IRS Raises Mileage Reimbursement Rate, Which Can Be Important For Required Employee Reimbursement

The California Labor Code (Sec. 2802) requires employers to reimburse employees for necessary expenses incurred in executing their job duties. A reimbursement obligation arises where an employee is required to use her personal vehicle for work purposes, such as driving between work sites (though not for her regular commute to/from work).
The reimbursement requirement can be satisfied in different ways, including actual expense, mileage reimbursement or a stipend method, provided the employer can establish the employee was fully reimbursed.
The most common method is to reimburse based on mileage. The California Labor Commissioner issued an opinion that using the IRS mileage rate as a multiplier establishes adequate reimbursement of work-related auto expenses, in the absence of evidence to the contrary.
In response to the recent drastic increases in fuel prices, the IRS announced on June 9, 2022, that it would increase the business travel rate to 62.5 cents per mile,effective July 1, 2022. This is a special adjustment for the final six months of 2022. Employers tying reimbursement to the IRS rate should consider increasing their reimbursement to 62.5 cents/mile for the near term.

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