Do you include alimony payments in your income for tax purposes?

Spousal support is one spouse making payments to the other spouse to make up for a disparity between the two. They are made to ensure that the supported spouse can maintain the same standard of living that he or she enjoyed during the marriage. If there is a disparity in income, spousal support may be ordered as part of the divorce settlement. 

It sounds like a silly question, but it bears asking regardless: can you deduct alimony payments from your taxes? The short answer is yes. At first glance, this seems obvious, but remember, you are not permitted to deduct child support payments nor do parents that receive child support report those payments as income. But, spousal support, unlike child support, is included as part of taxable income.

Taxable income refers to the amount the IRS is permitted to levy taxes against. Since spousal maintenance payments are included in income, that means anyone who pays them may deduct those payments from their taxable income. Moreover, your former spouse must pay taxes on the income received as spousal support.

If you are in a dispute over your spousal maintenance obligations, then you may want to consult with an attorney. Spousal support matters can get complicated and largely depend on each party's ability to pay. A lawyer can help you through the process by organizing your arguments into the proper legal form to ensure you the maximum opportunity of success. You don't need to fight this dispute on your own. A lawyer can help you achieve your goals.


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