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 established before 2019
Alimony payments received from orders established before January 1, 2019 and meet certain requirements are considered income in the year they are received. Because no taxes are withheld from alimony payments, you may need to make estimated tax payments or increase the amount withheld from your paycheck.
- 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.
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
- Federal Section
- Alimony Paid
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 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).