Sponsor spotlight: Mileage rates for travel set for 2022


Mileage rates for travel are now set for 2022. The standard business mileage rate increases by 2.5 cents to 58.5 cents per mile. The medical and moving mileage rates also increases by 2 cents to 18 cents per mile. Charitable mileage rates remain unchanged at 14 cents per mile.

2022 New Mileage Rates

Here are the 2021 mileage rates for your reference.

2021 Mileage Rates

Remember to properly document your mileage to receive full credit for your miles driven.

— By Nancy J. Ekrem, CPA
Managing Shareholder
DME CPA Group PC
Certified Public Accountants & Business Consultants
[email protected]

 

 









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Mexico COVID-19 Rates and Risk Across the Country


The COVID-19 Omicron variant has resulted in a slight increase in the rate of infection in Mexico, but the federal government has deemed all of the nation’s 32 states safe to remain open for business, although with cautions for a few of the states.

Under guidance provided under the federal pandemic traffic light monitoring systemAguascalientesBaja CaliforniaChihuahuaDurango, and Sonora are designated under yellow status, at which point residents are urged to take preventative measures to ensure that high-risk individuals are not infected. The federal government is also urging residents in the rest of the country to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by complying with preventative measures, especially during the busy holiday season.

The monitoring system, which is updated every other week, was implemented in June 2020, and is used to alert residents to the epidemiological risks of COVID-19 and provide guidance on restrictions on certain activities in each of the country’s states. Below is a map for the period of December 13, 2021, through December 26, 2021, indicating the COVID-19 risk level in each of the states and the capital.

Mexico December 12 to December 26 2021 Map

This chart presents the traffic light status of each state, and, as applicable, variations between federal and local traffic light statuses based on publications of the federal Ministry of Health and status reports provided by each state. Some states may impose restrictions that vary from the federally designated status restrictions, or may even designate regions or municipalities at different statuses. The Puebla state government, for example, designated five of its regions in yellow status, but the sixth, home to the state capital of Puebla, is in orange status, the second most restrictive status under both federal and government guidance. And in Sonora, the state government has designated most of its municipalities in yellow status, but Nogales, across the border from Nogales, Arizona, is in orange status.

Vaccinations

As of December 20, 2021, 88 percent of Mexico’s adult population had been vaccinated against COVID-19 in Mexico, although the federal government has not clarified the percentage of people who have been fully vaccinated. However, some state governments, such as Aguascalientes, are providing a breakdown of the data, noting how many people have been partially or fully vaccinated, as well as hospitalization and mortality rates for those who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, and fully vaccinated.

ChiapasJaliscoMexico CityOaxaca, the State of MexicoSinaloa, and Yucatan are offering booster shots for residents, giving priority to vulnerable people. In Baja California, vaccinations are now being provided for residents 14 years of age.

Mexico City Still in Green Status

The nation’s capital entered green status in early November, and remains open for business without restrictions as the year draws to a close, according to the Mexico City Monitoring Committee’s latest update to the Epidemiological Traffic Light for Mexico City. The committee has not updated the guidelines for private corporate offices, so employers may want to continue to limit the percentage of employees working on-site to 80 percent, in accordance with Mexico City’s industry-specific health protection guidelines. The guidelines also require employers to conduct at their own expense and on a weekly basis, rapid antigen tests or reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests for the detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, to at least 20 percent of the personnel attending work on-site.

Finally, the Administrative Verification Institute and other Mexico City government authorities will continue to visit businesses to verify compliance with the general and specific workplace health protection measures. Employers found to be out of compliance with the measures may be subject to fines, the total or partial temporary suspension of the work center for up to 15 calendar days, and other applicable sanctions. (Authorities in other areas, such as Baja California Sur, have also announced that they are actively investigating business establishments to ensure compliance with health protocols.)


© 2021, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., All Rights Reserved.
National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 363





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2022 travel trends: Airline miles to lose value, negotiable hotel rates, more


The “CBS Mornings” series “What’s New In ’22” takes a closer look at the stories and trends that will define the year ahead.


The travel industry has faced new restrictions, canceled trips, destination closures and job losses over the past year. What can we expect in 2022?

