Standard Mileage Rates Revised

The standard mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickup or panel truck have changed to the following amounts:

• for business miles driven in 2015, the mileage rate increased to 57.5 cents per mile from 56 cents in 2014. For those planning ahead, the 2016 rate, for use on a 2016 return filed next year, is 54 cents per mile.

• for medical or moving purposes, the rated was reduced to 23 cents per mile driven in 2015 from 23.5 cents in 2014. The 2016 rate will be 19 cents.

• for service of charitable organizations, the is unchanged,  14 cents per mile driven. This rate is set by law.

The tax instructions have details on taking advantage of each of these provisions.

Tax ID Number Required to Claim Three Key Tax Benefits

Taxpayers, along with any of their qualifying children, must have a taxpayer identification number to claim any of three key tax benefits. For most people, a TIN is a Social Security number. Furthermore, to get these benefits on a 2015 return, the taxpayer must receive the number before the due date for filing a 2015 return (either April 18 or April 19, or for those who get an extension, Oct. 17).

This requirement applies to the Earned Income Tax Credit for low- and moderate-income workers and working families, the Child Tax Credit claimed by many families, and the American Opportunity Tax Credit — the popular tax benefit that helps parents and students pay for college.

New Starter Retirement Account Available

Taxpayers can now take advantage of a new starter retirement account available free from the Treasury Department. Through the myRA program, eligible taxpayers can choose to fund a starter retirement account through payroll deductions, electronic transfers from a savings or checking account or by choosing direct deposit for their federal income tax refund. For further details and how to open a myRA account online, visit

One-Rollover-Per-Year Limit for IRA Owners

Beginning in 2015, an IRA owner can make only one rollover from an IRA to another (or the same) IRA in any 12-month period, regardless of the number of IRAs he or she owns. The limit applies by aggregating all of an individual’s IRAs, including SEP and SIMPLE IRAs as well as traditional and Roth IRAs, effectively treating them as one IRA for purposes of the limit.

But the IRA owner can continue to make unlimited trustee-to-trustee transfers between IRAs. Before 2015, the one-per-year limit applied only on an IRA-by-IRA basis, that is, only to rollovers involving the same IRAs.

There is a 2015 transition rule that ignores some 2014 distributions. An IRA distribution rolled over to another (or the same) IRA in 2014 does not prevent a 2015 distribution (within the one-year period) from being rolled over provided the 2015 distribution is from an IRA that is different from any IRA involved in the 2014 rollover. More information, including examples, can be found in the Can You Move Retirement Plan Assets? Section in Publication 590-A.