Wyman v. WhitsonAnnotate this Case
Todd Wyman and Richelle Whitson had joint legal custody over their child, and shared physical custody alternating every two years. Each parent had a child support obligation while the child was in the primary custody of the other parent. In the superior court, the parties resolved all aspects of the child support determination but one: whether Wyman could apply tax deductions for amortization of his commercial fishing permits and quota shares to his adjusted income as the basis for calculating his child support obligation. The superior court concluded that this amortization was not deductible from Wyman’s income. Wyman appealed, arguing that the superior court erred in not allowing the amortization deduction in light of the Alaska Supreme Court’s prior decisions allowing similar deductions for depreciation expenses. The Supreme Court concluded in this case that because Wyman’s fishing permits and quota shares were perpetual assets with an indefinite useful life, amortization of these assets does not reflect an ordinary and necessary cost of producing income and is not deductible from income for child support purposes. We therefore affirm the superior court’s child support order. However, we limit our holding to perpetual intangible assets similar to those in this case and do not address the question whether amortization of an intangible asset with a finite useful life can be deductible as an ordinary and necessary cost of income.