Merits of 2496

I've read through some archived r.a.p. threads where it was argued
that 16 bit/44.1k had an inaudible affect on music, at least as far as
the cited test went. I understand the merit in having more bits for
multitrack ops, where internal math can lose bits. But now I'm curious
about the widespread 'understanding' that 24-96 is better. Is there no
merit whatsoever in final mix?