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Publication 504
taxmap/pubs/p504-005.htm#en_us_publink1000176028

Property Settlements(p18)

rule
Generally, there is no recognized gain or loss on the transfer of property between spouses, or between former spouses if the transfer is because of a divorce. You may, however, have to report the transaction on a gift tax return. See Gift Tax on Property Settlements, later. If you sell property that you own jointly to split the proceeds as part of your property settlement, see Sale of Jointly-Owned Property, later.
taxmap/pubs/p504-005.htm#en_us_publink1000176031

Transfer Between Spouses(p18)

rule
Generally, no gain or loss is recognized on a transfer of property from you to (or in trust for the benefit of): This rule applies even if the transfer was in exchange for cash, the release of marital rights, the assumption of liabilities, or other consideration.
taxmap/pubs/p504-005.htm#en_us_publink1000176032

Exceptions to nonrecognition rule.(p18)

rule
This rule does not apply in the following situations.
taxmap/pubs/p504-005.htm#en_us_publink1000176034

Property subject to nonrecognition rule.(p18)

rule
The term "property" includes all property whether real or personal, tangible or intangible, or separate or community. It includes property acquired after the end of your marriage and transferred to your former spouse. It does not include services.
taxmap/pubs/p504-005.htm#en_us_publink1000176035

Health savings account (HSA).(p18)

rule
If you transfer your interest in an HSA to your spouse or former spouse under a divorce or separation instrument, it is not considered a taxable transfer. After the transfer, the interest is treated as your spouse's HSA.
taxmap/pubs/p504-005.htm#en_us_publink1000176036

Archer medical savings account (MSA).(p18)

rule
If you transfer your interest in an Archer MSA to your spouse or former spouse under a divorce or separation instrument, it is not considered a taxable transfer. After the transfer, the interest is treated as your spouse's Archer MSA.
taxmap/pubs/p504-005.htm#en_us_publink1000176037

Individual retirement arrangement (IRA).(p18)

rule
The treatment of the transfer of an interest in an IRA as a result of divorce is similar to that described above for the transfer of an interest in an HSA and an Archer MSA. See IRA transferred as a result of divorce, earlier, under Individual Retirement Arrangements.
taxmap/pubs/p504-005.htm#en_us_publink1000176040

Incident to divorce.(p18)

rule
A property transfer is incident to your divorce if the transfer: A divorce, for this purpose, includes the ending of your marriage by annulment or due to violations of state laws.
taxmap/pubs/p504-005.htm#en_us_publink1000176041
Related to the ending of marriage.(p19)
A property transfer is related to the ending of your marriage if both of the following conditions apply.
Unless these conditions are met, the transfer is presumed not to be related to the ending of your marriage. However, this presumption will not apply if you can show that the transfer was made to carry out the division of property owned by you and your spouse at the time your marriage ended. For example, the presumption will not apply if you can show that the transfer was made more than 6 years after the end of your marriage because of business or legal factors which prevented earlier transfer of the property and the transfer was made promptly after those factors were taken care of.
taxmap/pubs/p504-005.htm#en_us_publink1000176042

Transfers to third parties.(p19)

rule
If you transfer property to a third party on behalf of your spouse (or former spouse, if incident to your divorce), the transfer is treated as two transfers. You do not recognize gain or loss on the first transfer. Instead, your spouse or former spouse may have to recognize gain or loss on the second transfer.
For this treatment to apply, the transfer from you to the third party must be one of the following.
EIC
This treatment does not apply to transfers to which Regulations section 1.1041-2 (certain stock redemptions) applies.
taxmap/pubs/p504-005.htm#en_us_publink1000176044

Transfers in trust.(p20)

rule
If you make a transfer of property in trust for the benefit of your spouse (or former spouse, if incident to your divorce), you generally do not recognize any gain or loss.
However, you must recognize gain or loss if, incident to your divorce, you transfer an installment obligation in trust for the benefit of your former spouse. For information on the disposition of an installment obligation, see Publication 537, Installment Sales.
You also must recognize as gain on the transfer of property in trust the amount by which the liabilities assumed by the trust, plus the liabilities to which the property is subject, exceed the total of your adjusted basis in the transferred property.
taxmap/pubs/p504-005.htm#en_us_publink1000176045

Example.(p20)

