Los Angeles, CA–Fred, a reader, recently wrote me with an interesting piece of information on how the IRS treats alimony and legal fees. Fred writes:
“IRS Publication 504 (Taxes for Divorced Individuals) states on page 20:
“‘FEES FOR GETTING ALIMONY…Because you must include alimony you receive in your gross income, you can deduct fees you pay to get or collect alimony.’
“This means that all legal fees the ex-wife pays in association with her receiving alimony are deductible as a Miscellaneous Deduction on Form 1040, Schedule-A. It doesn’t matter whether she is trying to retain the alimony she is now getting or if she initiates the proceedings to obtain more alimony. The legal fees are deductible to her, but your legal fees are not deductible to you. Even if the legal fees were just to defend yourself from having to pay more alimony.”
This seems rather unfair–any accountants out there know more about it?