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TERMINATION ON DEATH MAKES ALIMONY PAYMENTS DEDUCTIBLE

Many lawyers and people think the issue of whether or not payments in a divorce can be deducted is a complicated question. In fact, it can be rather simple to make it clear: specifically provide that the payments terminate if the payer dies.

This seems to be all the IRS is interested in. Attorneys using terms for alimony such as “rehabilitative” or “periodic” or “lump sum” or using descriptions of the various forms of alimony such as "term," "termination on remarriage," or "modifiability," should take care to make sure they specify whether the payments are terminable on death of the payee or not. This is what the IRS seems to be keying on.

See Nye, et al. v. Commissioner, TC Memo 2013-166, Docket No. 2001-11; July 15, 2013 (supplied by forensic accountant, Jim Koerber of Hattiesburg, Ms)