You own property with a fair market value of $12,000 and an adjusted basis of $1,000. You transfer the property in trust for the benefit of your spouse. The trust did not assume any liabilities. The property is subject to a $5,000 liability. Your recognized gain is $4,000 ($5,000 − $1,000).
taxmap/pubs/p504-005.htm#en_us_publink1000176046

Reporting income from property.(p20)

rule
You should report income from property transferred to your spouse or former spouse as shown in Table 5, earlier.
For information on the treatment of interest on transferred U.S. savings bonds, see chapter 1 of Publication 550, Investment Income and Expenses.
Where Refund
When you transfer property to your spouse (or former spouse, if incident to your divorce), you must give your spouse sufficient records to determine the adjusted basis and holding period of the property on the date of the transfer. If you transfer investment credit property with recapture potential, you also must provide sufficient records to determine the amount and period of the recapture.
taxmap/pubs/p504-005.htm#en_us_publink1000176049

Tax treatment of property received.(p20)

rule
Property you receive from your spouse (or former spouse, if the transfer is incident to your divorce) is treated as acquired by gift for income tax purposes. Its value is not taxable to you.
taxmap/pubs/p504-005.htm#en_us_publink1000176050

Basis of property received.(p20)

rule
Your basis in property received from your spouse (or former spouse, if incident to your divorce) is the same as your spouse's adjusted basis. This applies for determining either gain or loss when you later dispose of the property. It applies whether the property's adjusted basis is less than, equal to, or greater than either its value at the time of the transfer or any consideration you paid. It also applies even if the property's liabilities are more than its adjusted basis.
This rule generally applies to all property received after July 18, 1984, under a divorce or separation instrument in effect after that date. It also applies to all other property received after 1983 for which you and your spouse (or former spouse) made a "section 1041 election" to apply this rule. For information about how to make that election, see Temporary Regulations section 1.1041-1T(g).
taxmap/pubs/p504-005.htm#en_us_publink1000176051

Example.(p20)

Karen and Don owned their home jointly. Karen transferred her interest in the home to Don as part of their property settlement when they divorced last year. Don's basis in the interest received from Karen is her adjusted basis in the home. His total basis in the home is their joint adjusted basis.
taxmap/pubs/p504-005.htm#en_us_publink1000176052
Property received before July 19, 1984.(p20)
Your basis in property received in settlement of marital support rights before July 19, 1984, or under an instrument in effect before that date (other than property for which you and your spouse (or former spouse) made a "section 1041 election") is its fair market value when you received it.
taxmap/pubs/p504-005.htm#en_us_publink1000176053
Pencil

Table 5. Property Transferred Pursuant to Divorce

The tax treatment of items of property transferred from you to your spouse or former spouse pursuant to your divorce is shown below.

IF you transfer ...THEN you ...AND your spouse or former spouse ...FOR more information,
see ...
 income-producing property (such as an interest in a business, rental property, stocks, or bonds)include on your tax return any profit or loss, rental income or loss, dividends, or interest generated or derived from the property during the year until the property is transferred reports any income or loss generated or derived after the property is transferred. Publication 550, Investment Income and Expenses. (See Ownership transferred under U. S. Savings Bonds in chapter 1.)  
 interest in a passive activity with unused passive activity lossescannot deduct your accumulated unused passive activity losses allocable to the interestincreases the adjusted basis of the transferred interest by the amount of the unused losses. Publication 925, Passive Activity and At-Risk Rules. 
 investment credit property with recapture potentialdo not have to recapture any part of the creditmay have to recapture part of the credit if he or she disposes of the property or changes its use before the end of the recapture period. Form 4255, Recapture of Investment Credit. 
 interests in nonstatutory stock options and nonqualified deferred compensationdo not include any amount in gross income upon the transferincludes an amount in gross income when he or she exercises the stock options or when the deferred compensation is paid or made available to him or her.  
taxmap/pubs/p504-005.htm#en_us_publink1000176055

Example.(p20)

Larry and Gina owned their home jointly before their divorce in 1983. That year, Gina received Larry's interest in the home in settlement of her marital support rights. Gina's basis in the interest received from Larry is the part of the home's fair market value proportionate to that interest. Her total basis in the home is that part of the fair market value plus her adjusted basis in her own interest.
taxmap/pubs/p504-005.htm#en_us_publink1000176056
Property transferred in trust.(p20)
If the transferor recognizes gain on property transferred in trust, as described earlier under Transfers in trust, the trust's basis in the property is increased by the recognized gain.
taxmap/pubs/p504-005.htm#en_us_publink1000176058

