Marlin G. Springer - Page 9

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          maintenance” of Ms. Springer.  Although the parties have not                
          addressed petitioner’s compliance, there is no indication that              
          petitioner has failed to comply with substantiation requirements,           
          did not maintain required records, or failed to cooperate with              
          reasonable requests by respondent for witnesses, information,               
          documents, meetings, and interviews.  However, the parties’                 
          respective positions are based on their contrary interpretations            
          of the divorce documents and Nebraska law.  Our resolution of the           
          issue presented is ultimately based on our interpretations of the           
          divorce documents and Nebraska law; therefore, which party bears            
          the burden of proof is not dispositive to our holding.6                     
               Petitioner claims that the $50,000 payment constitutes                 
          alimony; respondent contends that the payment was in the nature             
          of a property settlement payment.  Generally, property                      
          settlements incident to a divorce are not taxable events and do             
          not give rise to deductions or recognizable income.  Sec. 1041;             
          Estate of Goldman v. Commissioner, 112 T.C. 317, 322 (1999),                
          affd. without published opinion sub nom. Schutter v.                        
          Commissioner, 242 F.3d 390 (10th Cir. 2000).  Conversely, amounts           
          received as alimony or separate maintenance payments are taxable            
          to the recipient and deductible by the payor in the year paid.              

               6This Court’s interpretation of State law is generally a               
          question of law and is reviewed de novo.  Hoover v. Commissioner,           
          102 F.3d 842, 844 (6th Cir. 1996), affg. T.C. Memo. 1995-183.               

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