Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) How It Affects Filing Season 2009

Every year taxpayers need to consider whether they will have to pay the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). The AMT Assistant is intended to provide a simple test for taxpayers who fill out their tax returns without using software to determine whether they may be subject to the AMT.

The AMT Assistant is an electronic version of the AMT Worksheet in the 1040 Instructions, called the Worksheet to See if You Should Fill in Form 6251 - Line 45.

Using the AMT AssistantThe AMT Assistant is easy to use. You just answer a few simple questions about entries on your draft 1040 and the system does the rest. You will see the results immediately on your computer screen. Based on your entries, the results will tell you that either you do not owe the AMT or that you must go further and complete Form 6251 to find out if you owe the AMT.

Your entries are anonymous and the information will be used only for the purpose of determining your eligibility. All entries are erased when you exit or start over. See the IRS Privacy Policy for more information.

Income Tax Return Filing Preparations

With a little bit of planning, you could find filing tax returns to be a simple task. First of all, keep documents like your SSN, your spouse's SSN, and dependent's SSN in order. Get together medical expense records, charitable contribution records, accounting records of your business, wages and asset purchase records.

Make sure you have gathered the interest income (Form 1099 INT), dividend income (Form 1099-DIV), sale of stocks and bonds (Form 1099-B), mortgage interest (Form 1098) and IRA/ Pension Distribution (Form 1099-R, Form SSA 1099).

Some of the other important documents are Form 1099G, Form W -2G, Form 1099-MISC, Form-1099MSA, and Form-1098 E.

Keep a record of the mileage on your vehicle, Internal Revenue contribution, job travel, wages and taxation of household employees. Home property details, such as total area, home office area, expenses records, rent paid and theft from property are also important details. Along with this you should also have scholarship and bank statement records.

To qualify as head of the household, your filing status for the year has to be either "married filing separately," or "married filing jointly." As an unmarried dependent, you must file a tax return if your earned and/or unearned income exceeds certain limits. There are many specific rules for couples who are divorced, separated or living together. It would be a good idea to go through the rules and become clear about them.

Dependents are divided into two categories: qualifying relative and qualifying childv which means your child, as well a relative you are supporting can be claimed as dependents. They must have passed the tests of citizenship or residents, joint return test, gross income and support.

A person claimed as a dependent cannot claim any other dependents during the same calendar year. There is no age limit as long they have passed the above tests. Inspect the rules for dual income, separated or divorced couples. Do keep in mind that the social security number of the dependent has to put on the return and child support payments are not deductible.

Electronic filing has made the filing of tax returns easier. To use the e-file program, you must first choose the authorized IRS e-file alternatives that are best for you. The authorized IRS e-file provider could be an electronic return originator, intermediate service provider, transmitter or software developer.

Publication 1345 (PDF), which is the Handbook for Authorized IRS E-File Providers Individual Income Tax Returns, helps you take part in the e-file program. Technical information is in Publication 1346 (PDF), Electronic Return File Specifications and Record Layouts for Individual Income Tax Returns. Get constant updates to this publication on the Electronic Filing System Bulletin Board.