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Alimony Under New Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA)

Posted by Patricia Jones Posted on Aug 01 2018

Alimony Under New Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA)

By Patricia Jones CPA/ABV/CFF CFE


There is a new tax law regarding alimony effective December 31, 2018.  For couples presently in a divorce proceeding they should plan to meet with their tax advisor to discuss the new divorce tax laws. 


Under a divorce agreement, a spouse may be legally obligated to make alimony payments to the other party.  Before the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act(TCJA) payments that met the requirements  could be deducted by the payer on his/her tax return for federal income tax and the recipient spouse was required to include the payments on his/her tax return as taxable income. As long as the divorce is finalized on or before December 31, 2018 alimony is deductible in future years if the requirements are met listed below:


  1. Payment is to or for a spouse or a former spouse made under a written divorce or separation agreement.
  2. Payments in an agreement cannot state the payment in question is not alimony and not deductible by payer nor includable in the recipient’s gross income.
  3. Spouses or ex-spouses cannot live in same household or file a joint tax return.
  4. The payment is in cash (including checks or money orders).
  5. Cannot be child support.
  6. Must include the payee’s social security number on the payer tax return.
  7. There is no obligation to make payments after death of recipient spouse.


The old tax law is in effect until December 31, 2018. For payments under a divorce or separation agreement executed after that date the new law eliminates the deduction for alimony payments and the recipient no longer has to include payments as taxable income. 


Individuals presently in a divorce proceeding should meet with their tax advisor to discuss the new divorce tax laws or contact our office for a consultation at (727)845-4166.