Will Congress Adjust the AMT to Avoid Fiscal Cliff?

Following the November election, many media pundits and experts are warning of the impending "fiscal cliff" expected to hit the country in early 2013. The term is used to describe a series of enacted legislation that will lead to tax increases, federal spending cuts and a reduction in the budget deficit at the end of 2012. Most experts have proposed avoiding the fiscal cliff by extending certain parts of the 2010 Tax Relief Act or changing the 2011 Budget Control Act, which would decrease taxes, but increase the deficit.

Experts predict that if you have a household income over $75,000, you will see a substantial increase in your taxes. Residents in high-cost urban areas are expected to be hit hardest. Some congressional aides have speculated that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has advised Congress to adjust the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) after the filing season starts in January, which would lead to delays in return processing for nearly half of all Americans.

"That would be a disaster, an unmitigated disaster for the taxpayers of the United States," said Nina Olson, national taxpayer advocate at the IRS. "It's just not possible to do that."

Many Americans plan their budget and finances based on getting their tax refunds in a timely fashion. This may be last thing many individuals who may already be on the verge on bankruptcy need.

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