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Are child support payments tax deductible?

On Behalf of | Feb 23, 2017 | Child Support

Child support is payments from one spouse (the non-custodial spouse) the custodial spouse. These payments are designed as a replacement for the usual love and care that a child would receive if the other parent were more involved in the child?s life. Child support payments are strictly enforced and subject to interstate enforcement by the courts. It is thus critical that you make your payments, or risk wage garnishment or worse from the federal and state governments.

Since you are under so much pressure to pay, it makes sense that you should be allowed to deduct child support. Unfortunately, child support is not like spousal support (which is a tax deduction). Child support is viewed as payments to satisfy your obligation as a parent to care for your child. The government does not allow deductions for expenses related to the care of your child.

If you consider the perspective of what child support is meant to do, it makes sense from a policy standpoint. Granted, child support is given to the spouse, not the child. But that simply reflects the reality that children do not know what is best for them, which is why parents are the ultimate authority on how to raise their children. Under this reasoning, child support replaces expenses you would normally have if the child lived with you therefore since those expenses wouldn?t be deductible, neither should child support.

If you are engaged in a dispute over child support, you may want to contact a lawyer for assistance. As you can see, child support issues run the gamut from financial and familial to even your tax return. An attorney can ensure that you understand every facet of your obligation, to make sure that you do not suffer any penalties or other consequences.


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