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Where to look on your taxes for your spouse's hidden assets

Has your spouse always handled the majority of the financial decisions and the taxes? If so, that can put you at a serious disadvantage when it comes time to divorce.

While your spouse is supposed to level with you about all the marital assets so that they can be divided properly, that doesn't always happen. Sometimes, spouses will hide some fairly significant holdings from each other during a divorce.

However, even spouses who are willing to hide assets from their husband or wives are hesitant to try to hide things from the Internal Revenue Service. That's why copies of your tax returns for the last few years can prove invaluable as you and your attorney start looking for those hidden assets.

Here's where you can start the hunt for those secret treasures your spouse may be keeping:

  • Itemized deductions. The Schedule A of a tax return is the best place to look for deductions that may indicate hidden assets. For example, property taxes used as a deduction may indicate your spouse has land or buildings in a real estate portfolio you don't know about.
  • Capital gains and losses. These records can tell you two things: whether there are investments and securities you don't know about and if any secret assets have recently been sold off. You'll find these clues in Schedule D.
  • Profit and losses from business. Schedule C can be invaluable if your spouse is self-employed or owns a business. If your spouse is claiming that the business is struggling, take a good look at what's been purchased recently in the company's name.
  • Supplemental income and losses. These are tucked away in Schedule E and can reveal everything from royalties to rental property (and more).
  • Interest and dividends. Your investigation isn't complete until you compare the list of stocks, bonds and bank accounts to what you see on Schedule B of your taxes.

The more assets and income your spouse has had over the years, the more convoluted his or her holdings may be. For help with your high-asset divorce, turn to an experienced attorney for advice.

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329 South Guadalupe Street
San Marcos, TX 78666

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