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LegalGems
LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 8948
Experience:  Experienced Family Law Attorney
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I live in WI. Just divorced in June. Before the divorce a

Customer Question

I live in WI. Just divorced in June. Before the divorce a temporary court order required I pay spousal maintenance until the dissolution settlement agreement was finalized. Is this spousal maintenance (per divorce but separated) tax deductible as alimony?
My second guess is along W4 exemptions. I will be providing my wife 50% of my monthly gross income resulting in a significant reduction in my net monthly income. How many exemptions can I claim to reduce my Federal tax withholdings in anticipation of the alimony reduction lower my tax obligation significantly at tax return filing time. Or a calculator I can use? And the Federal max allowable in my situation?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.
Good Day! I'll do my best to assist you. Please remember: I only provide general information and a local attorney should always be consulted.
Alimony (spousal support, spousal maintenance) is deductible so long as it is paid pursuant to a court order or a written agreement.
Topic 452 - Alimony Paid
Amounts paid under divorce or separate maintenance decrees or written separation agreements entered into between you and your spouse or former spouse are considered alimony for federal tax purposes if:
You and your spouse or former spouse do not file a joint return with each other
You pay in cash (including checks or money orders)
The payment is received by (or on behalf of) your spouse or former spouse
The divorce or separate maintenance decree or written separation agreement does not say the payment is not alimony
If legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance, you and your former spouse are not members of the same household when you make the payment
You have no liability to make the payment (in cash or property) after the death of your spouse or former spouse, and
Your payment is not treated as child support or a property settlement
Not all payments under a divorce or separation instrument are alimony. Alimony does not include:
Child support
Noncash property settlements
Payments that are your spouse's part of community property income
Payments to keep up the payer's property, or
Use of the payer's property
Voluntary payments
http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc452.html
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Alimony is a payment to or for a spouse or former spouse under a divorce or separation instrument. It does not include voluntary payments that are not made under a divorce or separation instrument.
Alimony is deductible by the payer, and the recipient must include it in income. Although this discussion is generally written for the payer of the alimony, the recipient also can use the information to determine whether an amount received is alimony.
To be alimony, a payment must meet certain requirements. There are some differences between the requirements that apply to payments under instruments executed after 1984 and to payments under instruments executed before 1985. The general requirements that apply to payments regardless of when the divorce or separation instrument was executed and the specific requirements that apply to post-1984 instruments (and, in certain cases, some pre-1985 instruments) are discussed in this publication. See Instruments Executed Before 1985 , later, if you are looking for information on where to find the specific requirements that apply to pre-1985 instruments.
Spouse or former spouse. Unless otherwise stated, the term “spouse” includes former spouse.
Divorce or separation instrument. The term “divorce or separation instrument” means:
A decree of divorce or separate maintenance or a written instrument incident to that decree,
A written separation agreement, or
A decree or any type of court order requiring a spouse to make payments for the support or maintenance of the other spouse. This includes a temporary decree, an interlocutory (not final) decree, and a decree of alimony pendente lite (while awaiting action on the final decree or agreement).
http://www.irs.gov/publications/p504/ar02.html#en_US_2014_publink1000175944
A withholding calculator is located here:
http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/IRS-Withholding-Calculator
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Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.
Here is a link to help locate an attorney:
www.findlegalhelp.org and http://apps.americanbar.org/legalservices/findlegalhelp/home.cfm
Of course, should you have other questions please do not hesitate to post here.
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