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Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) Assistant for Individuals

Individuals with a higher income may be subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax. Under the tax law, certain tax benefits can significantly reduce a taxpayer’s regular tax amount. The AMT sets a limit on those benefits. If the tax benefits would reduce total tax below the AMT limit, the taxpayer must pay the higher Alternative Minimum Tax amount.

Alternative minimum tax is calculated if you use tax software to prepare your tax return. So if you prepare your own Form 1040 tax return without using software, you may need to complete Form 6251, Alternative Minimum Tax – Individuals to determine whether you owe the AMT.  You can use the AMT Assistant before you go through preparing Form 6251 to find out if you actually need to complete it.

Should you use the AMT Assistant?

Check here first. If you received or claimed any of the following items in the tax year, you must complete Form 6251 and there is no need to use the AMT Assistant:

  • Accelerated Depreciation
  • Stock by exercising an incentive stock option and you did not dispose of the stock in the same year
  • Tax exempt interest from private activity bonds
  • Intangible drilling, circulation, research, experimental or mining costs
  • Amortization of pollution-control facilities or depletion
  • Income (or loss) from tax-shelter farm activities or passive activities
  • Income from long-term contracts not figured using the percentage-of-completion method
  • Interest paid on a home mortgage NOT used to buy, build or substantially improve your home
  • Investment interest expense reported on Form 4952
  • Net operating loss deduction
  • Alternative minimum tax adjustments from an estate, trust, electing large partnership or cooperative
  • Section 1202 exclusion
  • Any general business credit in Part I on Form 3800
  • Empowerment zone and renewal community employment credit
  • Qualified electric vehicle credit
  • Alternative fuel vehicle refueling property credit
  • Credit for prior year minimum tax

Using the AMT Assistant

Even if you did not receive or claim any of the above, you may need to complete Form 6251. You can use the AMT Assistant and quickly find out. Based on your entries the AMT Assistant results will tell you either:

  • You do not owe the AMT, or
  • You must complete Form 6251

Before You Start
Have your draft 2013 Form 1040 available, completed through Line 44 (Tax), as well as your draft Schedule A (if used). If you are claiming the foreign tax credit, you should also complete Form 1040, line 47, because you may be asked for information from that line.

Note: the AMT Assistant will ask you again about the items in the list above. Just answer “no” to confirm and continue.

Remember the answer you get is only as accurate as the data you enter!

Start the Tax Year 2013 AMT Assistant
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Prior years still available:

Tax Year 2012 AMT Assistant

Tax Year 2011 AMT Assistant

Your entries in the AMT Assistant application are anonymous and the information will be used only for the purpose of determining your eligibility. All entries are erased when you exit or start over. See the “IRS Privacy Policy” for more information.

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 18-Jul-2014