Wednesday, November 21, 2012

2013 Standard Mileage Rates Up 1 Cent per Mile for Business, Medical and Moving

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2013 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.
Beginning on Jan. 1, 2013, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:
  • 56.5 cents per mile for business miles driven
  • 24 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations
The rate for business miles driven during 2013 increases 1 cent from the 2012 rate.  The medical and moving rate is also up 1 cent per mile from the 2012 rate.
The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs.
Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates.
A taxpayer may not use the business standard mileage rate for a vehicle after using any depreciation method under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) or after claiming a Section 179 deduction for that vehicle.  In addition, the business standard mileage rate cannot be used for more than four vehicles used simultaneously.
These and other requirements for a taxpayer to use a standard mileage rate to calculate the amount of a deductible business, moving, medical, or charitable expense are in Rev. Proc. 2010-51.  Notice 2012-72 contains the standard mileage rates, the amount a taxpayer must use in calculating reductions to basis for depreciation taken under the business standard mileage rate, and the maximum standard automobile cost that a taxpayer may use in computing the allowance under a fixed and variable rate plan.

Monday, November 19, 2012

GAO Issues Report on Improving Pavement Performance

A long-awaited report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) was released Nov. 14, describing materials and practices used to improve the performance of pavements across the United States. Among its points, the report singled out the use of reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) in building roads with performance characteristics similar to those constructed with new materials but at a lower cost. The State of Washington said it saves $15 million to $20 million annually by using RAP.

The report was initiated at the request of Reps. John J. Duncan Jr. (R-Tenn.) and Frank LoBionda (R-N.J.) on behalf of the Geosynthetic Materials Association. GAO expanded the scope of the study to include all materials, including warm-mix asphalt (WMA), reclaimed and recycled materials, and stone-matrix asphalt, as well as pavement design and material testing practices. The GAO consulted with NAPA, officials from FHWA, and various states around the country.
States interviewed for the report expressed concerns with geosynthetic materials because they can interfere with operation of the milling equipment when performing future pavement work. The report also included a section on the challenges and barriers associated with states adopting new pavement technologies and practices. In addition, intelligent compaction is mentioned throughout the report.
For a copy of GAO-13-32R, "Information on Materials and Practices for Improving Highway Pavement Performance," click here. A second GAO report is due in June 2013 on best practices for calculating life-cycle costs and benefits.

Friday, November 2, 2012

UDOT presents plan for adding 21 miles of express lane to I-15

ROY — If another lane is built on Interstate 15 through Weber and Davis counties, the biggest impact will be noise.
On Thursday night in Roy, the Utah Department of Transportation held the first of two public hearings on its plan to extend the state’s express lane system throughout the Top of Utah.
A second hearing is set from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at Woods Cross City Hall, 1555 S. 800 West.
UDOT is conducting an environmental study on a project that will add express lanes from Interstate 215 in North Salt Lake to U.S. 89 in Farmington, and from Hill Field Road in Layton to the junction with Interstate 84 in Riverdale.
The new lanes would total 21 miles on both the north and south sides of the freeway and would make more room on I-15, particularly for carpoolers.