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When Is The Last Day To File Taxes 2014Income State Tax FormsFile 2012 Taxes Online FreeCan I Do My State Taxes Online For Free2011 Taxes OnlineMyfreetaxes 20131040 XHow To File 2011 Taxes Late OnlineH R Block Free File1040nr Ez 2012Amend A Tax Return OnlineTax Act 2010 DownloadAmend Tax Form1040ez Forms And InstructionsOnline FilingWhere To Report State Income Tax On 1040Form 1040Did I File 2011 TaxesFederal 1040ez FormHow To File A Late Tax Return 20112012 Ez Tax FormWww Irs GovIrs FormsAmend Tax Return OnlineTax Forms For 2009Free Federal Tax ReturnFree E-file For 2011Can Still E File 2011 Taxes1040x Instructions For DummiesHr Block Taxes OnlineWhere To Get State Tax FormsFile 2012 Tax ReturnHow Can I File My State Taxes For Free1040ez Tax Forms 2013File A Tax Amendment OnlineI Need To Print A 1040ez FormAmending 2012 Federal Tax ReturnFiling State Income Tax For Free2011 Amended Tax Return FormFree Online Tax Preparation

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Free state tax return only Index A Additional Medicare Tax, Reminders, Additional Medicare Tax withholding. Free state tax return only Aliens, nonresident, Withholding income taxes on the wages of nonresident alien employees. Free state tax return only , Withholding adjustment for nonresident alien employees. Free state tax return only Assistance (see Tax help) C COBRA premium assistance credit, Reminders COBRA Premium Assistance Credit, COBRA premium assistance credit. Free state tax return only Commodity wages, Commodity wages. Free state tax return only Crew leaders, Crew Leaders, 10. Free state tax return only Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax D Deposit Penalties, Deposit Penalties Deposit rules Electronic funds transfer, 7. Free state tax return only Depositing Taxes Lookback period, Lookback period. Free state tax return only Differential wage payments, Reminders Disregarded entities, Reminders E Electronic deposits, Electronic deposit requirement. Free state tax return only Electronic payment, Reminders Electronic reporting, Calendar Employee defined, 2. Free state tax return only Who Are Employees? Employer identification number (EIN), Employer identification number (EIN). Free state tax return only Employers of farmworkers, 2. Free state tax return only Who Are Employees? Exemption from withholding, Exemption from federal income tax withholding. Free state tax return only F Farmworkers Crew leaders, Crew Leaders Defined, 2. Free state tax return only Who Are Employees? Federal unemployment (FUTA) taxes, 10. Free state tax return only Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Forms 843, Form 843. Free state tax return only 940, 10. Free state tax return only Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax 943, 8. Free state tax return only Form 943 943-X, Prior Year Adjustments I-9, Reminders W-2, Filing corrections to Forms W-2 and W-3. Free state tax return only W-4, Reminders, Form W-4. Free state tax return only W-4(SP), Reminders, Form W-4. Free state tax return only H H-2A visa holders, Compensation paid to H-2A visa holders. Free state tax return only Household employees Employment tax withholding, Household employees. Free state tax return only I Income tax withholding How to figure, How To Figure Federal Income Tax Withholding Percentage method, 13. Free state tax return only Federal Income Tax Withholding Methods Wage bracket method, 13. Free state tax return only Federal Income Tax Withholding Methods Who must withhold, 5. Free state tax return only Federal Income Tax Withholding Independent contractor, 2. Free state tax return only Who Are Employees? L Lookback period, Lookback period. Free state tax return only N Noncash wages, Commodity wages. Free state tax return only P Penalties, Deposit Penalties Prior year adjustments, Prior Year Adjustments Publications (see Tax help) Q Qualified subchapter S subsidiaries (QSubs), Reminders R Reconciling Forms W-2, W-3, and 943, 11. Free state tax return only Reconciling Wage Reporting Forms Reconciling wage reporting forms, 11. Free state tax return only Reconciling Wage Reporting Forms S Share farmers, Share farmers. Free state tax return only Social security and Medicare withholding, 4. Free state tax return only Social Security and Medicare Taxes Social security number (SSN), Social security number (SSN). Free state tax return only Spouses who own and operate a business together , Business Owned and Operated by Spouses Supplemental wages, Supplemental wages. Free state tax return only T Tax help, How To Get Tax Help Taxpayer identification number, 1. Free state tax return only Taxpayer Identification Numbers Trust fund recovery penalty, Trust fund recovery penalty. Free state tax return only TTY/TDD information, How To Get Tax Help W Withholding Income tax, 5. Free state tax return only Federal Income Tax Withholding Nonresident aliens, Withholding adjustment for nonresident alien employees. Free state tax return only Supplemental wages, Supplemental wages. Free state tax return only Prev  Up     Home   More Online Publications
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IRS - Taxpayer Compliance Research

