Will I receive a full credit for my AMT?

July 23, 2001

Subject:   AMT Credit
Date:   14 Feb 2001
From:   Dan

Mr Gray,

In another letter, your answer indicates that the taxpayer will receive a credit in the year of sale from the AMT made in the year of sale. Is this a full credit? I am in the same boat as that person. I have exercised about 1420 shares of stock in 2000. The AMT I am paying in 2000 is around $XX000. I will sell the stock early in 2001 before the 12 month holding period and am wondering if I will receive a credit in 2001 for the entire $35000 of AMT paid.



Date:   15 Feb 2001

Hello Dan,

If the selling price of the stock is equal to or greater than the fair market value of the stock at the date of exercise, you should recover almost all, if not all, of the minimum tax credit. Remember the minimum tax credit is only that portion of the AMT that is attributable to timing differences, such as the “spread” at exercise for ISOs. See Form 8801.

If the price of the stock is less than the fair market value at the date of exercise, you will have a capital loss for AMT, which may be limited. This will make it difficult for you to recover your minimum tax credit until you generate capital gains to which you can apply the capital losses.

For example, Jack, a single person, exercised an ISO for 1,000 shares of Supercorp stock on March 1, 2000. The option price was $1 per share and the fair market value was $101 per share. He will report an AMT adjustment of $100,000 with respect to the exercise. He sold the shares on February 1, 2001 for $21,000. Jack will report ordinary compensation income for regular tax of $20,000 (IRC Section 422(c)(2)). For the AMT computation, Jack makes a basis adjustment for the $100,000 reported in 2000, giving him a tax basis in the shares of $101,000, so he has an AMT capital loss of $21,000 – $101,000 = ($80,000). (IRC Section 56(b)(3).) This loss is deductible up to the amount of capital gains plus $3,000. (IRC Section 1211(b).) If Jack has no capital gains for 2001, he reports AMT negative adjustments of $20,000 for the compensation income plus $3,000 for the allowed capital loss, or a total of $23,000. Jack will probably not be able to recover his total minimum tax credit attributable to 2000.

Good luck!

Mike Gray

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