2. Alternative minimum tax increased
Because it is not indexed for inflation, more and more taxpayers find themselves subject to the alternative minimum tax, or AMT. However, among the provisions included in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 is the AMT patch, which increased the AMT exemption amounts.
For 2009, the AMT exemption amount expanded to $46,700 for single filers and heads of households, $70,950 for married taxpayers filing jointly or a qualifying widow(er), and $35,475 for married taxpayers filing separately.
For 2010, Congress will need to pass a law with another patch, and those amounts should be higher than this year. If Congress fails to enact a patch, the exemption levels would go down to those that existed in 2001.