The federal government has a set guideline by which employees can deduct mileage not reimbursed by an employer as a business expense. States may also supply their own set of guidelines for state employees to be reimbursed for business use of their personal vehicle. If mileage is reimbursed, an individual may not take a deduction unless the mileage reimbursed was less than what was allowed by tax laws.
Mileage reimbursement is allowed for Oregon employees for the most direct route between a primary work station and a temporary work station; between two primary work stations; between two temporary work stations; between a home and temporary work station minus normal commuting mileage. Additionally, mileage is computed based on one round trip to each work station per day and the most direct route mileage is used rather than miles actually traveled.
An individual may not expense commuting fees. Commuting fees include any expenses, including mileage, from a person's primary residence to work or from work to a primary residence. These expenses are expected to be paid by the individual. Additionally, mileage is not paid when the employee is commuting from home to a temporary work station if an employee normally commutes by a non-personal vehicle, travel is between a primary residence and common carrier such as an airport or when an employee leaves/returns to his primary residence during overnight travel.
The current rate for Oregon according to the controller's website, effective starting on January 1, 2011 is 51 cents per mile. This amount is supposed to cover costs associated with the depreciation and use of the vehicle while it is being used as a business asset. If mileage is reimbursed, you may not deduct the expenses related to the vehicle as a business expense on tax forms. Since the Oregon mileage rate of 51 cents is the same as the federal rate of 51 cents for 2011, no additional reimbursement is allowed at the federal level on tax forms.
Federal Mileage Rates
The Oregon rate has historically been the same as the federal rate for business use. The IRS also dictates mileage rates for non-business purposes. For qualified medical or moving purposes, the mileage rate is 19 cents a mile. For qualified service for charitable organizations, the mileage rate is 14 cents a mile. Additionally, mileage can not be taken on depreciated or section 179 deducted vehicles or for more than four vehicles at a time. A taxpayer cannot take both a standard mileage rate and calculate actual expenses as a deduction, only one of the two methods can be used. Nevertheless, a taxpayer can use the method that provides the most tax benefit.