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How 2019 Tax Returns Are Affected by Termination of Alimony Deduction

The IRS says the average tax refund of this year was $2,725, which is down two percent from last year. In all, the federal government paid $260.9 billion in refunds to taxpayers, in comparison to $265.3 billion a year ago.

But at the end of March, the amount of money the government refunded was $6 billion below this time this year. This decline could be attributed by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) that was signed in December 2017.

If your tax return is lower than usual or you had to owe, the new tax law may have something to do with it. For example, when it comes to couples who divorced this year, alimony payments were no longer tax deductible and the recipient spouse cannot report them as income when 2019 arrived. The new law removes the alimony deduction from the tax code between 2019 and 2025.

What the New Tax Rule Means for My 2019 Returns?

That means if your divorce was final at the beginning of the year, the new tax law does apply to your 2019 tax return and any tax return after. If you are the payor, you cannot deduct your alimony payments made to your ex-spouse on the federal and state income tax returns for the tax year you made those payments. If you are the recipient, you are not required to report the payments from your ex-spouse as income on federal and state income tax returns for the year you were given payments.

However, if your divorce was final prior to 2019, the rules for reporting alimony you’ve either received or paid remains unchanged.

Still Waiting on Your Refund?

The average turnaround time for tax refunds is three weeks of electronically-filed returns. By contrast, paper returns take about six weeks.

That means if you filed on or around the April 15 deadline, you should receive your tax return in the early weeks of May. This applies to those who filed their taxes online.

Sometimes, a delay could be caused by putting down the wrong information for direct deposit. If you made a mistake, it will take longer to receive your returns since it will most likely be mailed.

For more information on how divorce affects taxes, contact The Law Office of Jerome P. Ventura at (954) 280-6119 today and schedule a free consultation.