CBS News senior travel adviser Peter Greenberg shares his expectations and how travelers should prepare.

Flight prices will drop in January

After January 4, air traffic historically drops, so prices will likely be lower than they are now, Greenberg said.  

“If I wanted to book a round-trip ticket this morning from New York to Los Angeles, assuming I could even get on a plane, that round-trip fare is $700. January 5: $132,” he said. “I also priced out a Dallas to New York trip on January 5. It was $32. The cab ride to the airport is more expensive.”

Airlines won’t mandate vaccines on their own

While some airline CEOs support a vaccine mandate for travelers, none of them want to be the only airline to implement it, Greenberg said.

“They’re waiting for the Biden administration to make that rule,” he said. “[The administration’s] not about to make that rule right now because their other vaccination mandate is being challenged in the courts, all the way up to the Supreme Court. So, until that’s resolved, it’s dead on arrival.”

Airline miles will lose value

During the pandemic, companies realized their frequent flyer programs were worth more than the airlines themselves, Greenberg said.

“They actually mortgaged their programs from between $6 and $10 billion each airline. That’s a lot of debt,” he said. 

To deal with that debt, the airlines will start to devalue frequent flyer miles and make it harder to earn and redeem them, he said. So, if you have a lot of miles, Greenberg recommends using them as soon as possible.

“Start today. Look out about 330 days, as far out as that, and redeem miles as much as you can because starting in January, that devaluation parade is going to start and it’s not going to be pretty,” he said.

Hotel rates could be negotiable 

Expect to pay more for hotels in the next year. But if you’re willing to make a phone call, rather than book online, you may be able to negotiate the rate, Greenberg said. 

“It’s not the posted rate that counts, it’s all the ancillary rates about whether you’re going to have to pay for the water, or the Wi-Fi, or the parking,” he said, adding, “as more hotels open with the same continuing staff shortages, it’s going to be a much more competitive marketplace. They’ll be much more willing to negotiate because any revenue is better than no revenue.”

Restaurants will raise prices

“Expect to pay more for your menu,” Greenberg said. “Every menu item price is going up, and a lot of things that never used to be on the menu as a charged item — they’re going to be on that.”

This is because many restaurants have been facing staffing issues that are expected to continue. They’ll have to incentivize workers with higher wages, perks and benefits, Greenberg said.

“That’s going to all translate into higher menu prices, not just on the entrees, but what used to come on your dish is now going to be charged as a side order. Even the bread basket is going to be a paid item.”



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Martin Lewis shares tips for the best foreign exchange rates – ‘I’d go to all of them’ | Travel News | Travel


Martin Lewis gave tips on how to get the best exchange rates on his Your Money Matters segment on ITV This Morning. Many expats have been selling their properties overseas and are trying to get their money back into the UK.

Martin advised to go to the big foreign exchange brokers.

He said: “The likes of Currency Direct, Global Reach and Moneycorp, I’d go to all of them.”

Martin said to ask exactly what rate they will give Yvonne and how much she would get for her money.

He emphasised she should ask for how much she would get after all fees.

DON’T MISS

Martin said to then compare and go with the one company that gave her the most money.

He said he “would do all three, I wouldn’t do one”.

He continued: “You could also ask your own bank, unlikely they will be the best, but you may as well.”

Martin also gave a warning: “These companies are not heavily regulated.”

An alternative for Britons going on holidays is to use their cards at overseas ATMs.

This can turn out to be a great exchange rate.

But this will be the exchange rate at the time Britons spend their money, and there won’t be much choice.

Locking in a great exchange rate before leaving depending on the strength of the pound in the weeks and months before the holiday.





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RDU raises parking rates just ahead of holiday travel rush


MORRISVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – If you’re planning on traveling by air this upcoming holiday, plan on paying more for some parking at RDU International Airport.

On Friday, rates in the airport’s central parking garage will increase to $15 a day unless you booked it in advance.

The airport’s CEO said the money will be used to help fund capital improvements.

The airport authority also doesn’t anticipate opening two closed satellite lots saying it believes it will have enough capacity this holiday travel season.

On any given day, trying to find parking in the airport’s central garage can be a driving frustration as you look for a space to open.

