Question

I have a question about deducting payments to my spouse. I am still married to my spouse but we lived apart all year. Are the monthly payments I made to my spouse tax deductible?

Answer

Deducting payments to your spouse that are not considered alimony under a divorce decree or separate maintenance degree is not allowed by the IRS. You can only deduct payments to your spouse that are considered alimony under a divorce or separate maintenance decree.

Alimony doesn’t include:

  • Voluntary payments not made under a divorce or separate maintenance decree
  • Payments made under a divorce decree for child support
  • Property settlements
  • Payments for the payor’s property

A payment usually qualifies as alimony if:

  • You make the payments in cash.
  • Your spouse (or someone on your spouse’s behalf) receives the payments under a divorce or separation decree.
  • The decree doesn’t expressly exclude the payment from being included in your spouse’s income or deducted by you.
  • You and your spouse, if divorced or legally separated, aren’t members of the same household when the payment is made.
  • The instrument states that liability for payments must cease upon the death of either spouse.

 

Related Topics

Related Resources

Claiming an Education Credit

Not sure if your dependent can claim an education credit? Discover your options for filing or amending your return. Get tax answers from H&R Block.

Non-Custodial Parent Tax Credit

Can both divorced parents claim head of household? Explore how custody affects taxes and find possible solutions. Get tax answers from H&R Block.

Filing A Tax Return For Your LLC

Do you need to file a separate tax return for your LLC? Learn more from the tax experts at H&R Block.

First Apartment Expenses

Can you get deductions for your child's college expenses? Learn if you qualify for tax credits and deductions. Get tax answers from H&R Block.