....Millions of U.S. taxpayers could become subject to the federal alternative minimum tax and face delays in filing their tax returns — and collecting refunds — unless Washington leaders resolve their down-to-the-wire fiscal cliff impasse.
Enacted in 1969, the alternative minimum tax was originally intended to ensure that the nation's wealthiest taxpayers paid at least some income tax. The levy takes effect at a specific income level, and isn't indexed to account for inflation.
Instead, the Internal Revenue Service counts on Congress to enact an annual "patch" that spares millions of additional lower-income earners from higher levies under the alternative minimum tax. But this year's fiscal cliff standoff has so far left the higher tax threat unpatched.....If a new patch is not enacted, "..30 million additional taxpayers will become subject to the AMT on their 2012 income tax returns"
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