“We were an hour and a half early and we spent 30 to 45 minutes waiting for someone to come out,” said frustrated traveler Cecil Thorpe.

RDU offers an online assessment of parking availability.

When CBS 17 checked it about mid-morning on Wednesday, it found:

  • Premier parking was 82 percent full
  • Central was at 72 percent capacity
  • The Economy 3 satellite lot was almost 40 percent full

The Business Express lot was closed. Also shut down was the Economy 4 satellite lot.

Frustrated airport parker Barbara Modlin believes some of those empty parking areas need to be reactivated.

“I think they should open them up,” she said.

Currently, RDU has over 1,000 employees parking in the economy 3 lot. They will be moved elsewhere to make room for the anticipated holiday crush.

“We believe we have enough capacity but we have a contingency in place,” said RDU Authority CEO Mike Landguth. “If we feel like we’re going to overflow we have the business lot and economy 4 if we need to.”

He believes the airport can react in a timely fashion to an overflow of cars during the upcoming peak travel period.

“We can react very quickly,” he said.

Landguth said the airport will have additional shuttle bus drivers on standby should they need to open additional lots, but he believes by clearing out the economy 3 lot, the airport should have enough capacity along with its central parking garage.



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COVID-19 update: Holiday travel and COVID-19 positivity rates


Dear Carolina Community,

Thank you for your continued support of your community. We are excited to be heading into the Thanksgiving holiday next week, and want to update the community on testing, hours of operation and recent numbers.

As the weather is turning colder and more activities are shifting indoors, it is a good time to remind everyone to adhere to the COVID-19 Community Standards. If you must eat indoors, please limit the time you are with others and only remove your mask while actively eating or drinking. Follow the CDC COVID-19 travel guidelines if you plan to leave campus or the community for the Thanksgiving holiday and check out these tips for navigating holiday gatherings during the pandemic. Following this guidance will help our community return to campus and safely end the semester.

Carolina Together Testing Program
While we are happy to report that the number of positive COVID-19 cases on the campus continues to be very low, we have seen an increase in the positivity rate between Nov. 8 and Nov. 14, going up to 0.66% from 0.31% in the previous week. This increase is not unexpected as compared to what we are seeing across the state and country, and we are continuing to monitor case counts.

Most of the positive student cases we have identified in our community experience relatively mild, cold-like symptoms. Campus Health has not received any reports of student hospitalizations due to COVID-19 this semester. We continue to recommend that vaccinated individuals test no more than one time each week.

All Carolina community members who have not attested to COVID-19 vaccination must participate in once weekly testing. We encourage all unvaccinated members of our community to get a COVID-19 vaccine and let us know. It is not too late!

Please note the Carolina Together Testing Program’s reduced holiday hours:
• Monday, Nov. 22: 9am-5pm
• Tuesday, Nov. 23: 7am-5pm
• Wednesday, Nov.24 – Sunday Nov. 28: Closed
• Monday, Nov. 29: Regular hours resume

Employee Vaccine Requirement
In accordance with President Biden’s Executive Order 14042 and guidance from the Safer Workforce Task Force, the deadline for employees of federal contractors to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 has been extended to Jan. 4, 2022. Learn more on the COVID-19 Vaccination page. While the COVID-19 booster is not a part of this requirement, we encourage everyone eligible to get a booster as soon as they can.

Get Your Flu Shot
Campus Health has administered nearly 7,000 flu vaccines this year. Being vaccinated against influenza will help reduce the overall burden of respiratory diseases and help conserve health care resources. Please bring your insurance card with you when you receive your vaccine on campus. If you do not obtain your flu vaccination on campus but obtain one through your primary care provider or at a community pharmacy or clinic, you can still self-report compliance.

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, the Carolina Together Testing Program team would like to extend its sincere gratitude to every member of the Carolina community working to keep our campus safe and healthy. Have a relaxing, joyful and safe holiday!

Sincerely
The Carolina Together Testing Program team



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What high COVID-19 transmission rates in most states means for you


**Related Video Above: Ohio’s top doctor: Now is time to get vaccinated before Thanksgiving.**

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The biggest travel time of the year is getting closer as Americans prepare for Thanksgiving. Currently, the transmission level of COVID-19 is high in 39 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) COVID Data Tracker.

