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What tax documents should I keep if receiving or paying alimony?

Alimony payments can be a very polarizing issue when people are discussing it or going through a divorce. Alimony is spousal support that can be court-ordered as part of a divorce decree.

Whether you pay or receive alimony, or are just beginning to consider if spousal support will be a part of your divorce settlement, there are documents one should keep pertaining to alimony. These documents can be useful for tax purposes for the payer and for the recipient of alimony. Documentation of alimony can be useful in claiming tax deductions and in keeping records of the court-ordered payments. If a person is ever audited, these records can help to prove alimony payments that were made or received.

Regardless of whether you are paying or receiving alimony, you should keep a record of the transaction. This includes deposit slips, check cashed slips and the dates these payments were made or received. If alimony payments are made in cash, it is especially crucial for the person paying alimony to record the payment made in cash, as these payments can be harder to track due to a lack of a paper trail. Three years is typically the timeline for which to keep these documents, mostly for tax reasons.

Alimony is not granted in every Miami divorce settlement. It is only awarded in cases in which a financial imbalance exists between the former spouses. Personal factors mostly determine if, and how much, alimony is awarded to one spouse after a divorce. It is meant to keep the divorce process as fair and as equitable as possible.

Source: FindLaw, "Alimony Guidelines: What records to keep regarding your alimony," Accessed Feb. 27, 2017

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