Alimony Received

Alimony is a payment to or for a spouse or former spouse under a mandating divorce or separation instrument. Payments made under the agreement to third parties on behalf of the alimony-owed spouse are also considered alimony. Furthermore, payments made under a divorce or separation agreement for life insurance payments and jointly-owned homes are generally considered alimony. The following types of payments made under such an agreement, however, are not considered alimony: child support, voluntary payments, noncash property settlements, payments to keep up the payer’s property, use of the payer’s property, and payments that are the spouse’s part of community income.

All alimony received by a taxpayer must be included in his/her income calculation. Additionally, the IRS mandates the spouse receiving alimony must provide the paying spouse with his/her social security number (because alimony paid is deductible from the paying spouse’s taxable income if social security records can be proven). Failure to provide this information may result in a $50 penalty.

For more detailed information about alimony, and its potential inclusion in the recipient’s income, consult Publication 504.

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