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Alternative Minimum Tax

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BUSINESS
November 21, 2012 | By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - A potential casualty of the "fiscal cliff" standoff is the ability of Congress to adjust an outdated tax code provision that could significantly boost what millions of middle-income households owe to the government. The provision, called the alternative minimum tax, or AMT, was enacted in 1969 to make sure that the very wealthy paid some income tax. But the threshold for the usually higher tax was not indexed for inflation, and it threatens each year to ensnare millions of people it was never intended to catch - prompting the annual congressional fix. Quiz: How much do you know about the 'fiscal cliff'?
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BUSINESS
August 9, 2013 | By Kenneth R. Harney
WASHINGTON - Since Congress has taken off on its annual summer recess, you might assume that nothing is happening on Capitol Hill that could affect the taxes you pay on your home. Quite the reverse. Staff members of the House and Senate tax-writing committees are busy putting together legislative drafts that may determine the fate of real estate's most prized tax benefits - first and second home-mortgage interest deductions, property tax write-offs, capital gains exclusions and others.
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NATIONAL
December 7, 2007 | Noam N. Levey, Times Staff Writer
The Senate voted Thursday to shield about 20 million middle-class taxpayers from an unexpected tax hike this year, bringing Congress a step closer to ending a bitter debate that has dragged on so long it threatens to delay refunds next year. But the deal worked out between party leaders to prevent the alternative minimum tax from snaring more Americans does not comply with the budgetary guidelines Democrats enacted this year to rein in the national debt.
BUSINESS
January 9, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Put down those calculators and step away from the kitchen table, for now at least, because tax season will start a little later this year. The Internal Revenue Service said it would start processing individual tax returns on Jan. 30, eight days later than it had planned, because of the various changes to tax laws made in the fiscal cliff deal. Unfortunately for procrastinators, Washington's political dysfunction won't delay the coming of the tax man -- April 15 still is the deadline to file.
BUSINESS
October 24, 2007 | From the Associated Press
Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. warned lawmakers Tuesday that delays in enacting a temporary fix to the alternative minimum tax could cause millions of taxpayers to experience delays in receiving their refunds. In a letter to Congress, Paulson also again warned that failure to pass an AMT fix would expose 21 million mostly unsuspecting taxpayers to the minimum tax -- and an average tax increase of $2,000.
NATIONAL
December 10, 2007 | Noam N. Levey, Times Staff Writer
Congress is trying to amend the tax code to keep millions of Americans from having to pay the alternative minimum tax, which the Internal Revenue Service and the taxpayer advocate say is one of the most complicated provisions for taxpayers. What is the alternative minimum tax? The AMT is a tax on income calculated by an alternative method than that used to calculate the standard income tax. Unlike the standard income tax calculation, which allows multiple deductions, the AMT calculation is designed to limit deductions.
BUSINESS
March 5, 2000 | KATHY M. KRISTOF, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Did you exercise incentive stock options last year, pay a lot of state income tax or claim deductible medical expenses for 1999? If so, it's time to worry. You're at risk of being subjected to the dreaded alternative minimum tax, a little-known form of federal taxation that is creeping up on an increasing number of Americans. The number of taxpayers subject to the AMT has more than quadrupled in the last decade.
BUSINESS
February 22, 1998 | KATHY M. KRISTOF, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Tax accountants may not be known for literary allusions, but when you talk to Mark Luscombe about the alternative minimum tax, he's likely to quote Lewis Carroll. When it comes to the AMT, the already curious U.S. tax code just gets "curiouser and curiouser," says Luscombe, principal tax analyst at CCH Inc., a Riverwoods, Ill.-based publisher of tax information.
NATIONAL
December 20, 2007 | Noam N. Levey and Jonathan Peterson, Times Staff Writers
Congress agreed Wednesday to spare more than 20 million taxpayers from the alternative minimum tax this year, bowing to Republican demands that the $50 billion in tax relief not be offset with any tax increases elsewhere. On the last day of legislative business this year, the House voted 352-64 to "patch" the so-called AMT, ensuring that millions of middle-class households -- some with incomes as low as $75,000 -- will be sheltered from the tax's bite.
BUSINESS
February 15, 2012 | By Walter Hamilton, Los Angeles Times
President Obama is combining his proposal to raise taxes on the wealthy with a new effort to lower the levy on middle-class Americans. In his fiscal 2013 budget proposal, the president called for abolishing the alternative minimum tax. It was designed years ago to prevent wealthy people from dodging taxes, but nowadays is blindsiding a growing number of middle-income people. The president wants to replace the AMT with the so-called Buffett rule, which would require people making more than $1 million a year to pay at least 30% in taxes.
