Posted: Oct 13, 2005 By: Sandra Lafferty

Subject: AMT Tax

Comment: In 1999 all was going well and my husband a the time worked for McLeod USA in Cedar Rapids, IA. Instead of some wage increases or bonuses, McLeod opted along the way to give their employees stock options. He has been employed there since 1994 and had accumulated quite a few options. In 2000 when stock prices were climbing a time came when he had to either exercise some of his options or they would be lost to us. Of course we excersised them. As we all know 2001 brough a great deal of change and stock prices were plummeting. We had never sold nor received money from the majority of the options and were now facing rapidly falling values. When we filed our taxes the amount owed to the state especially was close to $100,000.00. We, as a couple were also in the middle of separating. The betaryals by my husband along with our failing financial situation left me a mostly stay at home Mom with a very unstable future.
I started working full time, held down several jobs and went back to school to try and get my degree in Counseling. During the over 2 year divorce process things were difficult. We made an offer in compromise, which was denied and also paid for a lawyer to reveiw and prepare ammendments to the tax returns. This only brought a small change to 2001's returns.
In the divorce decree it states that my exhusband is responsible for all the tax debt. I never had any investment account in my name and the stock was never in my name either. As time passes, my exhusband work sporatically. I consistantly worked to take care of the kids with unreliable child suppport at best. Due to the fact that I was stable from an income standpoint, in 2004 I received a letter saying that my wages would be garnished. I have since had garnishment ranging from 25% of my wages, to 9% of my wages to $150 per month. This was their final agreement. I was counseled by a group of attorneys in early 2005 that since my request for Equitable Releif had been denied that I would have to file for bankrupcey or else I will pay for this the rest of my life and pass it on to my children.
Yesterday I filed for bankrupcey. Other than my tax dept, I have excellent credit. This has been an unfair situation from many circumstances and I have felt very trapped in the middle of situations out of my control. I'm sad to have had to make this bankrupcey decision. I had no choice due to the AMT law that effected so many in 2000.