The Alternative Minimum Tax From A Practical Perspective: Its Role in the Income Tax Structure Under Current Law, and Its Possible Role in Future Deficit Reduction Legislation

Friday, January 1st, 1988 at 12:00 am by Kendyl K. Monroe
Kendyl K. Monroe, The Alternative Minimum Tax From A Practical Perspective: Its Role in the Income Tax Structure Under Current Law, and Its Possible Role in Future Deficit Reduction Legislation, 1988 Colum. Bus. L. Rev. 341

Practical experience with the alternative tax since the 1986 Act indicates that the role of that tax in the income tax structure today is significantly different than had been hoped for when it was reconfigured in the 1986 Act. The broadening of the regular tax base that was also enacted by the 1986 Act narrowed the differences between the regular tax base and the alternative tax base so much that the alternative tax, with its lower rate, ordinarily does not produce any more tax revenue than does the regular tax. The principal practical effect of the alternative tax, therefore, is simply to require a very large number of taxpayers who are not in fact subject to the alternative tax to compute on their tax returns, and also for estimated tax purposes, a meaningless hypothetical alternative tax.

Author Information

The author is a senior tax partner at Sullivan & Cromwell. A.B., 1958, Stanford; LL.B., 1960. The author is a member of the Tax Sections of the American Bar Association and of the New York State Bar Association, and of various committees thereof. He is also a trustee of the Tax Foundation, and a member of The Tax Club (New York), where the original version of this article was presented as a paper on November 16, 1988.