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I have heard a lot about the dreaded Alternatie Minimum Tax and was wondering if there was a good source to start figuring out this beast (i.e., what it is, when it would be a factor, and how I can avoid falling into its grasp).

This is an excellent place to start:

(I'll note that the fairmark site is excellent in most other areas as well - capital gains, IRAs estimated taxes, etc. And no, I have no connection whatsoever with fairmark - I just think it's a great site for tax information!)

For what it's worth, there's generally not much you can do to avoid AMT. If you have a high income, have lots of exemptions, pay lots in state and local taxes, and have certain kinds of deductions, you may get hit by AMT. (But it's hardly the end of the world if you do.) As you'll see, it's a complicated subject.

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