26 U.S. Code § 71 - Alimony and separate maintenance payments
Gross income includes amounts received as alimony or separate maintenance payments.
Subsection (a) shall not apply to that part of any payment which the terms of the divorce or separation instrument fix (in terms of an amount of money or a part of the payment) as a sum which is payable for the support of children of the payor spouse.
This section and section 215 shall not apply if the spouses make a joint return with each other.
For purposes of this subsection, the term “alimony or separate maintenance payment” shall not include any payment received under a decree described in subsection (b)(2)(C).
For purposes of this subsection, the term “alimony or separate maintenance payment” shall not include any payment to the extent it is made pursuant to a continuing liability (over a period of not less than 3 years) to pay a fixed portion or portions of the income from a business or property or from compensation for employment or self-employment.
For purposes of this subsection, the term “1st post-separation years” means the 1st calendar year in which the payor spouse paid to the payee spouse alimony or separate maintenance payments to which this section applies. The 2nd and 3rd post-separation years shall be the 1st and 2nd succeeding calendar years, respectively.
1986—Subsec. (b)(1)(D). Pub. L. 99–514, § 1843(b), struck out “(and the divorce or separation instrument states that there is no such liability)” after “for such payments after the death of the payee spouse”.
Subsec. (c)(2)(B). Pub. L. 99–514, § 1843(d), substituted “specified in subparagraph (A)” for “specified in paragraph (1)”.
Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 99–514, § 1843(c)(1), amended subsec. (f) generally, substituting provisions for the recomputation of liability where there has been excess front-loading of alimony payments for provisions setting forth special rules to prevent excess front-loading of alimony payments.
Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 99–514, § 1843(a), added subsec. (g).
1984—Pub. L. 98–369 amended section generally, substituting present provisions for provisions which had declared in: subsec. (a), a general rule as to decree of divorce or separate maintenance in par. (1), written separation agreement in par. (2), and decree for support in par. (3); subsec. (b), payments to support minor children; subsec. (c), principal sum paid in installments, par. (1) stating a general rule and par. (2) the rule where period for payment is more than 10 years; subsec. (d), the rule for husband in case of transferred property; and subsec. (e), cross references to sections 7701(a)(17), 215, and 682.
For provisions directing that if any amendments made by subtitle A or subtitle C of title XI [§§ 1101–1147 and 1171–1177] or title XVIII [§§ 1800–1899A] of Pub. L. 99–514 require an amendment to any plan, such plan amendment shall not be required to be made before the first plan year beginning on or after Jan. 1, 1989, see section 1140 of Pub. L. 99–514, as amended, set out as a note under section 401 of this title.