Transportation Feed

The coming Memorial Day break is seen as the unofficial start of summer in the United States. It’s also usually been the start of higher summer gasoline prices. That’s not the case this year. So far. Pump prices rose nationwide this spring, but actually have fallen a tad recently. Today’s AAA national average of a gallon of regular gasoline was $3.598. That was up a smidge (0.008) from yesterday, May 20, but less than the $3.612 recorded a week ago. Record road trips: Will the lower gas prices hold? An expected record number of drivers hope so, at least until... Read more →


Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images If you're self-employed, use your car for work, and have taken your last business trip of 2023, go out to your vehicle and take a photo of the odometer. There's no Internal Revenue Service rule that you record your odometer's annual reading. But it's a good idea. A date-stamped smartphone image — either on the last day of the year, the first day of the next year, or, say some tax advisers, on both days — is a digital record that can help you determine how much you drove your vehicle for business. If... Read more →


Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images Electric vehicles (EVs) are supposed to be one way to cut fossil fuel emissions and help slow, if not stop, climate change. But the best laid plans often go awry when lawmakers get involved. A $7,500 EV tax credit was part of the climate-related tax provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act achieve change. But it came with limits, with the full amount applying only to EVs and plug-in hybrids assembled in North America. Then this week, the Treasury Department further tightened the EV credit rules. Now a certain percentage of the components and minerals... Read more →


Photo by Xingchen Yan on Unsplash If your work involves driving, the Internal Revenue Service has some good news for your 2024 business trips. Today, the tax agency announced that on Jan. 1, 2024, the standard optional mileage rate you can use to claim those eligible miles will go to 67 cents per mile. That's a 1.5 cent increase over the 2023 mileage rate. However, the other two mileage rates that the IRS evaluates and adjusts each year are going down. Travel for medical and, in the case of qualified active-duty members of the Armed Forces, moving purposes will be... Read more →


If you stopped at a Georgia gas station today to top off your tank, you might have encountered a line. Peach State motorists will see fuel prices increase tomorrow, Nov. 30, as the governor's emergency suspension of the state fuel excise taxes expires. So you couldn't blame them for trying to get one last bargain at the pump. Gov. Brian Kemp's decree, first issued in September and then extended in October through most of this month, saved drivers of gasoline-powered vehicles 31.2 cents per gallon. Drivers of auto that use diesel saved 35 cents per gallon. In addition to the... Read more →


One of the advantages of traveling by car is you can stop and enjoy the scenery. Just be sure to budget enough to cover your fuel costs, which could be higher due to state gasoline taxes. (Photo by Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images) The hubby and I are Thanksgiving outliers. Our holiday spread is good ol' Texas smoked brisket and sausage and all the sides instead of turkey and all those sides. We do, however, add a pumpkin pie to the banana pudding dessert menu. We also don't go anywhere on this holiday. One of the great homebody benefits... Read more →


Taking advantage of these inflation-adjusted tax breaks could put more money in your pocket instead of Uncle Sam's bank account. (Photo by Sasun Bughdaryan on Unsplash) Each of our tax situations is unique. But every taxpayer can agree on one thing. We all want to pay the least amount of tax as possible. That universal goal can be reached by taking advantage of tax deductions, tax credits, and income exclusions. Deductions, like the standard amounts discussed in Part 2 of the ol' blogs annual tax inflation series, are a relatively easy, and popular, way to reduce a tax bill. Deductions... Read more →


A field of tulips in Keukenhof, Lisse, Netherlands. (Photo: Unsplash+ in collaboration with Zdeněk Macháček) Tax season, at least the filing part for most of us, ended this week with the arrival on Oct. 16 of the extension deadline. That means that many of us in the tax world are thinking of taking a bit of a break. One place to consider is Amsterdam. The Netherlands capital has always been a popular tourist destination. Yes, I'm starting with the city's more-lax laws in connection with mood altering substances and, shall we say, personal interactions. For the less daring tourist, the... Read more →


Photo by Christine Roy on Unsplash If you're planning to squeeze in an end-of-summer vacation, budget a bit more for added taxes. The tax costs are being felt primarily by international travelers. U.S. travelers, no longer so concerned about COVID-19, have embraced delayed European trips. Residents of the destinations are, for the most part, happy for the added income. However, in particularly popular disembarkation sites, the sightseers are contributing to local infrastructure stress. Those visitors, say locals, should contribute to the area's upkeep and repairs. So tourist taxes have been instituted or increased this year in visitor-favored destinations such as... Read more →


If the owner of this Tesla I was behind a few years ago sells it, it could get the buyer a $4,000 used EV tax credit. (Photo by Kay Bell) This week brought a tale of two tax credits that were expanded as part of the Inflation Reduction Act for electric vehicles, usually referred to as EVs. Tesla fans got some good news. It appears that the electric automaker's used vehicle now qualifies for the $4,000 electric vehicle (EV) tax credit. Meanwhile, the Vietnamese EV manufacturer VinFast is working to get its autos on the list of new EVs that... Read more →


