The AMT: Will this tax apply to you?

What’s your alternative minimum tax (AMT) preference?

Though you might prefer to not think about the AMT, certain income and deductions, known as preference items, affect the way the tax will apply to you. Those amounts, along with others called “adjustments,” are added to or subtracted from the income shown on your tax return to arrive at your AMT taxable income.

For example, certain bond interest that you exclude from your regular taxable income must be included when computing income for the AMT. This is a “preference item” because tax-exempt interest gets preferential treatment under ordinary federal income tax rules.

Adjustments include personal exemptions and your standard deduction. In the AMT calculation, these taxable-income reducers are not deductible. Instead, they’re replaced with one flat exemption, which is generally the amount of income you can exclude from the AMT.

Note: For your 2013 tax return, the AMT exemption is $80,800 when you’re married filing a joint return or are a surviving spouse, $51,900 when you file as single, and $40,400 if you’re married and file separately. The exemption decreases once your income reaches a certain level.

What if you itemize? Some itemized deductions are allowed, such as charitable contributions. Others, including medical expenses and mortgage interest, are computed using less favorable rules.

Whatever AMT preference – or adjustment – applies to you, we’re here to help calculate the best tax outcome. Please contact us for details or assistance.

About Brenda J. McGivern, CPA

Brenda McGivern started her own certified public accounting and management consulting firm in October 2001. The full service CPA firm provides tax and accounting solutions to meet the needs of today's small business and individual. Brenda McGivern has become a trusted advisor and valuable resource her clients rely on for timely, accurate assistance when they need it. Before starting the firm, she worked as an accountant for three years at a local firm and prior to that five years at a large international CPA firm in Boston. She has performed the following tax services: federal, state and local tax planning, international tax planning, estate and succession planning, mergers and acquisitions, capital retention and IRS representation. She has also coordinated assurance engagements, such as financial statement audits, reviews and compilations from the planning phase through the reporting phase. She has prepared and reviewed regulatory filings for numerous regulatory agencies including the Security and Exchange Commission. Prior to these positions she was selected from over 2,000 candidates into an eight-person intensive financial management program at an international technology company. The program consisted of graduate level classroom study and two six-month rotational assignments in financial operations. She graduated cum laude from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in accounting. McGivern also holds a license in Massachusetts as a Certified Public Accountant and is a member of the American Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants. She currently sits is a board member at two local organizations. She resides in Stoughton, Massachusetts with her husband Brian, and their sons Sean, Ryan and Conor.
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