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IRS.gov Website

Frequently Asked Tax Questions

Interest/Dividends/Other Types of Income - Alimony, Child Support, Court Awards, Damages

  1. Are alimony payments considered taxable income?
  2. Are child support payments considered taxable income?

Rev. date: 1/1/2011

Are alimony payments considered taxable income?

Alimony, separate maintenance, and similar payments from your spouse or former spouse are taxable to you in the year received:
To help determine if these payments are considered alimony, please read the following rules that apply to payments under divorce or separation instruments executed after 1984. They also apply to instruments, executed before 1985, that were modified after 1984 to specify that the following rules apply or to change the amount or period of payment or to add or delete any contingency or condition.
A payment to or for a spouse or former spouse under a divorce or separation instrument is alimony, if the spouses do not file a joint return with each other, if all the following conditions are met:
For the rules for alimony payments under pre-1985 instruments, please see Publication 504, Divorced or Separated Individuals.

Rev. date: 1/1/2011

Are child support payments considered taxable income?

No, child support payments are neither deductible by the payer nor taxable to the payee.
When you calculate your gross income to see if you are required to file a tax return, do not include child support payments received.