Georgia Child Support and Alimony: Are They Taxable?

Tax season is in full swing. In Georgia and across the country individuals, couples and families are gathering W-2s, 1099s and other tax documents to make sure everything's in line for the IRS by April's tax filing deadline.

If you paid or received child support or alimony in 2011, you may be wondering whether that money is considered income for tax purposes and whether or not you have to declare it on your tax returns.

In general child support is not taxed. The person receiving the child support payments for the support of minor children does not have to claim that amount as income for tax purposes. The person paying child support may not claim a deduction for any amounts paid either.

Alimony, or spousal support, is different. Any amounts received for court-ordered alimony are taxable as income to the recipient. He or she must report the amount received and may owe taxes on that sum. The person who paid alimony pursuant to a court order is entitled to a deduction on his or her tax return for the amount of spousal support paid.

Exemptions for Dependents

The custodial parent, or the parent with whom the child spends more than 50 percent of the time, is generally entitled to the dependency exemption. Both parents cannot claim the same child for purposes of the dependency exemption.

It is possible, however, for the non-custodial parent to claim a dependency exemption. When working on your child custody and support agreement, your Georgia child support attorney can discuss what rights the non-custodial parent has to dependency exemptions and whether the agreement should specify who claims the exemption. If a non-custodial parent is claiming a dependency exemption, he or she may need to include IRS Form 8332 (Release of Claim to Exemption for Child of Divorce or Divorced Parents) when filing his or her taxes.

Along with the exemption for dependents, you may be entitled to various other tax incentives, including a child tax credit, a child care credit, an earned income credit, and even education tax credits.

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