A one-hundred-dollar bill rolled up inside of a gold wedding band, symbolizing spousal support or alimony

Is Spousal Support Tax Deductible?

The answer is generally yes, spousal support is tax deductible to the payor spouse and is considered "income" for the payee spouse when it comes to their tax documents.

In order for spousal support to be deductible, there must be a written instrument, order, or judgment. IRS Publication 504 states:

“Alimony is a payment to or for a spouse or former spouse under a “divorce or separation instrument.” It does not include voluntary payments that are not made under a divorce or separation instrument.
Alimony is deductible by the payor and must be included in the spouse’s or former spouse’s income. This is also stated in IRS Publication 504:
"Divorce or separation instrument. The term “divorce or separation instrument” means: A decree of divorce or separate maintenance or a writ-ten instrument incident to that decree, A written separation agreement, or A decree or any type of court order requiring a spouse to make payments for the support or maintenance of the other spouse. This includes a temporary decree, an interlocutory (not final) decree, and a decree of alimony pendente lite (while awaiting action on the final decree or agreement)."

Are Non-Alimony Support Payments Tax Deductible?

Not all payments under a divorce or separation instrument are alimony. Alimony does not include: child support; noncash property settlements; payments that are your spouse’s part of community income; payments to keep up the payer’s property; or use of the payer’s property. See IRS Publication 504 again:

"Payments to a third party. Cash payments, checks, or money orders to a third party on behalf of your spouse under the terms of your divorce or separation instrument can be alimony, if they otherwise qualify. These include payments for your spouse’s medical expenses, housing costs (rent, utilities, etc.), taxes, tuition, etc. The payments are treated as received by your spouse and then paid to the third party."

If you have further questions about your specific situation, contact the Law Offices of H. William Edgar to schedule a case review. Our experienced team proudly serves clients in Riverside, Temecula, Anaheim, Palm Desert, and cities throughout the Orange County and San Bernardino County.

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