California Spousal Support & Taxes

In this world, nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes. The amount of taxes you may pay or deduct from spousal support payments will depend on when the order or judgment was entered.

Divorce Judgment Entered Before December 2018

For spousal support orders and judgments executed before December 2018, you will have to pay state and federal income taxes on the amount of support you receive.

Your spouse can deduct the amount of spousal support paid in his/her federal and state income tax payments.

Modified orders or judgments for spousal support entered in after this date are treated similarly for tax purposes. However, you and your spouse can agree to follow the new federal law that make spousal support not taxable to the spouse receiving support and non-deductible from the spouse paying support (for federal income taxes).

Divorce Judgment Entered After January 1, 2019

As of January 1, 2019, a spouse paying spousal support cannot deduct the payment on his/her federal income taxes. If you receive support, you will not have to declare the support payments as income on your federal tax return.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, alimony or separate maintenance payments are not deductible from the income of the payer spouse, or includable in the income of the receiving spouse, if made under a divorce or separation agreement executed after Dec. 31, 2018. 

See Changes to deduction for certain alimony payments effective in 2019

California tax laws have remained unchanged. Spousal support payments are tax deductible to the spouse making the payment. The spouse receiving the payment must pay state income taxes on it.

Consult with a CPA to determine your tax liability as a result of paying or receiving spousal support.

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