What the “Alternative Minimum Tax” Is and Why It Matters for the Rest of Us

One standout item from Trump’s 2005 tax return, revealed last night, was something called the “Alternative Minimum Tax” (AMT). If you’re not terribly familiar with it, here’s what the AMT is all about and why it matters.

David Cay Johnston is the Daily Beast Reporter, tax analyst, and author who found Trump’s 2005 IRS 1040 in his mailbox and shared it online (and on Rachel Maddow). The Daily Beast reported:

The documents show Trump and his wife Melania paying $5.3 million in regular federal income tax—a rate of less than 4% However, the Trumps paid an additional $31 million in the “alternative minimum tax,” or AMT. Trump has previously called for the elimination of this tax.

It’s obviously not the only thing worth noting in this whole fiasco, but it brings to light the significance of the Alternative Minimum Tax, an important part of the IRS tax code.

The Alternative Minimum Tax was basically designed to keep wealthy people from taking advantage of so many loopholes that they don’t pay their fair share in taxes. As the Tax Policy Center explains, in 1968, Treasury Secretary Joseph W. Barr informed Congress that 155 taxpayers with incomes over $200,000 (which was an even more significant amount at the time)…

Things To Know About Paying for Grad School

Students attend graduate school to gain more knowledge in a specific field, increase their future earning power, or switch careers. But depending on the type and length of the program, grad schools can cost tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Whether you’re planning to get your master’s, Ph.D., MBA, or J.D. degree, here are nine things you should know about paying for grad school.


If you know what type of graduate program you want to attend, start researching your options early. Different schools offer a variety of scholarships, fellowships, grants and department funding, and starting the application process early will increase your odds of receiving money from a university’s limited funds. After reading about your options on the university’s website, speak to a representative from the school’s financial aid department.

If you’re willing to spend more time earning your degree, consider taking classes part-time instead of as a full-time student. Depending on the program, earning your degree part-time may cost less than a full-time program, and you won’t lose a year (or more) of income while you’re studying.


If you’re currently in college, ask professors in your area of study to recommend relevant scholarships, fellowships or grants for which you could apply. Even if you graduated years ago, get in touch with your old professors to benefit from their knowledge and contacts. And because most scholarship applications require letters of recommendation, your professors can also help by vouching for you.


If you’re currently working and your graduate degree will be in the same field, check with your company’s human resources department to determine if there is a tuition assistance or reimbursement program….