(AP) — Up to 100 million taxpayers — about two-thirds of all filers — won’t be able to file their 2012 tax returns until late March if Congress doesn’t adjust the alternative minimum tax by the end of the year, the Internal Revenue Service said Wednesday.
Congress routinely adjusts the AMT to spare millions of middle-income taxpayers from steep tax increases. But the fix for 2012 is caught up in negotiations over the year-end “fiscal cliff” of automatic tax increases and spending cuts.
If Congress doesn’t fix the AMT retroactively to the beginning of 2012, the tax would hit an additional 28 million filers, increasing their taxes by an average of $3,700. Millions of others would face filing delays because the annual fix affects their tax credits.
The last adjustment expired at the end of 2011, and the IRS assumed Congress would adjust the tax again when it set up its computer systems for the upcoming filing season, acting IRS Commissioner Steven T. Miller said in a letter to Congress. It would take until late March at the earliest for the agency to re-work its computers, he said.