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Suppose They Took the AM Out of the AMT?

The individual alternative minimum tax (AMT) was originally intended to assure that high-income people paid at least some tax, but the AMT was poorly designed and affects more middle-income people every year. The AMT raises a lot of tax revenue, however: reforming or eliminating it could cost $500 billion over the next decade. Some suggest that the best option would be to make the AMT the regular tax system. This paper examines the implications of basing a reformed tax system on AMT rules. (A shorter version of this paper is forthcoming in the 97th Annual Conference NTA Papers and Proceedings.)

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