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Bush Urges House To Pass AMT Fix

by Mike Godfrey, Tax-News.com, Washington

10 December 2007


President Bush has spoken out in support of the Senate's approval of legislation designed to prevent many millions of additional US households from falling foul of the the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) this year.

Designed to ensure America's wealthiest households contributed to tax revenue, the AMT, which was created in 1969, failed to take inflation into account, meaning that more middle class households are now being stung by the tax.

In a radio address delivered on Friday, President Bush observed that:

"The AMT was designed to ensure that the wealthy paid their fair share of taxes. But when Congress passed the AMT decades ago, it was not indexed for inflation. As a result, the AMT's higher tax burden is creeping up on more and more middle-class families, and as many as 25 million Americans would be subject to the AMT."

He continued: "On average, these taxpayers would have to send an extra $2,000 to the IRS next year. This is a huge tax increase that taxpayers do not deserve and that Congress must stop."

President Bush went on to state: "I urge the House of Representatives to get the Senate-passed AMT relief bill to my desk before they adjourn so I can sign it and protect millions of families from higher taxes and avert any further delay in the tax refund checks next year."

US Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson has also commented on the passage of the legislation by the upper house, announcing following the vote that:

"I thank the Senate for passing a bill that prevents 21 million Americans from paying the Alternative Minimum Tax this year, and that does not raise other taxes."

"It is imperative that the House approve this and send it to the President without delay. We are only weeks away from the time when taxpayers can typically file their returns and will expect millions of dollars in refund checks quickly. The longer it takes to put this AMT patch into the law, the greater the delay in the filing season and those refunds."

On Thursday, Senate Finance Committee Chairman, Max Baucus (D-Mont.), won the right to implement the legislation, which allows credits, and increases the exemptions taxpayers can claim to avoid paying the AMT in 2007, which will prevent the tax from applying to those who didn’t pay it last year.

The amendment, which does not include offsets for the cost of AMT relief this year, passed after a House bill containing offsets failed to win sufficient votes, and after numerous minority objections before and after the Thanksgiving recess to requests for various votes on the AMT.


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