During the next few tax years, changes are being made to the rules for reporting alimony payments and alimony income. The changes depend on when the alimony order was finalized.
For tax years 2017 and prior:
Alimony payments received from your spouse or former spouse are taxable to you in the year you receive them. Because no taxes are withheld from alimony payments, you may need to make estimated tax payments or increase the amount withheld from your paycheck.
You can enter the amount of alimony you received as income by selecting:
- Federal Section
- Income Menu
- Alimony Received
Alimony payments made under a divorce or separation instrument are deductible if certain requirements are met. Any payments not required by such a decree or agreement do not qualify as deductible alimony payments. Child support you pay is never deductible. Child support you receive is not taxable.
To report the amount of alimony you paid:
- Federal Section
- Alimony Paid
For Tax Year 2018:
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 You will continue to report the payments or income on your return until the time the order is no longer valid or modified (if the modification specifies that TCJA treatment now applies).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.
Beginning January 2019, the rule for alimony reporting changes.
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 does not include the following:
- non-cash property settlements
- payments that are your spouse's part of community income
- use of the payer's property
If you paid or received alimony you must use Form 1040. You cannot use Form 1040A or Form 1040EZ. When using our program, we will automatically select the appropriate form to fit your specific return. If you received alimony, you must give the person who paid the alimony your social security number or you may have to pay a $50 penalty.
For more information, including rules for divorces and separations before 1985, get Publication 504, Divorced or Separated Individuals, available on the IRS Web site at IRS.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
To see other life events information that may have a significant tax impact click here.