Most Pennsylvania spouses who are paying alimony are not entirely excited by the idea. Even if you can understand the logic behind the court's decisions -- or if you can see why the law requires it -- alimony payments can feel like a significant financial burden.
When it comes to taxes, spouses who are paying alimony get a small break. They can deduct the money they pay in alimony from their annual taxable income.
Here's what the IRS says about alimony and taxes
According to the IRS website, spouses may deduct all the alimony payments they pay from their taxable income. This, in turn, will lower your final tax liability.
The IRS says that you must meet the following criteria before you can deduct alimony payments:
- You must make the payments in cash, money order or check.
- You cannot reside in the same residence as your ex spouse.
- If you continue to make alimony payments after your spouse passes away or gets married again, you cannot deduct those payments since you didn't have to pay them.
- You cannot deduct child support payments.
What if I'm the one receiving alimony payments?
If you're the recipient of alimony payment, it means that you'll have to pay taxes on those payments. The IRS will view your received IRS payments as your personal income.
Please note that the IRS will require you to provide you ex-spouse with your Social Security Number so that the paying spouse can report the payments as a deduction on his or her taxes. Failing to provide your ex with your Social Security Number can result in a $50 fine.
Accuracy of reporting alimony payments to the IRS is essential
It's vital to report your alimony payments accurately on your IRS forms. You and your spouse are well-served to corroborate your tax filings before submitting them to the IRS: This ensures that you are deducting the same amount of alimony payments as the receiving spouse is reporting as income. The IRS frequently checks these figures to ensure that spouses are being accurate.Making an error when it comes to alimony and the IRS can result in serious fines and other legal difficulties. As such, it's important that spouses educate themselves fully on their tax responsibilities and rights concerning alimony.