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Taxpayer Compliance Research

This section contains research papers, publications, and other documents dealing with taxpayer compliance. You can learn about the tax gap, specific compliance analysis issues, and studies of the causes of compliance behavior. Below are links to the topics within this section, as well as some examples of what you can find within each topic.

Tax Gap

The tax gap is the difference between true tax liability for a given tax year and the amount that is paid on time. It is comprised of the nonfiling gap, the underreporting gap, and the underpayment gap.

This section contains:

  • IRS reports and presentations on the size of the tax gap for various tax years
  • Related charts and tables
  • Reports on reducing the tax gap
Compliance Analysis

This section contains a wide variety of papers related to taxpayer compliance, including:

  • Overviews of National Research Program (NRP) data
  • Analyses of NRP data
  • Estimates of noncompliance other than the tax gap
Understanding Taxpayer Compliance Behavior

While the tax gap reflects the extent of taxpayer noncompliance, it is also important to understand why taxpayers are compliant or noncompliant. This section contains papers that seek to provide insights into taxpayer behavior through:

  • Econometric analyses
  • Lab experiments
  • Field or natural experiments
  • Other modeling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 21-Mar-2013

The Free State Tax Return Only

Free state tax return only 18. Free state tax return only   Alimony Table of Contents IntroductionSpouse or former spouse. Free state tax return only Divorce or separation instrument. Free state tax return only Useful Items - You may want to see: General RulesMortgage payments. Free state tax return only Taxes and insurance. Free state tax return only Other payments to a third party. Free state tax return only Instruments Executed After 1984Payments to a third party. Free state tax return only Exception. Free state tax return only Substitute payments. Free state tax return only Specifically designated as child support. Free state tax return only Contingency relating to your child. Free state tax return only Clearly associated with a contingency. Free state tax return only How To Deduct Alimony Paid How To Report Alimony Received Recapture Rule Introduction This chapter discusses the rules that apply if you pay or receive alimony. Free state tax return only It covers the following topics. Free state tax return only What payments are alimony. Free state tax return only What payments are not alimony, such as child support. Free state tax return only How to deduct alimony you paid. Free state tax return only How to report alimony you received as income. Free state tax return only Whether you must recapture the tax benefits of alimony. Free state tax return only Recapture means adding back in your income all or part of a deduction you took in a prior year. Free state tax return only Alimony is a payment to or for a spouse or former spouse under a divorce or separation instrument. Free state tax return only It does not include voluntary payments that are not made under a divorce or separation instrument. Free state tax return only Alimony is deductible by the payer and must be included in the spouse's or former spouse's income. Free state tax return only Although this chapter is generally written for the payer of the alimony, the recipient can use the information to determine whether an amount received is alimony. Free state tax return only To be alimony, a payment must meet certain requirements. Free state tax return only Different requirements generally apply to payments under instruments executed after 1984 and to payments under instruments executed before 1985. Free state tax return only This chapter discusses the rules for payments under instruments executed after 1984. Free state tax return only If you need the rules for payments under pre-1985 instruments, get and keep a copy of the 2004 version of Publication 504. Free state tax return only That was the last year the information on pre-1985 instruments was included in Publication 504. Free state tax return only Use Table 18-1 in this chapter as a guide to determine whether certain payments are considered alimony. Free state tax return only Definitions. Free state tax return only   The following definitions apply throughout this chapter. Free state tax return only Spouse or former spouse. Free state tax return only   Unless otherwise stated, the term “spouse” includes former spouse. Free state tax return only Divorce or separation instrument. Free state tax return only   The term “divorce or separation instrument” means: A decree of divorce or separate maintenance or a written instrument incident to that decree, A written separation agreement, or A decree or any type of court order requiring a spouse to make payments for the support or maintenance of the other spouse. Free state tax return only This includes a temporary decree, an interlocutory (not final) decree, and a decree of alimony pendente lite (while awaiting action on the final decree or agreement). Free state tax return only Useful Items - You may want to see: Publication 504 Divorced or Separated Individuals General Rules The following rules apply to alimony regardless of when the divorce or separation instrument was executed. Free state tax return only Payments not alimony. Free state tax return only   Not all payments under a divorce or separation instrument are alimony. Free state tax return only Alimony