Alimony: receiving it, paying it, and its impact on your taxes

I pay alimony and/or child support to my ex-spouse. How can I report this expense and can it reduce the amount of tax I owe?

Child support cannot be deducted in any way.

Alimony can be deducted if your spouse has a U.S. Social Security number. If your spouse is a non-U.S. person, then we will determine if your alimony payments qualify you for the full deduction. It depends on the terms of Tax Treaty between the U.S. and the country where your ex-spouse resides.

NOTE: The above applies for divorce agreements signed up to December 31st, 2018 even though payments may be made in 2019 or later, the above still applies. For divorce agreements signed after January 1st, 2019 or later, alimony cannot be deducted by the payer.

I receive alimony and child support from my ex-spouse. How will this affect my taxable income?

Child support is not included in your income. It is paid to your child and you act as only a custodian/trustee for the child.

Alimony is included in your taxable income. Provide your ex-spouse’s name and Social Security number if you have it. If your spouse is a non-U.S. person, it is not necessary to provide this information.

NOTE: The above applies for divorce agreements signed up to December 31st, 2018 even though payments may be received in 2019 or later, the above still applies. For divorce agreements signed after January 1st, 2019 or later, alimony is not included by the receiver.

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