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Alimony payments are regarded as income in Massachusetts

Alimony or spousal support is the payment that one former spouse makes to the other spouse. Alimony payment is typically paid in regular intervals. The alimony payment is deducted from the gross income of the payer. The alimony that is paid is part of that spouse's federal gross income. It is part of the gross income of Massachusetts, in this case.

The total alimony payment made by the payer is tax-exempt in the financial year. The court typically passes the decree. In Massachusetts, the alimony recapture provisions of the Internal Revenue Code are followed. According to federal law, there is a recapture of alimony payments after the lapse of three years of the divorce decree. The main objective is to prevent property settlement deeds from qualifying as alimony payments.

The alimony payments that are deducted in the first and second years may be reported by the payer as income in the third consecutive year. That is usually done if payments are above $15,000. The alimony payments are included in the tax returns in the following manner: the person, who is receiving the payments, includes it in the excess amount by mentioning and crossing out the amount in line 11 of the 1040 form. It is referred to as "recapture" and not "received."

The alimony amount is dealt with in a similar manner in Massachusetts. Likewise, the alimony recipient takes the deduction and crosses it out in line 31a of the 1040 form. The person does not mention the word "paid." It is referred to as "recapture." It is mentioned again in the Massachusetts return, line 3 of Schedule Y.

Considering those complications, many Massachusetts residents may agree that when people say that divorce and taxation are both equally complicated, they are saying the right thing. Therefore, to be in a position where a person receives alimony without attracting huge tax implications, it may be a good idea to retain a divorce attorney who also has experience in post-divorce financial planning.

Source: Mass.gov, "Alimony Paid," accessed on Aug. 11, 2015

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