Ex-spouses tell IRS different stories on alimony

  • Posted: Friday, May 16, 2014 12:01 a.m.
The Internal Revenue Service has discovered a $2.3 billion gap between the amount that ex-spouses reported in 2010 as paid out as alimony and the amount claimed as income.

Somebody's not telling the Internal Revenue Service the truth about their alimony payments.

When people pay alimony to ex-spouses, they can deduct those payments from their income, lowering their tax bill. Their ex-spouses are then required to claim the alimony payments as income when they file their federal tax returns.

The numbers, however, often don't match - by a lot.

The IRS inspector general said Thursday that more than half-a-million taxpayers reported paying a total of $10 billion in alimony in 2010. Their ex-spouses, reported receiving less than $8 billion, for a $2.3 billion gap.

Inspector General J. Russell George says the IRS should do more to resolve the discrepancies. The IRS says it is improving computer filters to help catch the mismatches.

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