Beginning in 2019, the rule for reporting alimony paid as a deduction has changed.
- Deductions for alimony orders executed after December 31, 2018 have been eliminated.
- Recipients of alimony are no longer required to report the income on the tax return.
Alimony payments that meet certain requirements can be claimed as an adjustment to income on your 2017 return.
The requirements are:
- The payment is in cash
- The instrument does not designate the payment as not alimony
- The spouses are not members of the same household at the time the payments are made. This requirement applies only if the spouses are legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance
- There is no liability to make any payment (in cash or property) after the death of the recipient spouse
- The payment is not treated as child support
How does this affect my 2018 return? If you have an existing alimony order, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will not affect how you report your alimony (received or paid). You will continue to report the payments or income on your return until the time the order is no longer valid or modified (if the modification specifies that TCJA treatment now applies).
Alimony orders made after December 31, 2018 - New orders for alimony (after December 31, 2018) are not deductible on the tax return.