Topic: Alternative Minimum Tax

Why The Top 2 Percent Pay Lots of Tax: Evidence from President Obama’s 1040

By :: April 15th, 2015

The White House released Barack Obama’s 2014 tax return last week. It showed that the President and First Lady paid $93,362 in federal taxes on a total income of $477,383—an effective tax rate of 19.6 percent. But those are only the top-line numbers—their return contains lots of interesting information that shows how the income tax […]

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The Year in Taxes: From the Fiscal Cliff to Tax Reform Talks

By :: December 12th, 2013

The year in taxes started with the nation toppling, briefly, over the fiscal cliff. And it ended with some interesting policy proposals on tax reform though little political progress. Remember the fiscal cliff? While that crisis was resolved on New Year’s Day, it really began in 2001, when President George W. Bush signed the Economic […]

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Honey, I Shrunk the AMT (But It’s Not Gone)

By :: August 26th, 2013

The tax act Congress passed early on New Year’s Day permanently patched the alternative minimum tax (AMT), sparing tens of millions of Americans from the additional levy. But it won’t protect everyone. The AMT will continue to raise the taxes of a few million taxpayers each year, often in seemingly capricious ways. And more and […]

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Taxing Millionaires: Obama’s Buffett Rule

By :: April 11th, 2013

From the start of his 2008 campaign, President Obama has called for raising taxes on the rich. He got much but not all that he wanted in the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) earlier this year. Now his FY2014 budget takes another couple of bites at that apple. The first repeats his proposal to cap […]

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How the New Tax Act Affects the Alternative Minimum Tax

By :: January 18th, 2013

In the alphabet soup of Washington, ATRA fixed the AMT, sort of. In English, the newly enacted American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 will permanently protect millions of taxpayers from having to pay the alternative minimum tax without Congress having to approve a temporary patch every year or so. It even knocks a few hundred […]

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The Coming AMT Debacle

By :: December 10th, 2012

The Tax Policy Center (TPC) has estimated that going over the fiscal cliff will raise taxes on average by about $3,500 per household in tax year 2013, compared with extension of 2011 tax law. But tens of millions of Americans have a much more immediate problem. They’ll face a huge tax increase when they file […]

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How Washington Can Turn a Tax Increase into a Tax Cut by Leaping Off the Fiscal Cliff

By :: July 17th, 2012

In the strange alchemy of Washington, Congress can magically turn a tax increase into a tax cut.  And to make it happen, all it has to do is…nothing.      Yesterday, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) told an audience at the Brookings Institution that she would prefer to let the government tumble over the fiscal cliff at […]

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The Wide Tax Reform Gulf Between Baucus and Camp

By :: June 12th, 2012

Yesterday, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), who rarely gives public speeches, laid out his agenda for tax reform. Just for fun, I compared what Baucus told the Bipartisan Policy Center to a speech House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) delivered just three weeks ago to a group of Washington lobbyists. […]

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Is Buffett Rule a First Step Towards Tax Reform?

By :: April 18th, 2012

When the president first announced his Buffett Rule–that millionaires should pay at least 30 percent of their income in tax–in the State of the Union address in January, I had a strong sense of déjà vu.  It is another alternative minimum tax, and its provenance is very similar.  Congress created a minimum tax back in […]

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The Turbo Tax Paradox

By :: April 17th, 2012

Like many of you, I just finished my 2011 tax return. Counting worksheets, it was 59 pages long. It occurs to me that our current insanely complex tax rules are made possible by technology. Yes, computer software makes filing easier (both for professionals and civilians). But that may be the problem. The relative ease of filing, […]

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