The alternative minimum tax (AMT) on individuals was created in 1969 – by the Tax Reform Act of 1969 (P.L. 91-172; 12/30/69). This problematic tax is about to reach its 50th anniversary at the end of the year. With the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the corporate AMT was repealed, it is time to repeal the individual AMT and deal with the reasons why it was enacted in a more equitable and logical manner.
Here is the description from the Joint Committee on Taxation’s Summary of H.R. 13270, The Tax Reform Act of 1969 (8/18/69): “Limit on Tax Preferences.—In those cases where tax preferences are not fully subject to tax, provision is made for a minimum tax on individuals having tax preferences in excess of their taxable in- come. The additional tax in this case is determined by adding to the regular income subject to tax, one-half of the tax preferences but only to the extent they exceed the regular income.”
The JCT report lists reasons for and against the minimum tax, as follows.
Most of us have heard of the term Alternative Minimum Tax, Alt Min Tax, or AMT. But what is it? Alternative Minimum Tax is a tax system that parallels the standard tax systems and adds an additional level of taxation to baseline income tax for certain individuals, corporations, estates and trust. Traditional tax is adjusted for certain items and computed differently for AMT. Some of these items are depreciation, medical expenses, state taxes, certain mortgage interest, real estate and personal property taxes. AMT was first introduced in 1969 when Congressed determined that a portion of the population with high incomes, roughly one-hundred-fifty-five million taxpayers, were able to utilize tax deductions and other tax breaks to the point where they were paying almost nothing in taxes. The Reagan Administration created what we currently know as Alternative Minimum Tax that included more widespread exemptions and deductions while eliminating some of the investment deductions that only applied to the very wealthy.
Until the inception of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, entity selection by businesses was a fairly easy decision. In most cases, businesses chose a form of pass-through entity, given the high tax rate of thirty-five percent given to C corporations in the past. With the new changes brought forth in TCJA, and the lower tax rate of twenty-one percent, change is in the air. But what are the benefits of considering C corporation status? Unless you are a very large company, determining if you should change from a pass-through structure to a C corporation will not be an easy one. Read More
Although Congress has been promising to repeal the alternative minimum tax (AMT), they failed to do that when they passed tax reform in 2017. Instead, they lessened the effects of the AMT by increasing AMT exemptions (an amount of income exempt from AMT taxation) and raising the income thresholds for when the exemptions are phased out. These two steps and some other changes covered below lessen your chances of being hit by the AMT, but it is still there, so it is wise to be aware of how the AMT is determined and the things that might trigger it.
There are two ways to determine your tax: the regular way, which most everyone is familiar with, and the alternative method. Your tax will be the higher of the two.
Many of you have heard that President Donald Trump has proposed changes to the tax laws, some of which includes lowering the rates paid by businesses. Here are a few of the highlight’s of the proposed plan: Read More
In reviewing some IRS stats for 2014 returns, I was surprised to see that two taxes added by the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), generated more revenue in 2014 than was generated from the individual AMT. Here are the stats:
The Federal-Level Research and Development Tax Credit Program (hereinafter “RTCP” or “RTC”) was originally enacted into the Internal Revenue Code (hereinafter “the Code”) through the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 as a temporary provision of the Code at a time when research and development jobs were significantly declining throughout the United States. Notably, the RTCP was introduced into the Code to encourage businesses to invest in significant research and development efforts with the high expectations that such an advantageous tax incentive program would facilitate in stimulating economic growth and investment throughout the United States and prevent further jobs from being outsourced to other countries.
The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (hereinafter the “PATH Act”) significantly enhanced the Federal-Level R&D Tax Credit Program (hereinafter “RTC Program”) under I.R.C. § 41 on a myriad of levels for both eligible “Small Businesses” and “Start-Up Companies”. More specifically, the enhanced RTC Program has been considerably restructured for these aforementioned eligible companies to now:
The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (hereinafter the “PATH Act”) significantly enhanced the Federal-Level R&D Tax Credit Program (hereinafter “RTC Program”) under I.R.C. § 41 on a myriad of levels for both eligible “Small Businesses” and eligible “Start-Up Companies”. More specifically, the enhanced RTC Program has been considerably restructured for these aforementioned eligible companies to now:
The House Republicans have proposed their updates to the US tax plan, titled A Better Way. Looking at the basics, it shares many similarities with that of Donald Trump’s plan. The plan takes much from the idea that the US tax system is too complex and broken. While having the backing of the Republican Party, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and AFL-CIO have openly spoken against it.
Even if you’ve never paid Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), before, you should not ignore this tax. Why? Because your tax situation might have changed and this might be the year that you need to pay AMT. AMT attempts to ensure that taxpayers who claim certain tax benefits pay a minimum amount of tax. You may have to pay this tax if your income is above a certain amount.
Here’s what you should know about the AMT:
1. When AMT applies. Your filing status and income determine the amount of your exemption. You may have to pay the AMT if your taxable income, plus certain adjustments, is more than your exemption amount. In most cases, if your income is below this amount, Read More
It’s been a few months, but “Welcome 2015!” As the new year rolls around, it’s always a sure bet that there will be changes to current tax law and 2015 is no different. From health savings accounts to retirement contributions and standard deductions, here’s a checklist of tax changes to help you plan the year ahead.
For 2015, more than 40 tax provisions are affected by inflation adjustments, including personal exemptions, AMT exemption amounts, and foreign earned income exclusion, as well as most retirement contribution limits.
For 2015, the tax rate structure, which ranges from 10 to 39.6 percent, remains the Read More