does not include: Child support, Noncash property settlements, Payments that are your spouse's part of community income, as explained under Community Property in Publication 504, Payments to keep up the payer's property, or Use of the payer's property. Free state tax return only Payments to a third party. Free state tax return only   Cash payments, checks, or money orders to a third party on behalf of your spouse under the terms of your divorce or separation instrument can be alimony, if they otherwise qualify. Free state tax return only These include payments for your spouse's medical expenses, housing costs (rent, utilities, etc. Free state tax return only ), taxes, tuition, etc. Free state tax return only The payments are treated as received by your spouse and then paid to the third party. Free state tax return only Life insurance premiums. Free state tax return only   Alimony includes premiums you must pay under your divorce or separation instrument for insurance on your life to the extent your spouse owns the policy. Free state tax return only Payments for jointly-owned home. Free state tax return only   If your divorce or separation instrument states that you must pay expenses for a home owned by you and your spouse, some of your payments may be alimony. Free state tax return only Mortgage payments. Free state tax return only   If you must pay all the mortgage payments (principal and interest) on a jointly-owned home, and they otherwise qualify as alimony, you can deduct one-half of the total payments as alimony. Free state tax return only If you itemize deductions and the home is a qualified home, you can claim one-half of the interest in figuring your deductible interest. Free state tax return only Your spouse must report one-half of the payments as alimony received. Free state tax return only If your spouse itemizes deductions and the home is a qualified home, he or she can claim one-half of the interest on the mortgage in figuring deductible interest. Free state tax return only Taxes and insurance. Free state tax return only   If you must pay all the real estate taxes or insurance on a home held as tenants in common, you can deduct one-half of these payments as alimony. Free state tax return only Your spouse must report one-half of these payments as alimony received. Free state tax return only If you and your spouse itemize deductions, you can each claim one-half of the real estate taxes and none of the home insurance. Free state tax return only    If your home is held as tenants by the entirety or joint tenants, none of your payments for taxes or insurance are alimony. Free state tax return only But if you itemize deductions, you can claim all of the real estate taxes and none of the home insurance. Free state tax return only Other payments to a third party. Free state tax return only   If you made other third-party payments, see Publication 504 to see whether any part of the payments qualifies as alimony. Free state tax return only Instruments Executed After 1984 The following rules for alimony apply to payments under divorce or separation instruments executed after 1984. Free state tax return only Exception for instruments executed before 1985. Free state tax return only   There are two situations where the rules for instruments executed after 1984 apply to instruments executed before 1985. Free state tax return only A divorce or separation instrument executed before 1985 and then modified after 1984 to specify that the after-1984 rules will apply. Free state tax return only A temporary divorce or separation instrument executed before 1985 and incorporated into, or adopted by, a final decree executed after 1984 that: Changes the amount or period of payment, or Adds or deletes any contingency or condition. Free state tax return only   For the rules for alimony payments under pre-1985 instruments not meeting these exceptions, get the 2004 version of Publication 504 at www. Free state tax return only irs. Free state tax return only gov/pub504. Free state tax return only Example 1. Free state tax return only In November 1984, you and your former spouse executed a written separation agreement. Free state tax return only In February 1985, a decree of divorce was substituted for the written separation agreement. Free state tax return only The decree of divorce did not change the terms for the alimony you pay your former spouse. Free state tax return only The decree of divorce is treated as executed before 1985. Free state tax return only Alimony payments under this decree are not subject to the rules for payments under instruments executed after 1984. Free state tax return only Example 2. Free state tax return only Assume the same facts as in Example 1 except that the decree of divorce changed the amount of the alimony. Free state tax return only In this example, the decree of divorce is not treated as executed before 1985. Free state tax return only The alimony payments are subject to the rules for payments under instruments executed after 1984. Free state tax return only Alimony requirements. Free state tax return only   A payment to or for a spouse under a divorce or separation instrument is alimony if the spouses do not file a joint return with each other and all the following requirements are met. Free state tax return only The payment is in cash. Free state tax return only The instrument does not designate the payment as not alimony. Free state tax return only Spouses legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance are not members of the same household. Free state tax return only There is no liability