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How Alimony Affects Taxes in Massachusetts

April 18th is approaching quickly, and this means you might be wondering what effect your divorce – and post-divorce payments like alimony – will have on your tax return. This can have a significant impact on your taxes, so it’s important to take a closer look. To help, we’ve compiled a list of questions to shed light on alimony, child support, and taxes in Massachusetts.

It’s important to note that these are general answers, and your situation may vary, so be sure to consult with a professional when filing your taxes. If you have additional questions or want the insight of an experienced family law attorney, we welcome you to call our offices at (508) 502-7002.

What is Massachusetts’ stance on alimony and state income tax?

In Massachusetts, for state income tax purposes, alimony payments are typically deductible for the payee and taxable for the recipient. Alimony payments are not double-taxed. If you pay alimony to your ex-spouse, you will not be taxed on it. It will, however, be seen as income for your ex-spouse and may therefore be subject to state income tax.

If I’m receiving alimony, how does that count for state income tax purposes?

In Massachusetts, a person who is receiving alimony payments will typically count them as part of their gross income when filing their state income tax return.

If I’m paying alimony, how do I show that on my state income return?

If you’re paying alimony to your ex-spouse, you should be able to take a deduction for these payments on your personal income tax return.

How does alimony affect federal income tax?

As of January 1, 2019, alimony payments are essentially non-taxable for federal income tax purposes. This means that the person who pays alimony cannot deduct it, and it is not included as income for the person who receives it. This change was initiated by the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017 and applies to any divorce or separation agreement that was executed after December 31, 2018.

If you were divorced before December 31, 2018, you may be able to exclude alimony payments from federal income taxes if you complete a modification that:

  • Changes the terms of alimony; or
  • States that alimony payments are not tax-deductible (for the payee) or counted as income (for the recipient).

Will changing my alimony payment affect my taxes?

Yes, an alimony modification will most likely affect your taxes. A change in the amount you’re paying or receiving will affect your state income taxes in Massachusetts unless your divorce agreement says otherwise. It will not affect your federal income tax return, unless you were divorced before December 31, 2018. Because modifications are complicated and your alimony agreement may vary, it’s important to talk to your attorney about questions related to this topic.

Does paying or receiving child support affect my taxes?

According to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue, if you are paying or receiving child support, this will not impact your state or federal income tax return. Child support payments are not deductible by the payee and are not counted as income by the recipient.

Make the Right Choices: Contact a Massachusetts Alimony Attorney Today!

The first time you handle your taxes after your divorce can be tricky. Divorce itself can be messy and difficult. With the right guidance and counsel, however, you can face a better post-divorce future. Miller Law Group, P.C. provides proven legal representation for people across Massachusetts who are dealing with the complexities of divorce, alimony, child support, and all other areas of family law. We are problem-solvers, armed with the experience and resources to help our clients reach the best possible outcomes based on their unique situations.

To find out more about the ways our Massachusetts alimony lawyers can help you, call (508) 502-7002 today.

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