Thursday, May 13, 2010


I received the following email from a reader:

Sort of a comment ---

When are any of the tax pros going to start complaining about the lack of the passage of the expected increase in the ALTERNATIVE MINIMUM TAX EXEMPTION AMOUNT FOR 2010.

The year is almost half over and millions will be hit by it. Contacting senators and Congressional reps does NOTHING!!!!

Unless the tax pros start highlighting the fact that nothing has been done, nothing will get done!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is serious money to middle class taxpayers in high tax states such as NY, NJ and CA.



Virginia Fogarty

As a tax pro and tax blogger I have been complaining about the existence of the dreaded Alternative Minimum Tax for years now – but it is still with us.

While I certainly believe that the primary goal/motivation of any politician is getting re-elected and not properly administering the government, and that his/her loyalty to “the Party” certainly trumps any loyalty to constituents – I do not believe that contacting senators and representatives does nothing. It was a deluge of letters to Congress that caused the creation of the damned minimum tax in the first place.

Taxpayers should indeed continue to write to their representatives in Washington demanding for relief from the dreaded AMT.

It is not the specific responsibility of a tax professional to call to task the Congress any more than it is the responsibility of every citizen. Countless posts about abolishing the dreaded AMT by a multitude of blogging tax professionals have certainly not produced the intended result.

Congress is aware of the problem with the dreaded AMT. But their response, as one would expect, has been the lazy one of putting off real action by regularly passing a one or two year patch.

I do expect the cafones in Washington to pass another at least one-year patch for 2010, along with continuing the ridiculous policy of annual extensions of the popular “extender” tax benefits.

Fellow tax blogger Kay Bell has just written about the extenders in the post “Ways To Pay for Tax Extenders Grows” at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES.

Kay tells us –

One thing Senators and Representatives they can agree on, though, is that they want the extenders done by the end of May.

“The official combined bill is now called the Promoting American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act and Ways and Means Committee Chair Sander M. Levin (D-Mich.) is aiming for a House vote on it next week

While her post does not say that the annual dreaded AMT patch is a part of the bill, and I did not find anything substantial on the contents of the bill in an online search, if it is not I do expect that Congress will pass the patch at sometime in the year. Hey, it is still early in the year. In the past the cafones have waited until the last minute to pass extenders.

Instead of passing the annual fixes they should take the time to fix the Tax Code itself.

To explain what Virginia is talking about – as of this writing the dreaded Alternative Minimum Tax exemptions for 2010 are:

• $33,750 for single and head of household filers,
• $45,000 for married people filing jointly and for qualifying widows or widowers, and
• $22,500 for married people filing separately.

The 2009 exemptions were:

• $46,700 for single and head of household filers,
• $70,950 for married people filing jointly and for qualifying widows or widowers, and
• $35,475 for married people filing separately.

At the current lower exemptions millions more taxpayer will become victims of this ridiculous tax – which is neither an alternative nor minimum. Someone said it should more appropriately be called the Mandatory Maximum Tax.

So, as a tax professional, a taxpayer, and a citizen I do call upon Congress to promptly deal with the dreaded Alternative Minimum Tax. I hope you will join me.


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