Tax Planning for the Divorcing and Newly Divorced
May 4, 2012
By: Amy Feldman
“Generally, spousal support is taxable to the person who receives it and deductible to the person who pays it, while child support is neither taxed nor deducted, says Monica Mazzei, a family law attorney at Sideman & Bancroft in San Francisco. “Some people do not realize they have to include spousal support as income and they get taxed on it. You can agree otherwise,” she says. What Mazzei means is this: According to the tax rules, payments to your ex aren’t considered alimony if the divorce decree says that they’re not.”
“The result is that, especially for the first tax return after a divorce, you may need to actually look back at the settlement agreement to see what it says. “People call me and say, ‘I’m at my tax preparer’s office now, is my spousal support taxable?’ I’ll have to go to my computer and look it up,” Mazzei says. “Most people when they’re done with the divorce want to forget the details and the process.”
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