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Some Divorce Expenses May Be Deductible on Your Taxes

The economic impact of a divorce can be severe. However, there are some ways in which you can lower that impact, including through tax deductions.

Tax deductions can lower your taxable income, which in turn reduces the amount of money you must pay to the IRS in your taxes. Some of the rules for deductions changed significantly after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, but there are still some opportunities for divorcing couples to see savings.

What you should know

First, it is important to note that there are only a few legal fees that are deductible. The IRS does not allow for deduction of the costs of personal legal service, counseling or legal action in divorces. There are circumstances in which a judge may ask your spouse to pay some of your legal fees if they are deliberately increasing the costs of your divorce.

Through 2025, though, individuals who incur legal fees related to business-related income can deduct those fees under Section 212.

Beyond that, the most common deduction is for alimony. If you finalized your divorce on or before December 31, 2018, paying spouses can deduct alimony payments from taxable income and recipients must report and pay taxes on that income. If you finalized your divorce after that date, the tax burden is switched. Payors do not get the tax break, and recipients do not have to report the income.

For more information about tax deductions and divorce, contact an experienced Minnesota divorce lawyer at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

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