How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dimitry K., Esq. Your Own Question
Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Dimitry K., Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am currently separated from my husband for over 6yrs. We

This answer was rated:

I am currently separated from my husband for over 6yrs. We were married for 35yrs. Since the separation I have been receiving spousal support payments issued by family court. My attorney advised from the beginning that spousal support is NOT taxable income until it becomes alimony after the divorce. Just this year it was discovered that my husband is claiming "alimony" as a deduction on his income tax return. IRS finally caught this and now I am receiving bills for thousands of dollars for past taxes due and he is receiving credit even though it is spousal support and not alimony.
Did my attorney advise me wrongly from the beginning? I am working with a CPA filing an appeal at least for all the penalties that have added up but it was denied. Am I responsible to pay these taxes, and how can my husband get credits? I don't understand and don't know who to ask for help. The bills keep coming and the penalties and interest keep adding up. Any advice? This is a lot of money and I don't even know if I am liable to pay this.
Helen Wolf
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns. I am a licensed Pennsylvania professional and will do my best to help out.

Just a moment, your CPA may not have been fully correct here. Have you been filing separately all this time or did you file returns jointly?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My husband and I have been filing "married filing separately" for 6yrs now and I only claim my social security payments



In that situation your CPA was incorrect. While it is true that 'spousal support' is essentially a transfer of assets between separate parties, since you have been filing separately already, that income transfer (the support) is something that your spouse could claim as transferred to you. Her advice would have been correct if and when you would have filed jointly, but in a separate filing, his transfer of income to you would have to be claimed by you and not by him. Th only suggestion is work with the IRS and potentially create a payment plan so as to pay back the back-taxes owed on the improper filing.


I am sorry!

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Please tell me how you came to this answer or where you looked it up so I can research your answer as being true and correct.


I see that you rated my answer as 'poor'. May I ask why?



I based my answer on IRS reports, not on my own perception. Please see below, specifically IRS Publication 504, which defines how spouses who file separately must file their returns, and that it expressly states that any 'income' received has to be properly denoted. Spousal support is deemed to be 'income' that is being transferred from one spouse to another, and therefore has to be disclosed

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your explanation.



You are most welcome. Please let me know if I can further explain. Otherwise, if satisfied, I would ask that you re-rate your responses so that your poor rating can be removed and that I can obtain credit for my work. Thank you!

Dimitry K., Esq. and 4 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you