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Lev
Lev, Tax Advisor
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 28931
Experience:  Taxes, Immigration, Labor Relations
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Hi Bill, Recently divorced in Illinois. My child support

Customer Question

Hi Bill,

Recently divorced in Illinois. My child support and alimony are lumped into an "unallocated support" bucket, and for tax reasons are treated like alimony. I pay FICA taxes on this income on my payroll - can I get this back, or any way not to pay on my checks?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Lev replied 3 years ago.

Lev :

Hi and welcome to Just Answer!
Seems as Bill is not currently available - so please allow me to assist.
First of all - when child support and alimony are paid - it makes no difference which funds are used.
The fact that these payments are made out of your wages makes no difference. Your employer is required to collect and remit to the IRS FICA payroll taxes - and there is no refund for such taxes because funds are used to pay child support and alimony.
As you might know - alimony may be deducted on your tax return for income tax purposes (not for employment tax purposes) but child support payments are not deductible. So the fact of such payments are lumped into an "unallocated support" might be an issue.

Lev :

Alimony is deductible by the payer and must be included into the spouse's or former spouse's income. To be alimony, a payment must meet certain requirements. A payment to or for a spouse under a divorce or separation instrument is alimony if the spouses do not file a joint return with each other and all the following requirements are met.
•The payment is in cash.
•The instrument does not designate the payment as not alimony.
•The spouses are not members of the same household at the time the payments are made. This requirement applies only if the spouses are legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance.
•There is no liability to make any payment (in cash or property) after the death of the recipient spouse.
•The payment is not treated as child support.
As long as all the above requirements are met - payments are treated as alimony.
How to report alimony payments? - on your tax return - form 1040 - you deduct that amount on line 31a - and must provide your ex spouse's SSN - http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1040.pdf
The IRS will verify that your ex spouse includes that amount into her taxable income on line 11 of her form 1040.

Customer :

Thank you Lev, on the answer to the payroll taxes, do you have any references so I can validate this? Otherwise, I think you have answered my question, and I've seen the IRS pub cited before on taxability of Alimony. Thanks again.

Lev :

There is NO reference that specifically allowed or not allowed exclusion from FICA for alimony payments.
However - as wages are paid to you - such wages are subject of FICA and other employment taxes partially paid by your employer and partially deducted from your wages.
The main document which regulated employment taxes is IRS Publication 15(Circular E) - and may be found here - www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p15.pdf‎
This publication is a document for employers and determine which payments are considered wages, how employment taxes are paid and how remitted to the IRS.

Lev :

The IRS publication which explains how to deduct alimony is IRS publication 504 - www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p504.pdf‎


Lev :

Specifically for alimony - see page 12 - as we see - the alimony is deducted ONLY for income tax purposes.

Expert:  Lev replied 3 years ago.
Just in case you were not able to use the chat - I am switching to Q&A mode and porting the answer below.
Please feel free to communicate if you need any clarification or have other tax related issues.

There is NO reference that specifically allowed or not allowed exclusion from FICA for alimony payments.
However - as wages are paid to you - such wages are subject of FICA and other employment taxes partially paid by your employer and partially deducted from your wages.
The main document which regulated employment taxes is IRS Publication 15(Circular E) - and may be found here - www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p15.pdf‎
This publication is a document for employers and determine which payments are considered wages, how employment taxes are paid and how remitted to the IRS.

The IRS publication which explains how to deduct alimony is IRS publication 504 - www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p504.pdf‎
Specifically for alimony - see page 12 - as we see - the alimony is deducted ONLY for income tax purposes.