Monday, October 29, 2007

Doing the minimum

The U.S. Congress is doing its best to do nothing with the alternative minimum tax (AMT) yet again. It seems the tax that was intended to affect only a certain higher-income tax bracket will hit a larger swath of taxpayers than it did last year. What’s the reason? No adjustment for inflation.

Is there a reason for not having this adjustment that a regular accounting-impaired individual like myself could understand? Better yet, does anyone think the AMT will ever simply do what it was intended to do?

Of course, our representatives and senators have known all year long that this had to be dealt with, yet it’s still on the books with no real resolution. So, now the IRS is only a few weeks away from having its paperwork and software ready for this upcoming tax year, and our lawmakers’ inaction or action will have serious consequences.

Either more income-earners fall under the AMT than last tax year, or the whole filing process is delayed from the get-go (due to new forms and software required to deal with congressional changes) if Congress does the unexpected — and does something.

-FRANCIS SMITH, Special Publications Assistant Editor

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