Texas supports the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS's) tax treatment of child support payments. The IRS does not allow a contributing parent to deduct child support payments on his federal tax return. Since child support pays for a child's everyday needs like food, shelter and clothing, it is considered a normal nondeductible expense.
Not Taxable Income
In Texas, child support is not taxable income for a receiving parent. A receiving parent uses her personal income plus her ex-husband's child support to meet the child's basic needs. The IRS considers child support to be tax-free income for the receiving parent.
Not Tax Deductible
Since child support is tax-free income, Texas does not allow a contributing parent to take child support payments as a tax deduction. The paying parent is legally required to make all child support payments, but none of them are tax deductible on federal or state tax returns.
Not Reported on Tax Return
According to IRS guidelines and Texas law, child support payments are not reported on tax returns. The receiving parent does not list the support as income on Form 1040. The contributing parent cannot itemize the payment as an expense or as a charitable contribution on his tax return.
A receiving parent accepts child support as tax-free income as long as the payments are paid separately from all other settlement amounts. In Texas, the funds must not be combined with alimony payments. All child support payments should be carefully labeled and receipted as “child support.”
- My Family Law: Tax Treatment of Child Support and Alimony
- "Compleat Lawyer"; Ten Divorce Tax Tips; Sharon Drew and Gregg Herman; 1996
- BusinessTaxRecovery.com: Child Support Tax Deduction
- USDA. "The Cost of Raising a Child." Accessed January 28, 2020.
- Office of Child Support Enforcement. "Who Owes the Child Support Debt?" Accessed January 28, 2020.
As curriculum developer and educator, Kristine Tucker has enjoyed the plethora of English assignments she's read (and graded!) over the years. Her experiences as vice-president of an energy consulting firm have given her the opportunity to explore business writing and HR. Tucker has a BA and holds Ohio teaching credentials.