- Days left
As the year-end draws near, lawmakers still can't agree on potential changes to the tax code. The current issue is the Alternative Minimum Tax, AMT for short. The AMT was enacted nearly 40 years ago, and was intended to make sure that high-income taxpayers with lots of deductions still paid a minimum level of income taxes.

The problem is that the tax code hasn't kept up with inflation, and what was once considered "high income" is now applicable to some taxpayers in today's middle class.

Republicans want to change the AMT rules so they apply to higher income earners. Democrats are unwilling to change the rules unless they can collect those taxes elsewhere. Some say the "cost" of changing the AMT rules will be a $50 billion decrease in tax collections each year.
A delay in action by lawmakers may put taxpayers in a bind. The IRS needs about seven weeks from the time a law is changed to when the agency's computer systems are ready. This could cause a delay of refunds, and taxpayers who file their taxes early in 2008 may be forced to amend their returns.

If an agreement between lawmakers is not reached this week, IRS officials say they will encounter problems with the beginning of their tax season rush.

Forensic accountant Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations through her company, Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners honored Tracy as the 2007 winner of the prestigious Hubbard Award and her first book, Essentials of Corporate Fraud, will be on bookshelves in March 2008.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Timing Your Spending

How to pay less by changing when you purchase.

View Course »

Economics 101

Intro to economics. But fun.

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

A Tax Filing Factsheet for eBay Sellers

You can find almost anything for sale on eBay, from a piece of fine art to clippings of Justin Bieber?s hair. So it's no surprise that the IRS doesn't view all sellers alike in the online marketplace. You may not have to pay tax at all if you are essentially hosting an online garage sale, but if you run your eBay account more like a business, you should be reporting your sales to the IRS.

Tax Tips for Handymen and Odd Jobs

If you work as a handyman or do odd jobs around town for money, you are operating a business in the eyes of the IRS. Since you own your own business, you're likely a self-employed sole proprietor. This means you'll have lots of potential tax deductions to investigate.

Identity Theft: 7 Steps to Reclaiming Your Identity and Keeping it Safe

As more personal information continues to be stored online, the risk of identity theft also increases. In 2014 alone, the Bureau of Justice reported that 17.6 million U.S. residents experienced identity theft. If someone uses your personal data pretending to be you, it's a serious crime. With quick, decisive action, you can help discover the fraud, stop further damage and reclaim your identity. Here are six steps to get you on your way.

Need More Tax Time? File a Tax Extension

If you need more time to complete your taxes, file a tax extension, but don't miss out on your chance for a tax refund by not filing at all. Learn more about tax extensions from this 2012 infographic!