Mileage Reimbursement Rates May Soon Rise for Federal Employees


6/25/11: Last April, NTEU launched an effort to obtain a mid-year increase in the mileage deduction for business-related travel to account for rising fuel prices. While it is unusual to have a mid-year adjustment, NTEU National President Colleen Kelley wrote to IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, who in his policy capacity has the authority to make a mid-year adjustment in the mileage reimbursement rate. She pressed the point that we are in unusual circumstances and that the current allowable level is inadequate for business and for government employees who use their vehicles for work. 

The Union is pleased to report that last week Commissioner Shulman announced that the IRS will permit an increase to 55.5 cents a mile for all business miles driven from July 1, 2011, through December 31, 2011. This is an increase of 4.5 cents from the 51 cent rate in effect for the first six months of 2011.  

Please understand that this is the first step in raising the mileage reimbursement rate for all of our members. The IRS sets the maximum rate that public and private employers can offer their employees tax free. They do not do this in their capacity as the employer for IRS workers. GSA must act to apply this new level to employees of the federal government.  Historically, they have followed the IRS figure, though sometimes there has been a lag. NTEU is acting to push GSA to act so this rate is effective July 1.