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Unwritten Increase in Alimony

Posted by Mike C Posted on May 03 2013

 Several years after the divorce decree was entered and alimony set, the taxpayer's ex-wife wrote to the taxpayer requesting an increase in her alimony payments because she was unemployed and lacked health insurance to cover her medical expenses. The Tax Court noted the taxpayer's willingness to increase alimony was admirable, but denied his deduction for the portion of the alimony that exceeded the amount set in the divorce agreement because only an oral arrangement had been made?he didn't contact the state court to request a change in the amount of support or have evidence of any letters written in response to his ex-wife's request. To be deductible as alimony, IRC Sec. 71 requires the amount be includable in income by the recipient and be made subject to a written divorce or separation instrument. Daniel R. Martin , TC Summ. Op. 2013-31