runzheimer lnternational. The business rate covers fixed and variable costs of operating a vehicle, including depreciation. The portion of the 56 cents per mile business rate that is treated as being depreciation is 22 cents per mile. The medical and moving rate covers variable costs only.

The charitable rate is set by Congress and has remained unchanged at 14 cents per mile since the late 1990s.

In order to be able to claim the standard allowance rate for business mileage you must elect to do so in the first year the car is "placed in service," which is the year you purchased the car or the first year you used the car for business if later.

If you use your car for business you must keep "contemporaneous" records of your business mileage. This means that you should record the information on the day the trip occurs.

Record each individual business trip separately. Enter the date, location, business purpose and miles driven for each trip in some kind of diary, account book, or expense log. Parking and tolls are deductible in addition to the standard mileage allowance, so you should also note any toll expenses. I also enter in my travel log the quarter I put in the meter while visiting a client.

You should keep similar records for medical and charitable driving.

--Written for MainStreet for Robert D. Flach