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.

 

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