Can I deduct alimony paid in 2019?

July 05, 2019 by Selena Quintanilla
Wedding cake split with the groom on one side and the bride on the other

So, Selena... 

  

My divorce was finalized in November of 2018. Per our agreement, I will begin making alimony payments in November of 2019 and will be paying a substantial amount for years to come. I was counting on taking a deduction for the payments on my taxes to lessen the sting, but heard that the new tax law did away with that option.  

  

Will I be able to deduct alimony payments under the TCJA? 

  

Ben 



 

So, Ben... 

  

You're right. The TCJA did make a significant change to how alimony is reported and deducted. In short, since the payments received are no longer required to be reported, payments made are no longer deductible − in some cases.  

  

Given the information you provided, it sounds like you will still be able to take the deduction.  

  

Here's why: 

  

The changes made to alimony under the TCJA apply to divorce agreements finalized after December 31st, 2018. Prior to the change, recipients of alimony were required to report the payments as taxable income, and the payer was able to deduct the amount they paid to reduce their tax liability. Since your divorce was settled in 2018, these rules will be the same for you. Keep in mind that if you and your ex-spouse modify this agreement in the future, the reporting and deductibility of these payments will remain the same unless either of you makes specific mention of the TCJA in the adjustment.  

  

If your ex requests the agreement be modified to fit the new law, you may want to discuss reducing the amount of alimony you're paying, especially if the payments are a substantial bit of your income. On the upside, you were given a year to get settled before paying into alimony which is more than most.  Making smart money moves during this time can also lessen the sting of what you’re going through.

Recent Articles

Woman wearing eyeglasses
Prescription eyeglasses for correcting your vision are deductible as a medical expense, but you may not be able to deduct them based on other factors.
IRS Audit
Generally, the IRS has three years form the date the return is filed to conduct an audit. However, there are exceptions to this three-year rule.
Money, United States Treasury Check, 1040 Tax Form
If you paid off a prior year state or local tax obligation to your state, you can include these payments as a state tax deduction, subject to the $10,000 cap.
standard deduction or itemized deduction
Most taxpayers are familiar with the terms standard deduction and itemized deductions, but many are unaware of the differences between the two.

SEARCH

 

Karen Thomas-Brandt, EA
Corporate Trainer

 

Karen Thomas-Brandt, EA, is a Corporate Trainer at TaxAudit, the largest and fastest-growing audit defense service in the country and the exclusive provider of TurboTax® Audit Defense. With more than 16 years in the tax field, Karen has prepared thousands of tax returns and defended hundreds of taxpayers in audits. In her current role, Karen specializes in researching complicated tax topics, developing workshops, and training tax professionals on effective audit representation and tax return analysis.


 

Recent Articles

Woman wearing eyeglasses
Prescription eyeglasses for correcting your vision are deductible as a medical expense, but you may not be able to deduct them based on other factors.
IRS Audit
Generally, the IRS has three years form the date the return is filed to conduct an audit. However, there are exceptions to this three-year rule.
Money, United States Treasury Check, 1040 Tax Form
If you paid off a prior year state or local tax obligation to your state, you can include these payments as a state tax deduction, subject to the $10,000 cap.
standard deduction or itemized deduction
Most taxpayers are familiar with the terms standard deduction and itemized deductions, but many are unaware of the differences between the two.
This blog does not provide legal, financial, accounting, or tax advice. The content on this blog is “as is” and carries no warranties. TaxAudit does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, reliability, and completeness of the content of this blog. Content may become out of date as tax laws change. TaxAudit may, but has no obligation to monitor or respond to comments.