WASHINGTON—Democratic and Republican leaders of congressional tax committees said Tuesday they will work to ensure that "not one additional taxpayer" will pay the alternative minimum tax in 2010.Patching the AMT has become one of my favorite yearly congressional traditions. USA! USA!
A temporary fix for the AMT is one of several tax issues on the agenda for Congress's lame-duck session, which begins Monday.
Lawmakers of both parties wrote Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Doug Shulman, indicating they plan to enact legislation protecting as many as 24 million taxpayers from a tax increase due to the AMT.
Taxpayers who pay the AMT face higher tax bills than under the regular income tax, because the tax was designed to limit the benefit of some credits and deductions.
Moreover, because the AMT was not indexed for inflation, it has the potential to hit a growing number of taxpayers each year. But Congress historically has enacted temporary "patches" that allow most to escape the tax.
It hasn't enacted such a patch for 2010 yet. That creates paperwork problems at the IRS, which is preparing forms and software for the 2011 tax-filing season.
Don't worry everyone, Congress is totally on top of the AMT patch this year: