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Updating for New Mileage Rate in PCLaw

My friend and partner Dan Hutchison from Hutchison Consulting has written this guest post to explain how to update PCLaw for the recent change in the IRS allowed mileage rate.  I look forward to speaking with Dan and Wells Anderson at “A Side-by-Side Comparison: Law Practice Management Software Applications” sponsored by the Minnesota State Bar Association on Febuary 5, 2010.

The first step is to make sure “Use Quantity x Rates Entries” is checked.  This is in System Settings> Data Entry>Expenses area.

The next step is to create an Explanation Code for Mileage.  You may have noticed that the default explanation codes in PCLaw are either lowercase or they are UTBMS codes, which have an uppercase letter followed by three numbers.  When someone in the firm adds or edits an explanation code I recommend using all uppercase letters.  You should also make sure everyone in the firms knows not to delete any codes that are in all uppercase letters.  I would not delete the UTBMS codes in case you need them in the future.

If you have already created an explanation code for mileage you need to change the default rate to .50.  To do this go to Options>List>Explanation Codes> and scroll down to the code you use for mileage.  If the default rate is grayed out make sure “Use for Quantity x Rate Entries” is checked.

While there is a “Global Change Time” feature in PCLaw, which would allow you to make changes to all time entries that have not been billed, there is not a feature that will make changes to Expense Recovery.  For those expense recovery items you have already made you will need to go in and recreate them with the correct default rate.  Therefore it is important to make the changes as soon as possible. 

This link provides the breakdown for mileage rates by dates: http://www.irs.gov/taxpros/article/0,,id=156624,00.html

Standard mileage rates:

From 01/01/08 through 6/30/08 it was 50.5 Cents a mile.
From 7/01/08 through 12/31/08 it was 58.5 Cents a mile.
From 01/01/09 through 12/31/09 it was 55 Cents a mile.
And now since 01/01/2010 it is 50 Cents a mile.

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