Alternative Minimum Tax - AMT

Definition of 'Alternative Minimum Tax - AMT'


A tax calculation that adds certain tax preference items back into adjusted gross income. Alternative minimum tax (AMT) uses a separate set of rules to calculate taxable income after allowed deductions. Preferential deductions are added back, and then the AMT exemption is subtracted to get the AMT taxable income (AMTI). AMTI is then taxed at the current rate schedule to get tentative minimum tax (TMT). If TMT is higher than the regular tax liability for the year, the regular tax and the amount by which the TMT exceeds the regular tax are paid (i.e. the taxpayer pays the full TMT).

Investopedia explains 'Alternative Minimum Tax - AMT'


AMT is designed to prevent taxpayers from escaping their fair share of tax liability through certain tax breaks, although the structure is rife with controversy as it is not indexed to inflation or tax cuts. This causes a condition known as "bracket creep", whereby upper-middle-income taxpayers are becoming subject to this tax. In 2006, the IRS National Taxpayer Advocate reported that the AMT often punishes taxpayers for having children or living in high-tax states.



comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Walras' Law

    An economics law that suggests that the existence of excess supply in one market must be matched by excess demand in another market so that it balances out. So when examining a specific market, if all other markets are in equilibrium, Walras' Law asserts that the examined market is also in equilibrium.
  2. Market Segmentation

    A marketing term referring to the aggregating of prospective buyers into groups (segments) that have common needs and will respond similarly to a marketing action. Market segmentation enables companies to target different categories of consumers who perceive the full value of certain products and services differently from one another.
  3. Effective Annual Interest Rate

    An investment's annual rate of interest when compounding occurs more often than once a year. Calculated as the following:
  4. Debit Spread

    Two options with different market prices that an investor trades on the same underlying security. The higher priced option is purchased and the lower premium option is sold - both at the same time. The higher the debit spread, the greater the initial cash outflow the investor will incur on the transaction.
  5. Odious Debt

    Money borrowed by one country from another country and then misappropriated by national rulers. A nation's debt becomes odious debt when government leaders use borrowed funds in ways that don't benefit or even oppress citizens. Some legal scholars argue that successor governments should not be held accountable for odious debt incurred by earlier regimes, but there is no consensus on how odious debt should actually be treated.
  6. Takeover

    A corporate action where an acquiring company makes a bid for an acquiree. If the target company is publicly traded, the acquiring company will make an offer for the outstanding shares.
Trading Center