to make any payment (in cash or property) after the death of the recipient spouse. Free state tax return only The payment is not treated as child support. Free state tax return only Each of these requirements is discussed below. Free state tax return only Cash payment requirement. Free state tax return only   Only cash payments, including checks and money orders, qualify as alimony. Free state tax return only The following do not qualify as alimony. Free state tax return only Transfers of services or property (including a debt instrument of a third party or an annuity contract). Free state tax return only Execution of a debt instrument by the payer. Free state tax return only The use of the payer's property. Free state tax return only Payments to a third party. Free state tax return only   Cash payments to a third party under the terms of your divorce or separation instrument can qualify as cash payments to your spouse. Free state tax return only See Payments to a third party under General Rules, earlier. Free state tax return only   Also, cash payments made to a third party at the written request of your spouse may qualify as alimony if all the following requirements are met. Free state tax return only The payments are in lieu of payments of alimony directly to your spouse. Free state tax return only The written request states that both spouses intend the payments to be treated as alimony. Free state tax return only You receive the written request from your spouse before you file your return for the year you made the payments. Free state tax return only Payments designated as not alimony. Free state tax return only   You and your spouse can designate that otherwise qualifying payments are not alimony. Free state tax return only You do this by including a provision in your divorce or separation instrument that states the payments are not deductible as alimony by you and are excludable from your spouse's income. Free state tax return only For this purpose, any instrument (written statement) signed by both of you that makes this designation and that refers to a previous written separation agreement is treated as a written separation agreement (and therefore a divorce or separation instrument). Free state tax return only If you are subject to temporary support orders, the designation must be made in the original or a later temporary support order. Free state tax return only   Your spouse can exclude the payments from income only if he or she attaches a copy of the instrument designating them as not alimony to his or her return. Free state tax return only The copy must be attached each year the designation applies. Free state tax return only Spouses cannot be members of the same household. Free state tax return only    Payments to your spouse while you are members of the same household are not alimony if you are legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance. Free state tax return only A home you formerly shared is considered one household, even if you physically separate yourselves in the home. Free state tax return only   You are not treated as members of the same household if one of you is preparing to leave the household and does leave no later than 1 month after the date of the payment. Free state tax return only Exception. Free state tax return only   If you are not legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance, a payment under a written separation agreement, support decree, or other court order may qualify as alimony even if you are members of the same household when the payment is made. Free state tax return only Table 18-1. Free state tax return only Alimony Requirements (Instruments Executed After 1984) Payments ARE alimony if all of the following are true: Payments are NOT alimony if any of the following are true: Payments are required by a divorce or separation instrument. Free state tax return only Payments are not required by a divorce or separation instrument. Free state tax return only Payer and recipient spouse do not file a joint return with each other. Free state tax return only Payer and recipient spouse file a joint return with each other. Free state tax return only Payment is in cash (including checks or money orders). Free state tax return only Payment is: Not in cash, A noncash property settlement, Spouse's part of community income, or To keep up the payer's property. Free state tax return only Payment is not designated in the instrument as not alimony. Free state tax return only Payment is designated in the instrument as not alimony. Free state tax return only Spouses legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance are not members of the same household. Free state tax return only Spouses legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance are members of the same household. Free state tax return only Payments are not required after death of the recipient spouse. Free state tax return only Payments are required after death of the recipient spouse. Free state tax return only Payment is not treated as child support. Free state tax return only Payment is treated as child support. Free state tax return only These payments are deductible by the payer and includible in income by the recipient. Free state tax return only These payments are neither deductible by the payer nor includible in income by the recipient. Free state tax return only Liability for payments after death of recipient spouse. Free state tax return only   If any part of payments you make must continue to be made for any period after your spouse's death, that part of your payments is not