Kevin Qualls Family Law
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How are spousal support payments treated for tax purposes?

When it comes to paying or receiving spousal support (also known as alimony) in Orange County, it is important to understand how these payments will be treated when tax time rolls around. Per the Internal Revenue Service, the person receiving spousal support payments must report them as income for federal income tax purposes, and the person paying spousal support can deduct it from his or her income for federal income tax purposes. It is not necessary to have itemized your deductions to deduct spousal support. Therefore, it is important to understand what constitutes spousal support for federal income tax purposes.

First of all, each spouse or former spouse cannot file a joint tax return. Spousal support can be paid via cash, checks and money orders. These payments must also have been received by the former spouse. If the divorce decree does not state that the payments are not meant for spousal support purposes, the payments may be considered to be spousal support. Payments made after a couple have legally separated or divorced and are no longer living together when the payments are made will be considered spousal support.

Noncash property settlements and child support will not be considered spousal support for income tax purposes. Payments made for upkeep of the payer's property will not be considered spousal support, as will noncash property settlements. Finally, payments that are your ex's portion of the community property income will not be considered spousal support.

Hopefully, this post has shed some light on how spousal support is treated for income tax purposes. But, this post cannot promise any specific result when it comes to divorce, spousal support and taxes. Those who need more advice on these topics should seek the help they need to have their questions answered.

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Kevin Qualls Family Law
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