Your spouse could try to hide assets in an offshore account during your divorce. If they are successful, they could short you out of thousands of dollars. Offshore accounts are a common trick seemingly average people use because they are difficult to track and easy to set up.
Why would they open an offshore account?
Offshore accounts aren’t just for wealthy tycoons. With a little bit of know-how, an average person of good standing can open an offshore account as they would any other bank account.
The following make these accounts attractive to someone who is trying to hide money:
- Only require average proof of identification (driver’s license, passport etc.).
- Many provide their own private notary service.
- Some only require a letter of good standing from another bank.
- Some ask about where the money is coming from (inheritance, income, etc.)
- Online banking makes overseas transactions from a smartphone easy.
- Many provide international ATM cards to avoid the hassle of a wire transfer.
- An unsuspecting spouse rarely considers offshore accounts.
You might not have ever thought that your spouse would open an offshore account. They have a reputation of being an exclusive item for the fabulously wealthy. However, in today’s world of online banking, it could be easier than ever to hide assets from you and perhaps even the IRS.
Can you find out if your spouse has an offshore account?
It is possible to find these accounts. The IRS recently cracked down on foreign account tax law. Banks are required to report an account’s income AND the name of the account owner to the IRS.
As a result, the keys to identifying an offshore account could be in your spouse’s tax return. A forensic accountant and a healthy amount of skepticism could be the key to uncovering your spouse’s hidden assets.