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Category: Adjustments

Can I report alimony I paid?

If you paid alimony, this may be an additional deduction on your return. These payments can usually be used to reduce your income.

Generally, alimony payments you make under a divorce or separation instrument are deductible if certain requirements are met. All of the following requirements must be met:

  • 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.

However, alimony payment must meet certain requirements. Different requirements generally apply to payments executed after 1984 and to payments under instruments executed before 1985. For more information, please see IRS Publication 504.

Any payments not required by such a decree or agreement do not qualify as deductible alimony payments.

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
  • Community Property
  • Payments to keep up the payer's property
  • Use of the payer's property

 

I received alimony payments. When do I have to claim this on my return?

More information on life events that may have a significant tax impact