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IRS updates guidance for deductible business, other expenses

The Internal Revenue Service issued guidance for taxpayers with certain deductible expenses to reflect changes resulting from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Revenue Procedure 2019-46 (PDF), posted earlier this month on IRS.gov, updates the rules for using the optional standard mileage rates in computing the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving expense purposes.

The guidance also provides rules to substantiate the amount of an employee’s ordinary and necessary travel expenses reimbursed by an employer using the optional standard mileage rates. Taxpayers are not required to use a method described in this revenue procedure and may instead substantiate actual allowable expenses provided they maintain adequate records.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act suspended the miscellaneous itemized deduction for most employees with unreimbursed business expenses, including the costs of operating an automobile for business purposes. However, self-employed individuals and certain employees, such as Armed Forces reservists, qualifying state or local government officials, educators and performing artists, may continue to deduct unreimbursed business expenses during the suspension.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act also suspended the deduction for moving expenses. However, this suspension does not apply to a member of the Armed Forces on active duty who moves pursuant to a military order and incident to a permanent change of station.

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