Tax Preference Item

DEFINITION of 'Tax Preference Item'

A type of income, normally tax-free, that may trigger the alternative minimum tax (AMT) for taxpayers. Tax preference items include private-activity municipal-bond interest, the qualifying exclusion for small business stock and excess intangible drilling costs for oil and gas, if this amount exceeds 40% of AMT income. Tax preference items are added to the amount of AMT income in the tax formula.

BREAKING DOWN 'Tax Preference Item'

Like the AMT itself, tax preference items are designed to prevent high-income taxpayers from being able to avoid too much income tax via participation in certain activities. For example, investors who own private-activity bonds issued after August or September of 1986 must declare all income received from these bonds, minus investment expenses. This rule thereby prevents taxpayers from shielding all of their investment income in this type of bond issue.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Municipal Bond

    A debt security issued by a state, municipality or county to ...
  2. Intangible Cost

    An unquantifiable cost relating to an identifiable source. Intangible ...
  3. Alternative Minimum Tax - AMT

    A tax calculation that adds certain tax preference items back ...
  4. Private Activity Bond - PAB

    Tax-exempt bonds issued by or on behalf of local or state government ...
  5. Taxes

    An involuntary fee levied on corporations or individuals that ...
  6. W-2 Form

    The W-2 form reports an employee's annual wages and the amount ...
Related Articles
  1. Taxes

    How to Cut Your Alternative Minimum Tax

    Should you worry about the AMT? Even if you're subject to it, there are exemptions and strategies for reducing your tax bill.
  2. Investing Basics

    Oil: A Big Investment With Big Tax Breaks

    Oil and gas investments can provide unmatched deduction potential for accredited investors.
  3. Bonds & Fixed Income

    The Basics Of Municipal Bonds

    Investing in these bonds may offer a tax-free income stream but they are not without risks.
  4. Taxes

    Avoid Tricky Tax Issues On Municipal Bonds

    Learn the rules every investor should know before buying into this "tax-free" investment.
  5. Taxes

    Free 2016 Tax Preparation! Top Online Services

    A place that fills out and files your taxes free of charge? It's no myth, as long as you have a simple return. Read on to find the top preparers.
  6. Taxes

    Why People Renounce Their U.S Citizenship

    This year, the highest number of Americans ever took the irrevocable step of giving up their citizenship. Here's why.
  7. Taxes

    Taxes: H&R Block Vs. TurboTax Vs. Jackson Hewitt

    There are more and more tax services to help ease the pain of filing income taxes. Here's our take on three of the biggest.
  8. Taxes

    Confused About Estimated Tax Deadlines for 2016?

    If you run a business or have investment income, pay attention to this year's estimated tax deadlines. Here are the details, and what's new for 2016.
  9. Retirement

    Retirement Plan Tax Prep Checklist

    Here's a list of items you need to have in order by tax time, including paying attention to those pesky required minimum distributions.
  10. Economics

    How Powerful Is The IRS?

    Historically, the IRS has wielded formidable power, and that power isn’t likely to diminish anytime soon.
RELATED FAQS
  1. When should my tax refund arrive?

    More than 90% of income-tax refunds arrive in less than three weeks, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). However, ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How do I file taxes for income from foreign sources?

    If you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien, your income (except for amounts exempt under federal law), including that which ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Are Flexible Spending Account (FSA) items tax deductible?

    Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) are employer-sponsored, tax-favored savings plans expressly for the future reimbursement ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How Long Should I Keep My Tax Records?

    The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has some hard and fast rules regarding how long taxpayers should keep their tax records. As ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Do tax brackets include Social Security?

    A portion of your Social Security benefits may be subject to federal taxation using tax brackets. Your tax bracket is determined ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Do 401k contributions reduce AGI and/or MAGI?

    Traditional 401(k) contributions effectively reduce both adjusted gross income (AGI) and modified adjusted gross income (MAGI). ... Read Full Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Socially Responsible Investment - SRI

    An investment that is considered socially responsible because of the nature of the business the company conducts. Common ...
  2. Inverted Yield Curve

    An interest rate environment in which long-term debt instruments have a lower yield than short-term debt instruments of the ...
  3. Presidential Election Cycle (Theory)

    A theory developed by Yale Hirsch that states that U.S. stock markets are weakest in the year following the election of a ...
  4. Super Bowl Indicator

    An indicator based on the belief that a Super Bowl win for a team from the old AFL (AFC division) foretells a decline in ...
  5. Flight To Quality

    The action of investors moving their capital away from riskier investments to the safest possible investment vehicles. This ...
  6. Discouraged Worker

    A person who is eligible for employment and is able to work, but is currently unemployed and has not attempted to find employment ...
Trading Center