Example.(p20)

Your spouse transfers property in trust, recognizing a $4,000 gain. Your spouse's adjusted basis in the property was $1,000. The trust's basis in the property is $5,000 ($1,000 + $4,000).
taxmap/pubs/p504-005.htm#en_us_publink1000176059

Gift Tax on Property Settlements(p20)

rule
The federal gift tax does not apply to most transfers of property between spouses, or between former spouses because of divorce. The transfers usually qualify for one or more of the exceptions explained in this discussion. However, if your transfer of property does not qualify for an exception, or qualifies only in part, you must report it on a gift tax return. See Gift Tax Return, later.
For more information about the federal gift tax, see Publication 950, Introduction to Estate and Gift Taxes, and Form 709 and its instructions.
taxmap/pubs/p504-005.htm#en_us_publink1000176061

Exceptions(p20)

rule
Your transfer of property to your spouse or former spouse is not subject to gift tax if it meets any of the following exceptions.
taxmap/pubs/p504-005.htm#en_us_publink1000176062

Settlement of marital support rights.(p20)

rule
A transfer in settlement of marital support rights is not subject to gift tax to the extent the value of the property transferred is not more than the value of those rights. This exception does not apply to a transfer in settlement of dower, curtesy, or other material property rights.
taxmap/pubs/p504-005.htm#en_us_publink1000176063

Marital deduction.(p21)

rule
A transfer of property to your spouse before receiving a final decree of divorce or separate maintenance is not subject to gift tax. However, this exception does not apply to:
taxmap/pubs/p504-005.htm#en_us_publink1000176064

Transfer under divorce decree.(p21)

rule
A transfer of property under the decree of a divorce court having the power to prescribe a property settlement is not subject to gift tax. This exception also applies to a property settlement agreed on before the divorce if it was made part of or approved by the decree.
taxmap/pubs/p504-005.htm#en_us_publink1000176065

Transfer under written agreement.(p21)

rule
A transfer of property under a written agreement in settlement of marital rights or to provide a reasonable child support allowance is not subject to gift tax if you are divorced within the 3-year period beginning 1 year before and ending 2 years after the date of the agreement. This exception applies whether or not the agreement is part of or approved by the divorce decree.
taxmap/pubs/p504-005.htm#en_us_publink1000176066

Annual exclusion.(p21)

rule
The first $13,000 of gifts of present interests to each person during 2010 is not subject to gift tax. The annual exclusion is $134,000 for transfers to a spouse who is not a U.S. citizen provided the gift would otherwise qualify for the gift tax marital deduction if the donee were a U.S. citizen.
taxmap/pubs/p504-005.htm#en_us_publink1000176067
Present interest.(p21)
A gift is considered a present interest if the donee has unrestricted rights to the immediate use, possession, and enjoyment of the property or income from the property.
taxmap/pubs/p504-005.htm#en_us_publink1000176068

Gift Tax Return(p21)

rule
Report a transfer of property subject to gift tax on Form 709. Generally, Form 709 is due April 15 following the year of the transfer.
taxmap/pubs/p504-005.htm#en_us_publink1000176069

Transfer under written agreement.(p21)

rule
If a property transfer would be subject to gift tax except that it is made under a written agreement, and you do not receive a final decree of divorce by the due date for filing the gift tax return, you must report the transfer on Form 709 and attach a copy of your written agreement. The transfer will be treated as not subject to the gift tax until the final decree of divorce is granted, but no longer than 2 years after the effective date of the written agreement.
Within 60 days after you receive a final decree of divorce, send a certified copy of the decree to the IRS office where you filed Form 709.
taxmap/pubs/p504-005.htm#en_us_publink1000176070

Sale of Jointly-Owned Property(p21)

rule
If you sell property that you and your spouse own jointly, you must report your share of the recognized gain or loss on your income tax return for the year of the sale. Your share of the gain or loss is determined by your state law governing ownership of property. For information on reporting gain or loss, see Publication 544.
taxmap/pubs/p504-005.htm#en_us_publink1000176071

Sale of home.(p21)

rule
If you sold your main home, you may be able to exclude up to $250,000 (up to $500,000 if you and your spouse file a joint return) of gain on the sale. For more information, including special rules that apply to separated and divorced individuals selling a main home, see Publication 523, Selling Your Home.