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August 18, 2010
Auto Allowance Versus Mileage Reimbursement

In a BLR webinar entitled "Mileage/Commuting Expenses: How to Avoid Big Mistakes With These Employee Expenses," Mark E. Tabakman, Esq., partner in the nationwide law firm Fox Rothschild, LLP and Stacy Wade, Ph.D., CPA, assistant professor of accounting at Western Kentucky University, described the trends as it relates to auto allowance and mileage reimbursement.

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  • Should you offer your workers an automobile allowance -- or the use of a company-owned vehicle -- in lieu of paying mileage reimbursements? That's a tough question, and one that requires serious study.
  • In recent years, the use of auto allowances and the leasing or buying of vehicles for selected employees have decreased. For many employers, it's simply more efficient to pay a mileage reimbursement rate for their employees' business use of their own vehicles.
  • If you opt instead to go the route of auto allowances or company vehicles, make sure you calculate the true costs of doing so.

Mark E. Tabakman, Esq., is a partner in the nationwide law firm Fox Rothschild, LLP (www.wagehourlaw.foxrothschild.com). He advises clients throughout the country on all aspects of labor relations and employment law, as well as the development of corporate employment policies. Stacy Wade, Ph.D., CPA, is assistant professor of accounting at Western Kentucky University (www.wku.edu). She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in financial accounting and taxation.

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