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How does alimony affect your taxes?

When a couple divorces in Florida, the court may order one ex-spouse to pay the other alimony, also spousal support, if there is a disparity of incomes and one of the former spouses does not make enough money to support himself or herself. If alimony is a part of your divorce settlement, you may wonder how the money that you pay or receive in alimony will affect your taxes. 

According to FindLaw, alimony affects your taxes differently depending on whether you are the one receiving alimony or the one making the payments. If you are the recipient, the IRS regards the money you receive in alimony as taxable income. On the other hand, if you are the one paying alimony, the payments that you make to your former spouse are tax deductible.

Regardless of whether you are an alimony recipient or payer, it is a good idea to save documents relating to alimony payments for at least three years, as you would with any other tax documents. This will come in handy not only in the event of an audit by the IRS but in case your former spouse challenges an amount paid or accepted in alimony.

Recipients should keep copies of alimony checks or receipts for cash payments, as well as keeping records of the amount of each payment and the date you received it. Similarly, alimony payers should keep a detailed list showing when you made each payment, copies of receipts for any cash payments as well as copies of checks. If you write a check for an alimony payment, be sure that you include the month that the payment covers in the memo line.

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.

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