Members of the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants are answering readers' tax questions through April 15.
Q: I paid $6,300 in child support last year. Can I claim that on my taxes?
A: Payments made under agreements dated after 1984 that fix the amount of money or part of the payment as child support, including payments that vary with the status of a child, such as attaining a certain age, dying, leaving school or marrying, are treated as child support for tax purposes and are not deductible. Undifferentiated "family support" payments under pre-1985 agreements are deductible as alimony (if all other requirements are met), even if a determinable portion of each payment is for the support of children.