DEFINITION of 'Form 6251: Alternative Minimum Tax - Individuals'
A tax form distributed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and used to determine the amount of alternative minimum tax (AMT) that a tax payer may owe. Some taxpayers with higher incomes can claim certain deductions that allow them to reduce their regular tax obligation, and the AMT is designed to set an upper limit on how much that deduction can be. Only if there is AMT owed will Form 6251 have to be attached to Form 1040.
BREAKING DOWN 'Form 6251: Alternative Minimum Tax - Individuals'
Form 1040 also contains a worksheet that allows a taxpayer to determine whether AMT is owed, but it only provides basic computations. Form 6251 is more detailed and will give a more accurate answer, and simply completing it does not mean that it has to be filed.