New Mileage Reimbursement Rates for 2022

Written by Mariel Villarreal on Feb 01, 2022 in Pastoral Helps

Read Time: 3 minutes

Are you aware that you should be tracking the mileage put on your personal vehicle when used for ministerial purposes? Did you know that these miles, as well as repair and maintenance costs, can be reimbursable? As we enter 2022, we want to make sure you have the most recent IRS updates and changes to the standard mileage reimbursement rates. This blog will walk you through how to calculate the deductible costs for using your vehicle for business, charitable, medical, or ministry purposes.. 

IRS Updates to Mileage Rates

The IRS has announced the 2022 standard mileage rates for business, medical, and other uses of an automobile. It is vital that churches and ministries keep up to date with the current rates, as they can change from year to year.

The business standard mileage rate is:

  • 58.5 cents per mile driven for business use, up 2.5 cents from the rate for 2021,
  • 18 cents per mile driven for medical, or moving purposes for qualified active-duty members of the Armed Forces, up 2 cents from the rate for 2021 and
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations; the rate is set by statute and remains unchanged from 2021.

Now that we know the current rates, let’s take a look at how we handle this information.

Properly handling mileage reimbursement

Mileage reimbursement doesn't only apply in every scenario—it's a little more complex than that. An example would be if a church filled up the gas tank of an employee or volunteer; did you know the amount paid to fill up the gas tank now becomes taxable income for that individual? Many would say this makes no sense and that it shouldn't be this way—but it is, and here is why. 

The cost is not reimbursable because the act of filling up their gas tank technically is done in reflection for a service that they provided to the church or ministry (i.e., driving somewhere for the church). This is a common mistake among churches and ministries, but we are here to show you how to properly handle mileage reimbursement for anyone who needs it in your organization.

Do you need help managing your ministry's finances? Our team of ministry-minded bookkeepers would be happy to help you gain financial confidence! To learn more, call us at 877-494-4655 or click the link below.

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Calculating mileage reimbursements

Two general methods can be used to reimburse an employee or volunteer for the mileage he or she drives for church purposes: The actual expense method and the standard mileage rate method. 

Let's take a closer look at these two methods to know which is better for the types of reimbursements you will need.

1. Actual expense method

This method typically takes the most work when tracking your reimbursement. As stated in this method's name, an individual can deduct the actual cost of using their vehicle for ministry or charitable purposes, plus the depreciation of the vehicle.

When you are using this method, you have to be careful to record and track the correct information. Even though this method can be very burdensome, it can result in a large deduction for the individual.

If you choose to reimburse your church employees or volunteers using the actual expense method, they must record all costs incurred for their vehicle each time they used their vehicle for church or ministry purposes.

List of items that the individual must keep track of that includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Gas
  • Repairs and maintenance
  • Care repair
  • Meals from conferences
  • Depreciation of the vehicle and improvements
  • Insurance
  • Towing charges
  • Car washes

Here is an example of how the actual expense method works:

Sarah is a church youth leader who drives her car 20,000 miles during the year. She also spent $7,000 on car expenses during the year. Of the total miles driven, 6,000 miles was attributed to her youth leader related work for the church: picking up youth to take them to church, volunteer work with the students, serving the homeless, and ministering to those who are in group homes. Sarah can claim 30% (6,000 ÷ 20,000) of the cost of operating her car as a business expense for her work as a youth leader. Of the $7,000 spent on car expenses, $2,100 may be deducted for mileage reimbursement.

(Recommended reading: "What Your Church Needs to Know About Reimbursements, Part 1")

2. Standard mileage rate method

The more common method is an easier method for tracking mileage reimbursement is the standard mileage rate method. The rules and requirements for this method are less strict, and many churches that have used our StartRIGHT Service have found that this method is an easier process for both the church and individual needing mileage reimbursement.

The standard mileage rate method requires that the driver keep track of how many miles they drive for church or ministry purposes, not the vehicle's actual expenses, as noted in the method above. In addition to keeping track of the mileage, the individual should also keep track of the following things:

  • The date of which the miles were driven,
  • The destination to where the individual has traveled,
  • And the purpose for which the miles were driven.

Using the example above: Sarah tracked 6,000 miles on her personal vehicle for ministerial purposes. Therefore, $3,510 (.585 x 6000) may be deducted for mileage reimbursement. You can see at a glance why this is the preferred method for many churches and ministries.

Protecting your vision

Making sure your church or ministry is keeping up with IRS requirements can seem intimidating and confusing. However, with the right information and, more importantly, the right partners, you can feel confident in handling these and other church management requirements and issues that may come up.

We are here to support your vision. If you need help with your church's accounting responsibilities, give us a call. Our bookkeeping service was designed to meet the needs of pastors and church leaders just like you. Plus, our bookkeepers are ministry-minded, and you can trust that your church's financial decisions comply.

Give our specialists a call today at 877-494-4655 to learn more about our bookkeeping service. Or, click on the button below to schedule a call.

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Please feel free to comment. We always appreciate good dialogue. However, we do moderate each comment to ensure that it is on topic and not derogatory to other participants. We ask that you keep your comments brief and pertinent to the topic so that others may benefit.

Blessings,
Raul Rivera


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