Danielle Scott via Flickr CC I'm exploring an auto insurance option that could my policy premiums. It's a discount for folks who don't drive very much. The trade-off is that I must install a travel tracker in my car. That same sort of tracking system is what a handful of states use to charge motorists by the distance they drive instead of by their fossil fuel usage. Oregon, Utah, and Virginia have implemented per-mileage vehicle taxes. Hawai'i is poised to be the fourth. And a national per-mile pilot program is planned, thanks to funding included in 2021's Infrastructure Investment and... Read more →


Photo by Durmuş Kavcıoğlu on Unsplash Some folks are already en route to their long Memorial Day weekend destination. Millions will be flying, with AAA projecting that this holiday's nearly 3.4 million air travelers will surpass pre-pandemic numbers. But the number of holiday travelers hitting U.S. roads will dwarf all other modes of Memorial Day travel. AAA expects more than 37 million will drive 50 miles or more starting today, Thursday, May 25, through Monday, May 29. Gas prices are lower this holiday compared to last year, notes AAA, when the national average was more than $4 a gallon. When... Read more →


Reviewed and updated Aug. 22, 2023 Owners of electric vehicles in Texas, like this one charging in a suburban Austin office garage, will face a new registration fee starting Sept. 1, 2023. (Photo by Kay Bell) More than 10 million electric cars were sold worldwide in 2022. Sales are expected to grow by another 35 percent this year, meaning 14 million electric vehicles (EVs) will be on global roads last year, according to the International Energy Agency's (IEA) latest annual analysis. That puts electric autos' share of the overall car market at 14 percent in 2022, a 10 percent increase... Read more →


It's going to take more charging stations, and in more rural areas, to get more U.S. drivers to even consider buying an electric vehicle. (Photo courtesy ChargeX Consortium) I live in Austin, Texas, where traffic congestion increases daily (only partially kidding). But I grew up in West Texas, where driving an hour or longer one way to get from one small town to another was and still is not unusual. Often without any kind of way station along the long, flat roads. It's those distances that give me and those who still live in more rural areas pause when it... Read more →


Earth Day is tomorrow, April 22. This annual celebration of Mother Earth's beauty and its focus on ways to make a positive impact on our planet has lots of folks thinking about how they can reduce their carbon footprints In keeping with the 2023 theme "Invest in Our Planet," a lot of folks are considering investing in an electric or other alternative energy vehicle to lower their dependence on fossil fuels. Of course, tax breaks also could nudge them down that road. The good news is that the Biden Administration pushed through a new $7,500 electric vehicle (EV) tax credit.... Read more →


Lyriq photo courtesy Cadillac Sometimes the obvious is, well, obvious. Until it isn't. Back in 1964, Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart's famous intuitive declaration about knowing pornographic material when he saw it made things clear. Then on Jan. 11, 2015, we Dallas Cowboys fans, then belatedly the NFL, knew that Dez Bryant's touchdown catch was definitely a catch. Now General Motors (GM) and Uncle Sam are fighting over what, for most of us, is pretty clear, specifically what counts as an SUV. The government's final answer will affect the new Inflation Reduction Act tax credit for electric versions of sports... Read more →


Kris Kringle, portrayed by Edmund Gwenn in the 1947 classic movie "Miracle on 34th Street." (via Giphy) I'm a Christmas traditionalist. OK, so I expand the traditional holiday season. We, at my urging, put up holiday decorations right after Halloween. We have a lot of them, so it takes time. Plus, I'm a fan and nonresident celebrant of Canada's Thanksgiving. Our neighbors to the north's celebration of the harvest and other blessings of the past year falls on the second Monday of October, following a more North American seasonal shift. Even better, it provides a welcome space between Turkey Day... Read more →


via GIPHY Seven days from now, many of us will be opening Christmas presents. Hanukkah is underway. Regardless of what or how you celebrate December holidays, your purchases probably increase this month. And this year, inflation, even though it's abated a bit recently, means you have or will pay more for all those gifts, food, and other festive trimmings of the season. Every year, PNC financial services issues its Christmas Price Index, or CPI. It measures, using a methodology similar to Uncle Sam's official CPI, or consumer price index, the current costs of the gifts given in the classic holiday... Read more →


Very few of us share the same tax circumstances. However, there is one thing every taxpayer can agree on. We all want to pay the least amount of federal tax as possible. Deductions, like the standard amounts discussed in Part 2 of the ol' blogs annual tax inflation series, are a major way of reducing our annual tax bill. But wait. There's more. There are the adjustments to income, listed on Form 1040 Schedule 1 and still known as above-the-line deductions. You can claim all of these 25 tax breaks regardless of whether you itemize or take the standard deduction.... Read more →


The Internal Revenue Service is still working out how to implement the climate tax provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act. The tax agency and its parent Treasury Department issued some preliminary guidance in August regarding the electric vehicle (EV) tax changes. The IRS also is seeking public comment on EV rules, as well as the other aspect of the other energy tax benefits in the new law. Meanwhile, states also are taking steps to deal with how the federal energy tax changes could affect their revenues. New state-level EV charges: "The increasing popularity of hybrid and electric vehicles is shrinking... Read more →