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The IRS decision to boost the deduction amount mid-year underscored the popular consternation over high prices.

“This year’s increased gas prices are having a major impact on individual Americans,” IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said.

Tax officials usually set the deduction rate at the beginning of the year, but have on occasion boosted it when prices are higher than expected. Known as the “optional business standard mileage rate,” it is one way for taxpayers to deduct the costs of operating an automobile they use for business.

The rate is still not as high as it was in the last six months of 2008, when the IRS allowed a deduction of 58.5 cents per mile.