Q: I travel for work. Are my reimbursements considered income when calculating child support? What about my car allowance? Cell phone reimbursement?
A: The child support guidelines indicate that “income is defined as gross income from whatever source, regardless of whether that income is recognized by the Internal Revenue Code or reported to the Internal Revenue Service or state Department of Revenue or other taxing authority. However, income derived from a means-tested public assistance program (for example: TAFDC, SNAP, veterans’ benefits and SSI benefits) shall not be counted as income for either parent.” Therefore, a reimbursement of an employer is considered income and included as income in the calculation. Think about it this way: your employer pays your $400 car payment because you use your car for traveling at work. If your employer did not pay the car payment, you would have to pay $400 for that car monthly. Thus, this is additional compensation from your employer and is arguably income under the guidelines.