Although New York is one of those 39 states where community transmission is considered high, states with the highest percentages of transmission are two to four times higher than the Empire State.

The top five states where transmission levels are the highest include South Dakota where the seven-day average positivity rate is 15-19.9%, Montana, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah, where the positivity rate for all four is between 10-14.9%, based on CDC data. New York’s rate is 3-4.9%.

There are also six other states that have a transmission rate between 10-14.9%. Below is a table showing states with a rate of 10% or higher.

State Community Transmission Seven-Day Case Rate
per 100,000
Seven-day
Percent Positivity
Arizona high 293.7 10-14.9%
Colorado high 361 10-14.9%
Idaho high 270 10-14.9%
Iowa high 277.7 10-14.9%
Michigan high 342.5 10-14.9%
Montana high 409.3 10-14.9%
Nebraska high 292.5 10-14.9%
Nevada high 179.8 10-14.9%
New Mexico high 393.5 10-14.9%
South Dakota high 283.8 15-19.9%
Utah high 359.2 10-14.9%
Source: CDC COVID Data Tracker

States with the lowest seven-day average positivity rate, less than 3%, are Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. Despite having a low positivity rate, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island are all labeled areas of high community transmission by the CDC. Connecticut, Hawaii, and Louisiana have been labeled areas with substantial virus transmission, the second-highest warning label given by the CDC.

AAA is predicting Thanksgiving travel will once again rival pre-pandemic levels. They estimate 53.4 million Americans will travel for the holiday. The CDC recommends people be fully vaccinated before traveling but that may not be possible for people who haven’t started the Pfizer or Moderna’s two-shot COVID vaccine series. There is still enough time for people to get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and be fully vaccinated by Thanksgiving if they do it by Wednesday, Nov. 10.

Need to know more about your Thanksgiving travel destination? Johns Hopkins University has a map that allows users to search a state down to county-level. They provide information on transmission level, more detailed case information, as well as how many ICU beds are available and how many are occupied by COVID-positive patients.

Planning on visiting the nation’s capital over the Thanksgiving Holiday? The District of Columbia has a less than 3% seven-day average positivity rate and has been labeled an area of substantial COVID transmission by the CDC.



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Our hot tips to cut costs before the big chill, include don’t fix energy rates, free flu jabs and more


1. Martin’s warning: Energy firms are pushing you to fix… don’t. In fact DO NOTHING.

Over to our founder: “The energy market is in crisis, wholesale prices have exploded. Firms are being forced to sell energy substantially below its cost price, due to the energy price cap on standard variable tariffs. And I’m starting to hear that firms’ marketing departments are therefore kicking into gear to try to persuade people to take up other tariffs.

“Expect to get fancy letters extolling the virtues of fixing – tapping into switchers’ instincts as if these were normal times, when that was the right thing to do. No surprise, they are desperate to get people off the price cap. Yet as a consumer, fixing now is almost certainly NOT the right thing to do (I can’t say 100% without a crystal ball, but it’s my very strong suspicion).

“The cheapest fixes cost 30%+ more than the price cap – a huge premium, when you consider the price cap is in itself fixed until April. If you’re on it you’re essentially locked in at the cheaper price over the high-use winter period. So DO NOTHING, and if you’ve never switched, you’ll be on the price cap. If your fix is coming to an end, or your provider has gone bust, DO NOTHING and you’ll automatically be moved to the price cap.

“If you want to see the price differentiation for yourself, do a Cheap Energy Club comparison.”





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UK government sets new APD rates for 2023


The UK government will introduce a lower rate of Air Passenger
Duty (APD) for domestic flights from April 2023 in a bid to boost connectivity within
the nation, but long-haul taxes are due to increase.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak made the announcement as he laid out
his autumn budget plan. It includes a 50 per cent cut in APD for flights between
airports in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2023/24 that will
be delivered via a new domestic band. That means passengers will pay £7.50 for each flight rather than the current £13.

However, a new rate of £91 for economy seats will be
introduced for ultra-long-haul flights of 5,500 miles or more, which Sunak said
will help the UK government achieve its carbon emissions reduction goals
because “most emissions come from international rather than domestic aviation”.

