They did it in 2005 and 2008, but IRS has made it clear you’ll see no mid-year bump in the standard mileage rate in 2011. So what can you do? Plenty.
A recent announcement makes it clear your company won’t be able to offer more than 51 cents for every business mile driven – the rate set last December – unless you want to tax employees on it (and no one wants that!).
Still, gas prices are downright painful and the summer’s just beginning. Which means your company probably wants to do what it can to ease employees’ gas pains. That’s even more critical now since, in an attempt to tame T&E costs, more companies are encouraging employees to avoid pricey flights and take to the road for company business whenever possible.
Fortunately, there are several small things Finance can do without IRS’s assist. And the little things can add up.
See how many of these three strategies your company can offer employees to show them Finance is sympathetic to their situation:
Option 1: Give folks the inside track on cheap gas
Why not get the most from those 51 cents? There are tons of websites that alert you to the cheapest local gas, updated daily. Just a few of them:
Think about posting these on Finance’s page on your intranet, or encourage business travelers to bookmark them on their own PCs. You might even send an email from Finance alerting employees to the best spots to fill up each Monday morning.
Option 2: Pass along best practices for ‘filling up’
Did you know that you should always fill your tank and never let it run below a quarter of a tank? How about that changing your car’s spark plugs increases the gas mileage you get? Many employees may not, either.
By passing along such tips, employees can get more from the money they do spend on gas and even prolong the life of their vehicles.
Option 3: Send ’em back to IRS!
If your company reimburses at a rate that’s lower than the IRS rate, you can also console employees with the fact that they can deduct the difference on their personal income taxes.
Chances are most of them won’t bother, but again, it’s another way to show employees you’ve got their backs and are looking for ways to conserve their cash.
Has your company done anything to ease employess’ “gas pains”? Share it here.