One of the changes in the new tax law involves the tax status of alimony. Previously the payor (men) could deduct the money they pay in alimony, and the payee (women) would have it taxed as income. Starting with divorces commenced after Dec 31 2018, alimony payments will be treated like child support payments have been. Men won’t be able to deduct the amount they pay from their income, and women won’t have to pay taxes on alimony received.
You would expect that the pro divorce lobby (nearly everyone) would be cheering this enhancement to the cash and prizes we offer as a reward to women who don’t honor their wedding vows. However, the problem is ex husbands are already being bled white. It has gotten so bad that the parasite is now expressing concern for the host. All of the articles I could find on the subject object to the changes, not because they object to soaking men for women’s benefit, but because the change is seen as potentially hurting women. The NY Post/AP article explains:
How many people get alimony anyway?
Government statistics vary. The Census Bureau says 243,000 people got alimony last year, 98 percent of them women.
What are the concerns?
Critics fear that without the deduction, higher-earning spouses won’t pay as much to their exes. New York City matrimonial lawyer Malcolm S. Taub foresees future alimony recipients losing 10 to 15 percent of what they’d get under the current law.
The National Organization for Women and the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers opposed the change.
CNBC worries in Tax reform could shrink alimony for ex-spouses:
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, unveiled on Thursday, includes a provision to kill the deduction that taxpayers get for making such payments to an ex-spouse. Although it’s just one of the many tax breaks eliminated under the legislation, experts say it will end up most hurting the person receiving the money.
“Alimony payers won’t be able to afford to give as much because they’ll have to give it to Uncle Sam instead,” said Nancy Hetrick, a certified divorce financial analyst and senior advisor at Better Money Decisions in Phoenix, Arizona.
The bottom line: The elimination of the tax deductibility of alimony means, in most cases, the government will no longer help support the spouse receiving the income, usually the former wife and the couple’s children.
The Hill explains the same thing in GOP should divorce itself from alimony scheme in tax bill:
At first glance, one may believe Trump’s intended repeal of alimony deductions is aimed at providing tax relief to the lower-wage spouses by excluding alimony payments from taxable income..
But most seasoned family law attorneys are of the position that eliminating a tax deduction for high-income earners who make alimony payments would have unintended consequences on the low-income earning ex-spouses who receive alimony.
Market Watch explains:
Divorce lawyers say the higher-earning spouse will have more leverage to argue for lower alimony. “We settled a case this week in court where my wealthy client agreed to pay his dependent wife significant alimony because he could deduct it,” said Randy Kessler, an Atlanta-based lawyer who wrote the book, “Divorce: Protect Yourself, Your Kids, and Your Future.” “The deduction, as it stands, is a great motivator to encourage the higher wage earner to agree to help support the spouse with less income.”
USA Today ran the CNBC article I linked/quoted above, with a headline worrying that Tax reform could shrink alimony.
CBS News warns in GOP plan to cut alimony tax deduction has some divorcees on edge:
Toni Van Pelt, president of the National Organization for Women, said the tax change could make it more difficult for divorcees to get the support they need because their ex-husbands would have less money without the deduction.
“It’s something that’s really important to women,” Van Pelt said. “We are really concerned because it would make tough, tense negotiations between couples even worse.”