Friday, December 22, 2017, President Donald Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law. On November 3, 2017 we posted about the proposed change to the alimony deduction as written in the first draft of the bill. As a brief recap, prior law allowed the alimony payor to deduct the amount paid from his or her taxable income, meaning the recipient would include the alimony in his/her taxable income. The effect of repealing this section of the law means that the alimony payor will not be able to deduct the amount paid from his or her taxable income.
The new act still includes a repeal of the alimony deduction provision. However, now, it will not take effect until 2019, meaning that all separation agreements signed and divorce decrees entered on or before December 31, 2018 will not be affected.
For persons in 2019 and later seeking modifications of agreements, or decrees executed on or before December 31, 2018, it is presumed that the current tax scheme will still govern. If the parties want the new tax scheme to govern, they must state it explicitly in the modification agreement.