Sniffing out an affair? Tax returns will show you red flags

Watch out for the following:

Your spouse’s spending habits change: One of Tracy’s clients had a cheating spouse who would buy both his mistress and his wife the same holiday gifts — including two furs. It wasn’t immediately obvious because the credit card statement would show only one charge, Tracy said.

In another case, one of Tracy’s clients socked away $30,000 over time just by taking out additional withdrawals at the cash register when buying groceries. She put the money in a safe deposit box.

You’re given an allowance: Your spouse might give you enough to spend and dissuade you from looking at the household’s checking accounts. “If you’re given a limited budget and you don’t get access to financial information, that’s a clear red flag,” Bastian said.

Your spouse is transferring money across different accounts: Cash going across different personal checking accounts or between different business accounts is fishy. Don’t forget to keep an eye on those brokerage accounts, where spouses could take out large sums of cash.

“It’s getting your head out of the sand and going with your spouse to the planner if you have one for yearly review,” said Tracy. “Nobody should do a review without both spouses there, explaining the finances.”

More from Smart Tax Planning:
Why secret cash payments to your nanny could backfire
Getting zero back from the IRS might be a good thing
Five ways to jump-start your tax return

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