The Consumer Memo, 06/23: IRS raises mileage reimbursement to 55.5 cents
Higher fuel prices have prompted the Internal Revenue Service to raise the reimbursement rate for mileage incurred in business use to 55.5 cents, the agency announced Thursday. The change will take effect July 1. The current reimbursement rate for vehicle use is 51 cents. Reimbursement rates for vehicle mileage incurred as a medical or moving expense will rise to 23.5 cents.
The mileage rate for vehicles used as a charitable contribution will remain at 14 cents.
Taxpayer databases vulnerable
Some Internal Revenue Service databases containing taxpayer information are vulnerable to hackers because they aren’t configured securely or run outdated software that no longer receives security patches, according to a government audit. The audit released Thursday by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration examined 13 databases used in critical tax administration business processes and found some security shortcomings in all of them.
Mortgage rates flat
Fixed mortgage rates were mostly unchanged this week, hovering near yearly lows. The average rate on the 30-year loan held steady at 4.50 percent, Freddie Mac said Thursday. The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage, popular for refinancing, inched up to 3.69 percent. Last week it reached a yearly low of 3.67 percent.
Apple removes anti-Israel app
Apple says it has removed an application called “ThirdIntifada” from its App Store following complaints that it glorified violence against Israel. Israel’s information minister, Yuli Edelstein, requested the company remove the app in an email he sent to Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Jewish human rights group The Simon Wiesenthal Center also complained to Apple.
“Intifada” is the Arabic term for two violent uprisings against Israel over the past two decades. The free application encouraged followers to share opinions and organize protests against Israel.
| The Star’s news services