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Merlo, Accountant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 9783
Experience:  25+ years tax consulting. Specializing in returns for US citizens living abroad
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My wife and I are separated. We have a written agreement between

Customer Question

My wife and I are separated. We have a written agreement between the two of us which states that I will pay $750.00 per pay period (26 times per year) in spousal support. This agreement was notorized. Does this classify as a legal separation agreement in the eyes of the IRS for the purpose of me deducting alimony payments?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Merlo replied 8 years ago.
Hello mgb,

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.

Even though you have signed an agreement with your wife to make these payments, this was an agreement that the two of you voluntarily signed. The payments were not ordered by a court in connection with a divorce or spearation decree, and therefore the payments are not tax deductible for the payor, nor or they taxable income for the person receiving the payments.

It will be much to your advantage to have a legal document issued through the court as soon as possible, so that you may start claiming a deduction for these payments.

Refer to Alimony in the following IRS publication.

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