alimony, whether made before or after the death. Free state tax return only If all of the payments would continue, then none of the payments made before or after the death are alimony. Free state tax return only   The divorce or separation instrument does not have to expressly state that the payments cease upon the death of your spouse if, for example, the liability for continued payments would end under state law. Free state tax return only Example. Free state tax return only You must pay your former spouse $10,000 in cash each year for 10 years. Free state tax return only Your divorce decree states that the payments will end upon your former spouse's death. Free state tax return only You must also pay your former spouse or your former spouse's estate $20,000 in cash each year for 10 years. Free state tax return only The death of your spouse would not terminate these payments under state law. Free state tax return only The $10,000 annual payments may qualify as alimony. Free state tax return only The $20,000 annual payments that do not end upon your former spouse's death are not alimony. Free state tax return only Substitute payments. Free state tax return only   If you must make any payments in cash or property after your spouse's death as a substitute for continuing otherwise qualifying payments before the death, the otherwise qualifying payments are not alimony. Free state tax return only To the extent that your payments begin, accelerate, or increase because of the death of your spouse, otherwise qualifying payments you made may be treated as payments that were not alimony. Free state tax return only Whether or not such payments will be treated as not alimony depends on all the facts and circumstances. Free state tax return only Example 1. Free state tax return only Under your divorce decree, you must pay your former spouse $30,000 annually. Free state tax return only The payments will stop at the end of 6 years or upon your former spouse's death, if earlier. Free state tax return only Your former spouse has custody of your minor children. Free state tax return only The decree provides that if any child is still a minor at your spouse's death, you must pay $10,000 annually to a trust until the youngest child reaches the age of majority. Free state tax return only The trust income and corpus (principal) are to be used for your children's benefit. Free state tax return only These facts indicate that the payments to be made after your former spouse's death are a substitute for $10,000 of the $30,000 annual payments. Free state tax return only Of each of the $30,000 annual payments, $10,000 is not alimony. Free state tax return only Example 2. Free state tax return only Under your divorce decree, you must pay your former spouse $30,000 annually. Free state tax return only The payments will stop at the end of 15 years or upon your former spouse's death, if earlier. Free state tax return only The decree provides that if your former spouse dies before the end of the 15-year period, you must pay the estate the difference between $450,000 ($30,000 × 15) and the total amount paid up to that time. Free state tax return only For example, if your spouse dies at the end of the tenth year, you must pay the estate $150,000 ($450,000 − $300,000). Free state tax return only These facts indicate that the lump-sum payment to be made after your former spouse's death is a substitute for the full amount of the $30,000 annual payments. Free state tax return only None of the annual payments are alimony. Free state tax return only The result would be the same if the payment required at death were to be discounted by an appropriate interest factor to account for the prepayment. Free state tax return only Child support. Free state tax return only   A payment that is specifically designated as child support or treated as specifically designated as child support under your divorce or separation instrument is not alimony. Free state tax return only The amount of child support may vary over time. Free state tax return only Child support payments are not deductible by the payer and are not taxable to the recipient. Free state tax return only Specifically designated as child support. Free state tax return only   A payment will be treated as specifically designated as child support to the extent that the payment is reduced either: On the happening of a contingency relating to your child, or At a time that can be clearly associated with the contingency. Free state tax return only A payment may be treated as specifically designated as child support even if other separate payments are specifically designated as child support. Free state tax return only Contingency relating to your child. Free state tax return only   A contingency relates to your child if it depends on any event relating to that child. Free state tax return only It does not matter whether the event is certain or likely to occur. Free state tax return only Events relating to your child include the child's: Becoming employed, Dying, Leaving the household, Leaving school, Marrying, or Reaching a specified age or income level. Free state tax return only Clearly associated with a contingency. Free state tax return only   Payments that would otherwise qualify as alimony are presumed to be reduced at a time clearly associated with the happening of a contingency relating to your child only in the following situations. Free state tax return only The payments are to be reduced not more than 6 months before or after the date the child will reach 18, 21, or local age of majority. Free state tax return only