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I just don't get it. I just finished filing my tax return. Netted out, I'm paying just over 24% in federal income tax (not counting FICA/Medicare), and a bit more than 6% in state income tax.
$19K of that was AMT, which means that I don't get to take deductions for mortgage, local taxes, college tuition, standard deductions, child tax credits, etc.
I had well over $30K in charitable deductions - most of that is in a scholarship fund. Without that, I would have paid closer to 27%.
Along with my return, I enclosed a check for just over $27K as final payment.
Yet, somehow, I can safely bet that there will be people on this board and elsewhere who will tell me that I'm not paying my "fair share" - even when they are paying less in both $ and %.
Obama paid 18%, with earnings higher than mine. His tax proposal would increase what I pay. Care to take a wager on whether or not the increase for him would raise his taxes to the level I pay?
No. No wager. I'm guessing he, like many people in his position, will avoid paying taxes by using the system optimally as well as using their political and financial "power" to create legislation to perpetuate these benefits (compared to you).
It seems that some choices were made for the AMT to be imposed. Either your employer is not withholding the proper amount, you are claiming more than the usual deductions during the year, you are paid with stock options, or you are a contractor where your employer pays you your full salery without any withholding, which means you as an individual are operating as a business.
My stepdad did this, as he did not want the government to use his money all year and get a refund at tax time. No judgement here, it is a method that some use. If none of the above is true, you need a new CPA.