Finance Quick Answers
How do alimony payments affect my taxes?
When the end of matrimony leads to the start of alimony, how does it affect your taxes? Alimony payments you receive are taxable to you in the year received, according to the IRS.
The amount is reported on line 11 of Form 1040. You
cannot use Form 1040A or Form 1040EZ. The person making
the payment may claim a deduction on Form 1040 in the
year paid. You must give the person who paid the alimony
your Social Security number or you may have to pay a $50
If your decree or agreement calls for both alimony
and child support and specifies amounts for each, only
the alimony is taxable. Because no taxes are withheld
from alimony payments, you may need to make estimated
tax payments or increase the amount withheld from your
Alimony payments you make may be deductible, if
certain requirements are met. Child support payments,
however, are never deductible.
For more information on how to treat alimony payments
received or made, see Publication 504, "Divorced or
Separated Individuals," and Tax Topics 402, "Alimony
Received," and 452, "Alimony Paid." Publications and
forms may be downloaded from the IRS Web site at
www.irs.gov or ordered
by calling toll free 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676).
Source: IRS TAX TIP 2004-31
Reviewed by Brenda Procter, M.S., Consumer and Family Economics, College of Human Environmental Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia
Last update: Thursday, July 24, 2008