The payments are to be reduced on two or more occasions that occur not more than 1 year before or after a different one of your children reaches a certain age from 18 to 24. Free state tax return only This certain age must be the same for each child, but need not be a whole number of years. Free state tax return only In all other situations, reductions in payments are not treated as clearly associated with the happening of a contingency relating to your child. Free state tax return only   Either you or the IRS can overcome the presumption in the two situations above. Free state tax return only This is done by showing that the time at which the payments are to be reduced was determined independently of any contingencies relating to your children. Free state tax return only For example, if you can show that the period of alimony payments is customary in the local jurisdiction, such as a period equal to one-half of the duration of the marriage, you can overcome the presumption and may be able to treat the amount as alimony. Free state tax return only How To Deduct Alimony Paid You can deduct alimony you paid, whether or not you itemize deductions on your return. Free state tax return only You must file Form 1040. Free state tax return only You cannot use Form 1040A or Form 1040EZ. Free state tax return only Enter the amount of alimony you paid on Form 1040, line 31a. Free state tax return only In the space provided on line 31b, enter your spouse's social security number (SSN) or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN). Free state tax return only If you paid alimony to more than one person, enter the SSN or ITIN of one of the recipients. Free state tax return only Show the SSN or ITIN and amount paid to each other recipient on an attached statement. Free state tax return only Enter your total payments on line 31a. Free state tax return only You must provide your spouse's SSN or ITIN. Free state tax return only If you do not, you may have to pay a $50 penalty and your deduction may be disallowed. Free state tax return only For more information on SSNs and ITINs, see Social Security Number (SSN) in chapter 1. Free state tax return only How To Report Alimony Received Report alimony you received as income on Form 1040, line 11. Free state tax return only You cannot use Form 1040A or Form 1040EZ. Free state tax return only You must give the person who paid the alimony your SSN or ITIN. Free state tax return only If you do not, you may have to pay a $50 penalty. Free state tax return only Recapture Rule If your alimony payments decrease or end during the first 3 calendar years, you may be subject to the recapture rule. Free state tax return only If you are subject to this rule, you have to include in income in the third year part of the alimony payments you previously deducted. Free state tax return only Your spouse can deduct in the third year part of the alimony payments he or she previously included in income. Free state tax return only The 3-year period starts with the first calendar year you make a payment qualifying as alimony under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance or a written separation agreement. Free state tax return only Do not include any time in which payments were being made under temporary support orders. Free state tax return only The second and third years are the next 2 calendar years, whether or not payments are made during those years. Free state tax return only The reasons for a reduction or end of alimony payments that can require a recapture include: A change in your divorce or separation instrument, A failure to make timely payments, A reduction in your ability to provide support, or A reduction in your spouse's support needs. Free state tax return only When to apply the recapture rule. Free state tax return only   You are subject to the recapture rule in the third year if the alimony you pay in the third year decreases by more than $15,000 from the second year or the alimony you pay in the second and third years decreases significantly from the alimony you pay in the first year. Free state tax return only   When you figure a decrease in alimony, do not include the following amounts. Free state tax return only Payments made under a temporary support order. Free state tax return only Payments required over a period of at least 3 calendar years that vary because they are a fixed part of your income from a business or property, or from compensation for employment or self-employment. Free state tax return only Payments that decrease because of the death of either spouse or the remarriage of the spouse receiving the payments before the end of the third year. Free state tax return only Figuring the recapture. Free state tax return only   You can use Worksheet 1 in Publication 504 to figure recaptured alimony. Free state tax return only Including the recapture in income. Free state tax return only   If you must include a recapture amount in income, show it on Form 1040, line 11 (“Alimony received”). Free state tax return only Cross out “received” and enter “recapture. Free state tax return only ” On the dotted line next to the amount, enter your spouse's last name and SSN or ITIN. Free state tax return only Deducting the recapture. Free state tax return only   If you can deduct a recapture amount, show it on Form 1040, line 31a (“Alimony paid”). Free state tax return only Cross out “paid” and enter “recapture. Free state tax return only ” In the space provided, enter your spouse's SSN or ITIN. Free state tax return only Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications