A house divided cannot support write-offs — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

A house divided cannot support write-offs

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Q. I’m currently involved in an acrimonious divorce proceeding. Both of our attorneys are advising us to stay in the home. Since the house is in my name alone, can I claim alimony deductions for the value of this benefit? Anonymous

A. No. To count payments as tax-deductible alimony, they must be made in cash or a cash equivalent. Even worse, you can’t qualify for any alimony deductions while you and your former spouse are living in the same house that you previously occupied as a married couple. It doesn’t matter if your living space is physically separated. Tip: Don’t begin making alimony payments until your soon-to-be exspouse has vacated the house. For more details, see IRS Publication 504, Divorced or Separated Individuals, at www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p504.pdf.

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