Subject: ISO- AMT Leads to Divorce
Comment: Dear Tax Panel, below please find my Testimony
Statement from Mark F. Leary
To the House Ways and Means Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight
Washington, D.C. June 2004
In January of 2001, I found myself in a 130% tax bracket due to the AMT.
I was forced to pay over $80,000 on the "market value" of stock I never
sold or realized a gain from. The irony was that I was unable to sell this
stock due to restrictions on employee stock. Tax law and SEC law
in conflict forcing me into AMT!
The stock was selling for pennies when I was able to sell them
and was forced to borrow against the equity of my home to pay
my AMT tax.
As a result, my mortgage payment nearly doubled and years of careful
savings and financial planning were wiped out. Because of my high
mortgage payment, my wife and I have been unable to contribute to
our 401K, IRA's or any savings.
Compounding the problem, I was laid-off from my job as a Software
Engineer in late 2002 and the compound stress has led to a divorce.
I planned on using my stock equity to pay off my mortgage so I could
save for my children's college education and/or retirement. Because
of the AMT, my children's future and my retirement are now eradicated.
The AMT has directly or indirectly lead to the financial destruction and
breakdown of a family and taken away the American dream we have
worked so hard for.
I hope the IRS is happy.
Enjoy your $80,000.
Mark F. Leary