Leaders of the congressional tax-writing committees told the Internal Revenue Service that they planned to make imminent changes in the alternative minimum tax, and that the IRS should start producing accurate tax forms for the 2007 filing season.

In a letter to Acting IRS Commissioner Linda Stiff, the congressional leaders said that the exemption amount for 2007 would be set at $44,350 for individuals and $66,250 for married taxpayers filing jointly.

The letter was signed by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., and ranking Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., and ranking Republican Rep. Jim McCrery, R-La.,

They warned that under present law, more than 23 million taxpayers would be subject to higher taxes in 2007 unless legislation is enacted.

"We plan to do everything possible to enact AMT relief legislation in a form mutually agreeable to the Congress and the president before the end of the year," said the letter. "We urge the Internal Revenue Service to take all steps necessary to plan for changes that would be made by the legislation."

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has also called for Congress to pass a quick patch for the AMT, warning that the IRS would not have time to fix its forms.

"While I appreciate the Ways and Means Committee for taking up an AMT patch today, the fact that this legislation raises taxes that would hurt our economy makes it very difficult for a patch to be passed quickly," Paulson said in a statement. "Since February, we've asked for an AMT patch that does not raise other taxes. I still believe this is the right policy."

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