Spousal support - how to determine gross income for self-employed individual
I want to know if there is a guideline which specifically outlines what is considered 'gross income' and how it applies to spousal support. With regards to self employed owners of a company, what is equivalent to salary where "perks" are paid by the company, and how are they best determined. For example using the Company Attorney for personal matters, would't that be considered "compensation" for the individual and part of his/her gross income? I have several examples of similar activities that are too many to list here. Any feedback would greatly be appreciated.
I would suggest you ask this question to a CPA.
There is a lot of case law on this subject. What would apply would depend on the exact details, including how the company accounts for the perks, whether the self employed owner is the sole owner, whether they would be taxable if properly reported to the IRS (company cars being one of the biggest violations in that arena). If it should have been reported as taxable income, then it definitely should be included in support income. Spousal support is also different from child support in that the judge has a lot of leeway in coming up with a number, so there is a lot of "case by case" wiggle in any rules. Basically, if the judge thinks the owner is running too much expense through the business to avoid having "income" for spousal support, the judge can look at a lot of the expenses as income. If the judge believes the owner is fairly stating his or her income, the judge probably won't look too hard for non-traditional income to call income.