A bipartisan group of key congressional committee chairmen pledged to patch the alternative minimum tax this year and wrote to IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman telling him to plan for AMT relief.

Congress tends to temporarily fix the AMT each year to prevent it from ensnaring another 20 million or more taxpayers. But the infighting in Congress and crowded legislative calendar have prevented Congress from patching the AMT until the lame duck session.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Sander Levin, D-Mich., along with Finance Ranking Member Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Ways and Means Ranking Member Dave Camp R-Mich., pledged Tuesday to “do everything possible” to enact 2010 AMT relief to ensure tax certainty for 21 million taxpayers.  The bipartisan tax policy leaders wrote to Shulman stating the agency should “take all steps necessary to plan for changes” to present law so that, in the aggregate, not one additional taxpayer faces higher taxes in 2010 due to the AMT. 

“As the leaders of the Congressional tax-writing committees, we want to assure you that Congress is working on legislative relief,” they wrote. “We will work to craft the AMT provision so that, in the aggregate, not one additional taxpayer faces higher taxes in 2010 due to the onerous AMT. Such legislation will allow the personal credits against the AMT and the exemption amounts for 2010 to be set at $47,450 for individuals and $72,450 for married taxpayers filing jointly.”

They added that they planned to enact AMT relief legislation in a form mutually agreeable to Congress and the President.

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