The Individual Alternative Minimum Tax: Historical Data and Projections

Research Report

The Individual Alternative Minimum Tax: Historical Data and Projections

Updated June 2008

Abstract

Congress enacted a minimum tax in 1969 to guarantee that high-income individuals paid at least some tax. The AMT now threatens to grow from a footnote in the tax code to a major component affecting tens of millions of taxpayers. Although most lower- and middle-income taxpayers will remain unaffected by it, policymakers need to deal with the explosive growth of the AMT from an obscure tax affecting only 20,000 filers in 1970 to one affecting more than 33 million-a third of all taxpayers-by 2010. This document provides updated estimates of AMT participation, revenue, and distribution.

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