Family Law | Divorce in Relation to Income Taxes
Division of Property
Most divorces entail a division of the property possessed by the couple.
There are, nevertheless, tax consequences following divorce that influence future taxes.
The basis is typically the cost of the property. A capital gain is taxable at rates that are specific. So, when the receiving spouse later sells property distributed pursuant to a divorce decree, the spouse receiving the compensation may be required to pay taxes on the proceeds of the deal.
In a divorce, for instance, the family home may be received by the wife while the husband might receive stock or alternative investments equivalent in value to the house. The husband could wind up with significantly more money because he owes less capital gains tax in case the house has a lower basis in relation to the stock when both are sold.
On the flip side, under tax law related at the start of 2004, the first $250,000 (for people) or $500,000 (for couples) of the taxable gain on the sale of a qualifying personal home is exempt from tax. In light of these tax problems, selling the house before the divorce, then breaking up the proceeds, might make more sense.
The parent who’s granted guardianship of the child or children from the union, typically gets a set amount of money that is paid per month as child support. Payments aren’t tax deductible by the spouse making the payments and aren’t includable in the taxable income of the receiving spouse.
Only money surpassing the amount of the child support obligation is treated as alimony.
Alimony or “Spousal Support.”
“Deductible” for federal income tax purposes means it’s subtracted from a taxpayer’s gross income before taxes are computed, resulting in lower taxes. Citizens using a threshold amount of tax write-offs list such tax write-offs and must file a special form together with the IRS when paying income taxes.
A divorce decree is allowed and between the time a couple splits, one spouse may pay out money for the support of the other spouse. These payments are deductible provided that they can be made agreeable to a decree or a “written separation agreement.” In order for alimony payments to be tax deductible, regulations and federal tax laws demand the following:
- The installments are made in cash, check or money order to the spouse, or to a third person in lieu of alimony at the written demand of the recipient spouse, saying the amounts are intended as alimony, and the request is received before the tax return is filed.
- Order, the divorce decree or the written agreement of the parties doesn’t identify the payments as something other than alimony.
- The spouses usually do not file a joint return with each other.
- If they are legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance, the spouses are not members of precisely the same household when the payments are made – separation within the family home is insufficient.
- There is no responsibility to make the alimony installments after the death of the recipient mate – if part of the payment continues after death, that portion isn’t considered alimony, and none of it’s alimony if all of the installment continues.
- The alimony installments aren’t treated as child support.