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Deductibility of legal fees related to a divorce

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  • Alimony

Although generally you cannot deduct legal fees you have incurred in obtaining a divorce, there are several exceptions that you should consider talking with your tax professional about in more detail. In particular, you may be able to deduct fees paid for tax advice (subject to the 2% of adjusted gross income limit) you received in connection with the divorce, such as from appraisers,accountants and attorneys if you itemize deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040).

Interestingly, because alimony is considered income, you may also be able to deduct fees incurred in helping to obtain an alimony award.

In addition, certain legal fees you pay specifically for obtaining property, such as the cost of preparing and filing a deed in your name, may enable you to increase the basis of the property you receive.

One thing is clear, if you plan to try and deduct fees related to tax advise obtained during a divorce or fees incurred in obtaining alimony, you must make sure that your charges are clearly broken down in such a manner that you can determine charges that are deductible and charges that are not deductible.


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