NATIONAL
December 30, 2012 | By Lisa Mascaro and Michael A. Memoli, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill inched toward a compromise to avert part of the so-called fiscal cliff but remained unable to close a deal as each side struggled with internal tensions as well as the remaining gap between them. Lawmakers have been trying to beat a deadline of midnight Monday, when tax rates are scheduled to go up for the vast majority of Americans. But they could continue chasing a deal for days - even until the new Congress is sworn in at noon Thursday.
BUSINESS
December 28, 2012 | By Jim Puzzanghera and Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - If the nation goes over the "fiscal cliff," some Americans will wake up Tuesday with financial headaches to rival a New Year's Eve hangover. More than 2 million long-term jobless would receive their final unemployment benefit check within days. Millions of taxpayers would be unable to file their returns early, resulting in delayed refunds. Taxes would rise immediately on workers across the board. And although some of those increases may eventually be reversed, the first paychecks of the year would be smaller until any legislative fixes kick in. Even if the crisis is resolved quickly after the new year as pressure mounts on President Obama and lawmakers, it poses a short-term administrative nightmare for businesses.
NATIONAL
December 27, 2012 | By David Horsey
The "fiscal cliff" looms ahead and it is a solid bet that no one will come up with a deal in time to stop the country from careening off the edge. Nearly everyone claims they want to avoid the automatic tax increases and massive budget cuts that will start kicking in on Jan. 1, but few are ready to make the compromises necessary to make that happen. As expected, anti-tax purists in the House Republican Caucus have gotten in the way of Speaker John A. Boehner's attempts to come up with a fix for the fiscal cliff.
BUSINESS
November 21, 2012 | By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - A potential casualty of the "fiscal cliff" standoff is the ability of Congress to adjust an outdated tax code provision that could significantly boost what millions of middle-income households owe to the government. The provision, called the alternative minimum tax, or AMT, was enacted in 1969 to make sure that the very wealthy paid some income tax. But the threshold for the usually higher tax was not indexed for inflation, and it threatens each year to ensnare millions of people it was never intended to catch - prompting the annual congressional fix. Quiz: How much do you know about the 'fiscal cliff'?
NEWS
October 17, 2012 | By Jon Healey
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney could not have been surprised when his tax plan came under attack by President Obama at Tuesday night's debate. After all, both Obama and Vice President Biden had focused on the plan before, contending that there was no way it could work as Romney claimed. So why, then, did Romney stick to the same vague response? Not only that -- he punted on a telling follow-up question about how he'd respond if he could get some but not all elements of his plan through Congress.
BUSINESS
October 7, 2012 | By Kenneth R. Harney
WASHINGTON — Although the news spotlight has been on the presidential debates and the Nov. 6 elections, a more pressing personal issue for large numbers of homeowners across the country involves the lame-duck congressional session scheduled to begin Nov. 13. Along with the federal budget, billions in tax increases, draconian spending cuts and efforts to avoid the "fiscal cliff" looming Dec. 31, the lame-duck session is expected to answer what's...
ENTERTAINMENT
November 28, 1991 | ALEENE MacMINN, Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press
Opening a Tax Window: Congress has passed a six-month extention of the tax "window" allowing individuals subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax to claim full-market-value deductions for gifts of art and other appreciated property. President Bush is expected to sign the legislation into law.
NATIONAL
April 14, 2005 | Joel Havemann, Times Staff Writer
As Friday's tax filing deadline approaches, more Americans are finding that a little-understood feature of the tax code called the alternative minimum tax is forcing their tax bills higher than expected. And though cutting taxes has been a defining characteristic of President Bush and GOP congressional leaders, prospects for change are uncertain. Instituted in 1969, the alternative minimum tax was designed to keep the richest of the rich from sheltering all their income from taxes.
NEWS
October 4, 2012 | By Jon Healey
Weary of contradicting President Obama's repeated attacks on his tax plan, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney offered a homespun version of a truism often ascribed to Soviet strongman Vladimir Lenin . "Look, I've got five boys," Romney said. "I'm used to people saying something that's not always true but just keep on repeating it and ultimately hoping I'll believe it. But that is not the case, all right?  I will not reduce the taxes paid by high-income Americans. " Yet both candidates played the repeat-it-often-enough-maybe-people-will-believe-it game on a big issue: for Obama, it was Romney's tax plan, and for Romney, it was how the 2010 healthcare law will affect Medicare and doctor-patient relationships.
NEWS
August 1, 2012 | By Kathleen Hennessey
AKRON, Ohio - Campaigning in contested territory, President Obama on Wednesday used Mitt Romney's tax proposals to frame the election as a choice between policies that would benefit the wealthy and those that would help the middle class. In two stops in the north-central part of the state, Obama slammed his unofficial GOP opponent for trying to revive failed trickle-down tax plans. Obama noted that Romney himself would benefit from his plans to cut tax rates for the nation's top earners and pointed to a new study that bolstered his claims.
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