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Can a tax return uncover hidden assets?

by | Mar 31, 2022 | Property Division

It is not uncommon for a married couple to amass significant property and financial assets during the marriage. When divorce becomes a reality, however, the couple must carefully examine these assets to ensure a property division.

For many, the division of assets and determination of debt responsibility is a crucial aspect of the divorce process. From stocks and deferred compensation to vacation properties and recreational vehicles, a high-asset divorce can quickly become a challenging procedure. Unfortunately, many spouses choose to hide assets or inflate debts to influence the property division process. Through careful examination, however, it is possible to uncover these hidden assets in a tax return.

Itemized deductions

While many couples choose to take a standard deduction, it often makes more financial sense to itemize deductions. Unfortunately for those attempting to hide assets or income sources, the itemized deductions list can be quite extensive. For example, an individual attempting to hide real property might list the property’s taxes as a deduction completely revealing the hidden asset.

Supplemental income and loss

For those who have accumulated numerous properties and income-generating assets, this section of the tax return can be a source of information. From rental properties to royalties, if one spouse had attempted to hide assets and income from the other spouse, an investigation of the tax return can shed some light on intentionally mysterious finances.

While these aren’t the only methods of uncovering hidden assets, the last several tax returns might be a good place to start. Investigations can also include credit card activity, bank account statements and other documents that track cash movement. Do not hesitate to work quickly and diligently to uncover hidden assets and falsified debts prior to the property division process.

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