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Estimated taxes – planning for 2nd quarter Alternative Minimum Tax payments due June 15

13th June 2009
By kinal in Taxes
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The second quarter for estimated tax purposes actually is a bit of a misnomer. The "quarter" consists of taxes for the months of April and May alone, unlike a normal three-month quarter. In any event, these estimated taxes must be paid by next Monday, June 15. Because of this shortened period - recall that the first quarter's estimate was just paid on April 15 - a reminder for AMT estimated tax payers is especially important. Set forth below is why you need to think about the AMT as an important part of your required estimated tax payments.

It is pretty common knowledge that we are required to pay our taxes as we earn our income. For employees, you do this through withholdings from your paycheck, and for self-employed folks this is done by making quarterly estimated tax payments. But what about the Alternative Minimum Tax?

Not-so-common knowledge is that the AMT also must be paid throughout the year - if you wait until April 15 of next year to pay it you could be subject to underpayment penalties. For employees, the problem you have to deal with is that the withholding tables your employer uses do not include any estimate for the AMT. If you want this withheld, you have to make the computation yourself and request that an additional amount be withheld from your paycheck. For self-employed people, your quarterly estimates similarly need to be increased by the expected Alternative Minimum Tax liability.

Great, you say, but how do you know whether you will be in the AMT, and, if you are, how much you will owe? The only way really to do it is to forecast your income and your deductible expenses for the year and then do an AMT calculation based on this forecast. This, of course, is quite an exercise unless you have both a resource for the technical tax rules on the AMT and access to software to make the calculations.

It should also be mentioned that the IRS has several "safe-harbor" rules that you can use to avoid penalties. One of them is if you pay in at least 100% of last year's tax, but this minimum is increased to 110% if your income is over $150,000 ($75,000 for married individuals filing separately). However, if your income fluctuates from year to year, or if you were in the AMT last year but may not be in it this year, this easily can result in overpaying your taxes due.

George Bauernfeind is with AMT Individual - providing information on Alternative Minimum Tax Planning . He writes articles to help the tax payers to pay less Alternative Minimum Tax. He recommend to use Alternative Minimum Tax Calculator to reduce Alternative Minimum Tax.
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