Beginning with 2019, alimony payments will no longer be tax-deductible for payors nor taxable to recipients. This is a change from current rules.
Divorces completed before December 31, 2018 are grandfathered into the old rules, which allow alimony payors to deduct, and require recipients to pay tax on, alimony — even for payments made after 12/31/18. But professionals advising clients who want to qualify under the old rules disagree on how to complete a divorce by 12/31.
My read of the law is that that you need to have signed a separation agreement by 12/31/18, and can finalize the divorce in court in 2019. However, some advisors are telling clients who want to be absolutely sure that they will qualify under the old rules to both sign their separation agreement and finalize their divorce in court by December 31.
So I’d advise anyone who wants to qualify under the old rules to consult their tax/legal advisors for their advice before taking action.