Does My Spouse Have Offshore Accounts?

If you are headed toward a divorce, you may be wondering if your spouse has been keeping any secrets from you, like an offshore account. Even the most kind, loving spouses may simply feel that you do not have a right to some of their money, especially if they acquired the funds previous to your wedding or you did not work during the marriage. The truth is that most property and accounts become commingled during the marriage and transfer to joint property unless stated in the prenuptial agreement.

Finding your spouse’s offshore accounts can be difficult, especially if you have already separated. The American Bar states that, as international and technological capabilities have advanced, it has become easier to create offshore accounts and international investments. It can also be easier to hide these funds from the IRS, which is why major efforts have been made by the government to discover this type of fraud.

In order to move money to offshore accounts, most cases require the U.S. citizen to file certain forms to let the Internal Revenue Service know about the transfer and report it on their taxes. This means that, even if your spouse has not told you about his or her foreign accounts, you can submit a request to the IRS to provide you with any details regarding these activities. This was covered in the Freedom of Information Act.

By working with the IRS, you will likely be able to discover any foreign activity that your spouse is attempting to hide. This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.


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