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How is spousal support taxed?

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How is spousal support taxed?
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CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)
Ministry of the Attorney General
Women's Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF)
Springtide Resources
Women's Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF)
Springtide Resources

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How is spousal support taxed?
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Reviewed: 
November 30, 2017
Answer

The tax rules are different for spousal support and child support.

You receive spousal support

If you receive monthly spousal support, you must pay income tax on the total support you receive each year. And, you can claim a tax deduction on legal fees spent to get monthly spousal support.

But, if you receive all of your spousal support at once in a lump-sum payment, you do not pay income tax on it. And, you cannot claim a tax deduction on legal fees spent to get a lump-sum payment.

You pay spousal support

If you pay monthly spousal support, you get an income tax deduction for the total spousal support you pay each year. You do not get a tax deduction if you make a one time lump-sum payment.

You cannot claim a tax deduction on legal fees spent on defending a claim for spousal support.

Tax rules for child support

The tax rules for child support are different than for spousal support.

Parents paying child support cannot claim an income tax deduction for making child support payments. And, parents receiving child support are not taxed on the support payments they receive.

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