New mileage deductions put cash in drivers' pockets

Audit-proof, automatic mileage deductions are provided for in the 1984 tax law. Taxpayers can now claim a fixed write-off for deductible auto travel, without having to substantiate their expenses. They need only prove the time, place, and purpose of travel. The deduction can't be challenged as to amount.

There are four automatic mileage deductions: for business travel, for job-related moving, for medical travel, and a fourth for charitable travel. The charitable travel deduction is increased by the new law.

When your family uses the car for charitable volunteer work - working on the church bazaar, a Four-H club fund raiser, the local community chest, or the like , the allowable deduction will be 12 cents a mile in '85, up from 9 cents in '84 . That's an increase of 33 percent. According to tax information publisher Prentice-Hall, a family with 2,500 miles a year of charitable travel will be entitled to a $300 deduction. Parking fees and tolls can still be deducted on top of the standard allowance.

If the family car is used for business or farm-related purposes, you can write off 201/2 cents a mile for the first 15,000 annual miles and 11 cents a mile above 15,000 miles.

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