Should they Abandon the Alternative Minimum Tax?

The AMT or Alternative Minimum Tax is that rare thing – a part of the tax code that most people agree on irrespective of their ideological or political leanings. It was originally established in order to make certain that the richest citizens in the US were going to be made to pay their own fair share of the national tax revenues, but most people now think that it is unfair it has not been adjusted along with inflation which in effect means that an ever growing percentage of not quite as wealthy Americans are falling within its remit and finding themselves the recipients of bigger tax bills.

In recent negotiations on the debt ceiling, one of the considerations under discussion was that Congress remove the Alternative Minimum Tax. Whether this was a bargaining chip or a genuine suggestion is uncertain but it does rile many people that a tax that was put in place to place extra tax on the rich has now ended up including 65% of all US taxpayers. How is it fair that 65% of all taxpayers are required to pay an extra tax over and above what the rate charts require? On the other hand, some people might suggest that 65% of all taxpayers are now wealthy and that the gap between rich and poor is growing.

Certainly most people agree that something needs to be done. Whilst the gang of six in Washington managed to avoid handling the thorny issue of the AMT there are calls for action to be taken almost every year and the continuing back and forth debate as well as those regular year on year fixes have gotten to be too much.

Alex is a freelance journalist and financial blogger. He loves to write about baseball and jazz but spends most of his days writing about mortgages, credit cards and umbrella companies .


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