If you used an auto for business travel last year and plan to claim the standard mileage deduction, be sure to pay attention to when you took the trips. High gasoline prices in 2011 prompted the IRS to increase the deduction rate at midyear.
The mileage rate for business use of a vehicle was 51 cents per mile from Jan. 1, 2011, through June 30, 2011. On July 1, 2011, the rate increased to 55.5 cents a mile.
This type of tax deduction change is why good tax record keeping is so important.