Author Topic: US Taxes - Married, Avoiding AMT?  (Read 1773 times)

livetogive

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US Taxes - Married, Avoiding AMT?
« on: March 23, 2015, 09:08:51 AM »
Hi All,

I'm of the "Your taxes are not so complicated, do them yourself *face punch*" camp.  I had a mustachian wrench thrown in my otherwise fairly tight annual tax withholdings calculation by getting married in 2014 and bumping into US Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). 

Is there any way to avoid this?  I've been searching around and haven't found a great resource on it - they're either too dumbed down or just instructions on how to fill out the forms.  Does anyone have some good reading that gives actionable tips to avoid?  Anyone tried married filing separate?  I feel like that shouldn't work, but our tax laws are so dumb. 

I used 2 tax preparation software suites (H&R Block was $245 better before price than TurboTax, TurboTax refund pending) but have read form 6251 can be tough and am skeptical the tax software addresses this.  I'm loathe to pay someone to do something so easy but has anyone somehow avoided or minimized their AMT taxes by paying a tax pro?

mm1970

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Re: US Taxes - Married, Avoiding AMT?
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2015, 09:29:05 AM »
not here
we do our own taxes
get hit with the AMT all the time


Trirod

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Re: US Taxes - Married, Avoiding AMT?
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2015, 10:01:10 AM »
it's pretty tough to get out of AMT.  I'm a CPA and almost all my client swith income in the $200,000 to $500,000 are in AMT and are every year.

The tax software should be able to handle Form 6251 - it's a common situation.

Oh, and Married Filing Separate potentially can make it better if you are just on the cusp of AMT and can be creative in how you move your exemptions and deductions around., but most of the time it makes it worse.

livetogive

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Re: US Taxes - Married, Avoiding AMT?
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2015, 10:38:04 AM »
Thanks so much for the responses!

I think I know the answer to this already but my wife has an employee stock purchase program that offers a discount on the purchase price.  I have it set up for quick sale as we index and I don't want to otherwise hold any of her company stock. 

IRS.gov mentions that holding this stock more than a year can require checking form 6251 but is there any possibility the quick sale and incurring short term cap gains + the income tax on the discount is making this worse?  As I understand it no, but I just wanted to double check.