Thursday, April 02, 2009

Joint Tax Returns Can Reveal Both Financial and Marital Infidelity

Financial infidelity and marital infidelity often go hand-in-hand. A cheating spouse usually ends up spending or receiving money somewhere along the line. So finding telltale signs of one type of infidelity will usually alert you to the existence of the other.

If you suspect your spouse of infidelity – either financial or sexual -- and the two of you file a joint income tax return, there could be hidden clues on your 1040 Form. Most financial infidelity is generally exposed during the tax season when couples file their joint income tax returns. But knowing what to look for is the key. There are specific places on your 1040 Form where you can find the telltale signs.

Salary Discrepancies Expose An Affair

For example, line 7 on your 1040 Form will alert you to any salary discrepancies. Wages, salaries, and tips are recorded here. Compare the figure on this line with your spouse’s attached W-2 Form.

Overtime is an excuse that cheating spouses commonly use to account for the time they spend on their extramarital affairs. Does line 7 reflect the amount of overtime your spouse claims to have worked last year? Or is this figure a lot less than you expect?

Tammy and Max

Max worked lots of overtime last year, often pulling a double shift. But Tammy noticed his salary was almost the same as he made the year before. She later found out the “overtime story” was a just cover for the affair Max was having with a woman on his job.

Chad and Angela

Chad was surprised to find that Angela’s salary was considerably lower than he thought it would be. Especially since she was always new designer clothing and jewelry, going to day spas to be pampered, and taking expensive vacations 2 or 3 times a year. There was no way the salary shown on Angela’s W-2 form could possibly cover all these things. Checking deeper into the matter, Chad discovered that Angela had a wealthy lover who was supplementing her income and showering her with expensive gifts.

Elaine and Dan

Did your spouse make a lot more money than he or she led you to believe? This could reflect a raise or bonus they didn’t tell you about. What did they do with the extra money? On what – or on whom was it spent? Elaine found that her husband Dan used his year-end bonus to buy his mistress a diamond ring.

Other Information Your 1040 Form Can Reveal

In addition to salary discrepancies, your 1040 Form can reveal all kinds of other incriminating financial information -- transactions made without your knowledge or consent, hidden sources of income, secret bank accounts, property or other assets you didn’t know your spouse had, and more.

Has your spouse been liquidating assets behind your back in preparation for a divorce? Is he paying alimony to an ex-wife you didn’t even know he had? Is his business really doing as poorly as he led you to believe? Or is it showing a healthy profit?

Form 1040 also has attachments, called "schedules" which depending on the taxpayer’s financial circumstances, may also need to be filed. A close examination of Schedules A, B, C, D, or E can be equally revealing and provide other valuable clues.

FREE Tip Sheet on What to Look for on Your 1040 Form

This is just a sample of the kind financial information you can find on your joint income tax form. A line-by-line review of your 1040 Form will reveal other clues about your spouse’s financial affairs. Knowing what to look for is the key. To find out where to look and what to look for on your 1040 Form, request a FREE copy of the tip sheet entitled “The Telltale 1040 Form.” Send an e-mail to with “telltale 1040 – b” in the subject line.

Other Signs of Financial Infidelity

Let me remind you again that financial infidelity and sexual or marital infidelity go hand in hand. No matter what kind of infidelity your spouse is involved in – financial or sexual -- the telltale signs never appear in isolation. Where there’s one sign, there are usually other signs just waiting to be found. Again, knowing what to look for is the key. Not every sign of financial infidelity is tax-related. Is He Cheating on You? – 829 Telltale Signs has a chapter on Financial Affairs that lists 52 financially-related signs of infidelity. Click here for more information.

For a FREE tip sheet with 9 signs of financial infidelity taken from this chapter, e-mail with "9 financial signs - b" in the subject line.

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