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famularos
New Member

Can i deduct maintenance paid during a legal seperation

 
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ThomasM
New Member

Can i deduct maintenance paid during a legal seperation

Per IRS Tax Topic 452 (https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc452.html:(

"Amounts paid to a spouse or a former spouse under a divorce or separation instrument (including a divorce decree, a separate maintenance decree, or a written separation agreement) may be  alimony for federal tax purposes.   Alimony is deductible by the payer spouse, and the recipient spouse must include it in income."

TT 452 also includes the following list of requirements for determining that a sum is alimony:

"A payment is alimony only if all the following requirements are met:

  • The spouses don't file a joint return with each other;
  • The payment is in cash (including checks or money orders); 
  • The payment is to or for a spouse or a former spouse made under a divorce or separation instrument;
  • The divorce or separation instrument doesn't designate the payment as not alimony;
  • The spouses aren't members of the same household when the payment is made (This requirement applies only if the spouses are legally separated under a decree of divorce or of separate maintenance.);
  • There's no liability to make the payment (in cash or property) after the death of the recipient spouse; and
  • The payment isn't treated as child support or a property settlement."

Further, IRS goes on to state what is not considered alimony:

"Not all payments under a divorce or separation instrument are alimony. Alimony doesn't include:

  • Child support,
  • Noncash property settlements, whether in a lump-sum or installments,
  • Payments that are your spouse's part of community property income,
  • Payments to keep up the payer's property,
  • Use of the payer's property, or
  • Voluntary payments (that is, payments not required by a divorce or separation instrument).

Child support is never deductible and isn't considered income. Additionally, if a divorce or separation instrument provides for alimony and child support, and the payer spouse pays less than the total required, the payments apply to child support first. Only the remaining amount is considered alimony."

In TurboTax, you'll enter alimony under the Federal Taxes tab (or Personal, if working in TurboTax Self-Employed or Home & Business), then select Deductions & Credits, then scroll down to Other Deductions & Credits and click on Alimony Paid. Then follow the prompts.

 

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