Is child support taxed to the recipient?

Child support is not taxed to the recipient, nor can it be claimed as a tax deduction by the payor. Internal Revenue Code Section 71 provides that alimony is deductible to the payor and includable as taxable income to the payee. As noted in Internal Revenue Code section 71(c), however, child support now includes amounts specifically designated as such as well as payments, which although not denominated as child support, are reduced upon the happening of a contingency relating to the child or decreased at a time clearly associated with such a contingency.

For example, if payments designated as “alimony” will be reduced or terminated upon a contingency relating to the child (such as the child’s turning 18), the Internal Revenue Service will view those portions of the “alimony” payments as non-taxable, non-deductible child support.


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