I have a question about how child support payments need to be reported for tax purposes. Are child support payments taxable and/or are child support payments deductible -- Do I have to report child support payments that I have received when I file my tax return?
The non-custodial parent (parent who cares for the child less than half of the time) is required by law to pay a monthly allowance, or child support, to help the custodial parent (the parent who is primarily responsible for day-to-day care of the child) cover their child's expenses. An order of child support may follow a divorce or a determination of paternity. A court of law usually determines the payments, based on the income level of the other parent. According to the IRS rules, child support payments do not count as taxable income, and child support payments may not be used as a tax deduction either. That means child support payments cannot be deducted by the payer (non-custodial parent) and are not taxable to the payee (custodial parent). When you calculate your gross income to see if you are required to file a tax return, do not include the child support payments that you have received.
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