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Paying or Receiving Alimony?

IRS TAX TIP 2008-32

If you were recently divorced and are paying or receiving alimony under a divorce decree or agreement, you need to consider the tax implication for your 2007 federal income tax return.

Here are the general guidelines:

Alimony payments received from your spouse or former spouse are taxable to you in the year you receive them. Because no taxes are withheld from alimony payments, you may need to make estimated tax payments or increase the amount withheld from your paycheck.

Alimony payments you make under a divorce or separation instrument are deductible if certain requirements are met. Any payments not required by such a decree or agreement do not qualify as deductible alimony payments.

Child support you pay is never deductible. Child support you receive is not taxable.

If you paid or received alimony you must use Form 1040. You cannot use Form 1040A or Form 1040EZ. If you received alimony, you must give the person who paid the alimony your social security number or you may have to pay a $50 penalty.

For more information, including rules for divorces and separations before 1985, get Publication 504, Divorced or Separated Individuals, available on the IRS Web site at or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

Remember that for the genuine IRS Web site be sure to use .gov. Don't be confused by internet sites that end in .com, .net, .org or other designations instead of .gov. The address of the official IRS governmental Web site is


Publication 504, Divorced or Separated Individuals

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 09-May-2013