The IRS has announced a new electronic tool to help you figure out if you need to file the forms related to the AMT. (This is their way of being a kinder, gentler, and more helpful agency.) To get to the tool, you need to have your Form 1040 filled out at least in draft form, and you need schedule A if you itemize. To get to the tool, go to www.irs.gov and type in AMT Assistance in the search box. It will take you to the site. I tried it this morning using rough estimates, and it says: dude, you gotta fill out the full form 'cause you may owe this (or to that effect) .
Kudos to the IRS for making this a little easier for most taxpayers. (After all, the complexity of the AMT is not their fault. Blame here lays with Congress.) Those who do turbotax or other electronic systems don't need this tool, but it is good to provide an alternative for those with relatively simple returns who can handle them without the extra expense of these software packages.