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Divorce and Taxes


Here are Tax Tips to help you!

1) Alimony or Child Support Deductions:
If you are awarded alimony in a divorce it is stipulated in your separation agreement. If you are the party paying alimony, you can usually deduct alimony on your tax return, unless you agree otherwise. If you are receiving alimony, you have to report this as income on your tax return. Child support is different from alimony. Child support is not deductible for the person who pays it and is not taxable to the recipient.

2) Dependency Exemption:
A child can only be claimed on a tax return by one parent. As part of the separation agreement it will be determined who will claim the child as an exemption. It is often the party paying the larger amount of child support.

3) Divorced Filing Status:
If you are not officially divorced before the end of the year, you can still file a joint tax return. Once
divorced you can no longer file a joint tax return.

4) Medical Bills and Expenses:
You can include your child’s medical bills on your tax return if you continue to pay them after your divorce. These costs can be included in your medical expense deductions if your child meets the tests for
dependency. This applies whether you have custody or not.

5) Payments Made to Your Former Spouse:
Alimony payments to your spouse are a tax deduction and do not need to be itemized. As long as this payment is truly alimony and in your stipulated agreement the IRS will recognize payment as a deduction.

6) Transfer of Assets :
Property is often transferred from one spouse to the other as equitable distribution in a divorce
settlement. If this occurs, the recipient does not pay tax at that time on the transfer. However, if you
receive property from your spouse in a divorce settlement and you sell it later, you will be responsible to pay capital gains tax on the appreciation after the transfer from the initial acquisition.

7) Sale of Home:
If you and your spouse decide to sell your home when you get divorced, there could be capital gains tax. You can avoid tax on the first $250,000 of gain on the sale of your primary home if you have owned and lived in it for two out of the past five years of ownership. But if you sell after your divorce and the two above provisions have been met, both you and our spouse can each exclude up to $250,000 of gain on each of your returns. If you receive the house in your divorce settlement and sell it some years later, you can exclude up to $250,000.

8) Transferring Retirement Assets:
When divorcing be careful how your retirement funds are transferred. If it is agreed that you will give your 401 (k) to your spouse in a divorce settlement the transfer can take place from either an IRA rollover or QDRO. To avoid taxation a retirement transfer should be executed under a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) which allows for your spouse to access the funds without your having to pay taxes. During a divorce, it is important to carefully handle your retirement savings.

For more help with your divorce call me at (646) 663-4546. I will be happy to guide you towards the divorce process that is right for you!