I gas up my aging sedan at the Safeway pumps, my favorite refueling spot because it’s two miles down the road and gives me ten cents a gallon savings if I pay cash or use a debit card. What happens when I use a credit card? No discount. Sounds like discrimination—or at least favoritism—but it’s a law in California and ten other states. Hmm.
The Internal Revenue Service website brags that my civil rights are protected. Here’s the disclaimer from that website.
The Internal Revenue Service does not tolerate discrimination by its employees against anyone because of age, color, disability, race, reprisal, national origin, English proficiency, religion, sex, sexual orientation or status as a parent.
Sounds great, but shaky ground between truth and fiction. Since the IRS claims to avoid religious discrimination, doubtful anyone there would rely on the Jewish proverb, “Buy the truth and sell it not.”
Maybe that’s why the IRS stretches the truth in this ruling and discriminates against disabled people. How? By favoring people who drive for business-related purposes.
Beginning on Jan. 1, 2017, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:
- 53.5 cents per mile for business miles driven. . .
- 17 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes. . .
What? If I’m healthy, driving for work purposes to generate income, my deduction is 53.5 cents a mile. If I’m unable to work because of a disability, or I’m a retiree (age) headed to a medical appointment, I can only claim 17 cents as a deduction.
When I slide behind the wheel on my way to way to a doctor’s appointment, I check to see if I have my handicap card for parking. Then I give the gas gauge a quick pat. “Go lean on the fuel,” I say. “IRS discrimination sets the rules for this ride. It’s the law.”