Guest Author - Kate Woods
You might say The Alternative Minimum Tax Patch was a last minute holiday gift for many taxpayers. Until the Tax Patch was enacted there was a question as to whether any tax returns were going to be able to be filed in early January as usual or if the kick off for filing returns would be delayed until February. Prior to the creation of the AMT Patch the tax laws would have caused a great many taxpayers to have increases to their tax liability for their 2007 filing due to AMT calculations. Initially the Alternative Minimum Tax was intended to target only a small number of high-income taxpayers who were able to claim so many deductions that they were paying very low or almost no income taxes. However, tax law being written often in only present tense the future tense ramifications aren’t always correctly anticipated and a growing number of middle-income taxpayers were beginning to be subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax. Fortunately, perhaps by some miracle of the holiday season, the AMT Patch has been put into place to rectify these unanticipated ramifications for middle-income filers just in time to allow the vast majority of taxpayers who want to begin filing in mid-January to do so. That is especially a good twist of fate for those taxpayers who want to lasso early refunds if they choose to in the 2008 filing season.
So, on with the show; filing begins mid-January except for the estimated 13.5 million taxpayers whose returns include five forms related to the Alternative Minimum Tax – Form 6251. They will have to wait until the IRS reprograms its systems. The IRS has set February 11th for the targeted potential starting date for returns that include the following related forms:
•Form 8863 Education Credits
•Form 5695 Residential Energy Credits
•Schedule 2, Form 1040A Child and Dependent Care Expenses for Form 1040A Filers
•Form 8396 Mortgage Interest Credit
•Form 8859 district of Columbia First-Time Homebuyer Credit
Hopefully, when February 11th arrives, the reprogramming will have gone well and it will be smooth sailing for the IRS, Tax Preparers and Taxpayers.
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