The current rate of APD for long-haul destinations (more than 2,000 miles) is £82 in
economy for 2021/22. From April 2022 this will increase to £84. 

Sunak claims less than 5 per cent of passengers will end up
paying more APD, but that “those who fly furthest will pay the most”.

However, there were no details in the announcement about
whether money obtained through APD would be used for sustainability initiatives
as the UK strives to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The news has come as a disappointment to the business travel
industry, which has been pushing for a reduction across all APD bands for
years.

Clive Wratten, CEO of the Business Travel Association (BTA),
said: “The BTA welcomes the reassessment of domestic APD.

“The introduction of a new ultra-long-haul classification
will unfairly impact business travellers at a key point in the recovery of our
economy. The government said this was a budget bringing in a new wave of
optimism and yet business travellers will be heavily taxed to go to crucial
destinations such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia.

“We are calling on the government to ring fence at least 75
per cent of APD for sustainable initiatives to help our sector deliver on its
Jet Zero commitments. This must be about building a sustainable future, not just
grabbing taxes.”

Andrew Crawley, chief commercial officer at American Express
Global Business Travel, commented: “APD was supposed to be an environmental
tax, yet no money has been ringfenced for sustainable initiatives. The
government needs to get serious by investing the proceeds of APD in the
infrastructure we need to support the development of sustainable aviation fuel
(SAF). Making SAF widely available is the only way to make meaningful progress
against our net zero targets. If revenue generated from the new long-haul band
is not invested in a sustainable future, it will do nothing except penalise
British businesses trying to embrace the government’s own Global Britain initiative.”

Dale Keller, chief executive of the Board of Airline
Representatives in the UK (BAR UK), added: “It is inconceivable that the chancellor
is choosing to suppress his ‘Global Britain’ aspirations and posture ahead of
COP26 behind a highly flawed environmental rationale. The British public won’t
be fooled into thinking that the government is investing their APD money to
reduce CO2 emissions from air travel. This is another missed opportunity for
the UK to lead on overhauling obsolete taxation policies that are undermining
the huge investments in technology and infrastructure needed to drive the
sustainable recovery of a critical sector of the economy. Airlines have
committed globally to 2050 net-zero targets that require governments to develop
pragmatic policies and implement tangible interventions – not resort to
tinkering with blunt and regressive taxation that fails to meet the
expectations of the public or support the sustainability initiatives of the
industry.

“We welcome the solution to a longstanding anomaly where
return domestic flights have been taxed higher than international flights to
Europe, but why wait until 2023? This eventual correction should not be
regarded as a tax cut but simply the government finally doing what is fair and
right. But the notion that the world’s most heavily taxed long-haul travellers
should be expected to subsidise a tax correction for domestic travellers
underscores how APD remains not fit for purpose in stimulating a sustainable future
for aviation.”

Joanne Dooey, president of the Scottish Passenger Agents’
Association (SPAA), said: “The increase in long haul APD… won’t help Scotland’s
economic recovery. It’s vital that businesses are able to trade globally from
their Scottish bases.

“According to Transport Scotland, international air
connectivity is important to our nation’s economy and that as an organisation
it ‘promotes sustainable economic growth through helping to improve Scotland’s
international air connections, providing enhanced access for business
travellers and inbound tourists alike’. It also continues ‘to promote Scotland
as a destination that can sustain more direct international air services and
better links to international hub airports’.

“As a small nation, Scotland needs its connectivity, so this
planned increase is disappointing not only for the travel industry but for
Scottish businesses.

“We hope that the tax raised by this increase will be ring fenced
to support developments in sustainable fuels and other measures to move towards
net zero.”

Lauren Broughton, head of public affairs at UKinbound, said:
“While the reduction in domestic APD is a positive step, increasing APD on
long-haul flights is a kick in the teeth to the UK’s third largest export
industry, which is only just beginning its recovery. Inbound tourism brings new
money into regional economies, supports over 500,000 jobs across the country
and will significantly aid the country’s economic recovery and Global Britain ambitions,
but imposing further taxes on an already struggling industry is
counterintuitive.”



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