Hiding Assets in a Divorce

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divorce and moneyDo you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets in a divorce but don’t have access to your financial information?  Your tax returns provide a good starting point for tracing assets but it’s not uncommon for the returns to disappear once the discussion of divorce comes up.  If you don’t have access to prior year’s tax returns, contact the IRS to get copies of the transcripts.

What You Need to Know About Getting Federal Tax Return Information

  1. You can get copies of your federal tax return via the web, phone, or by mail.
  2. Transcripts are FREE and available for the current and past three tax years.
  3. A tax return transcript shows most line items from your tax return as it was originally filed, including any accompanying forms and schedules.  It does not reflect any changes made after the return was filed.
  4. A tax account transcript shows any later adjustments either you or the IRS made after you filed your return.  This transcript shows basic data including marital status, type of return filed, adjusted gross income, and taxable income.
  5. To request either type of transcript online, go to IRS.gov and use the online tool called Order A Transcript.  To order by phone, call 800-908-9946 and follow prompts in the recorded message.
  6. To request a 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ transcript through the mail, complete IRS Form 4506T-EZ, Short Form Request for Individual Tax Return Transcript.  Businesses, partnerships and individuals who need transcript information from other forms or need a tax account transcript must use Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return;
  7. If you order online or by phone, you should receive your tax return transcript within 5 to 10 days from the time the IRS receives your request.  Allow 30 calendar days for delivery of a tax account transcript if you order by mail;
  8. If you need an actual copy of a previously filed and processed tax return, it will cost $57 for each tax year you order.  Complete Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return, and mail it to the IRS address listed on the form for your area.  Copies are generally available for the current year and past 6 years.  Allow 60 days for delivery;
  9. The fee for copies of tax returns may be waived if you are in an area that is declared a federal disaster by the President.

For the purposes of gathering information in preparation for a divorce settlement or trial, it’s a good idea to obtain the free tax return and tax account transcripts if you don’t have a copy of the original returns.  Your attorney will generally want to see returns for the last 3 years and you can order the actual copies later, if needed.

If you believe your spouse is hiding assets in a divorce, contact The Law Offices of Kathleen E. Shaul to discuss your case and schedule a confidential consultation with an experienced divorce attorney.

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