If you're going through a divorce and your husband is trying to lie about his income from self-employment, you may need to hire an investigative accountant to help you unveil the truth. It's not uncommon for spouses to lie about their income during a divorce, but it's not fair to the other person. If you are fairly certain that this is happening, here's how an investigative accountant can help you find the truth.
Examine His Business Records
The first step of this process involves examining his business records. From these records, the accountant will look for discrepancies and errors. The accountant may compare the receipts from customers to the sales account to determine if the numbers match up.
Another step is to analyze the business's tax returns. If your husband's business had always made around $60,000 a year, and this year the profit is around $30,000, the accountant may be suspicious that he is hiding something.
The change in profit could be due to lower sales, but it could also be caused by fake expenses. If your husband is smart enough or very creative, he may do the following things to increase his expenses and ultimately decrease profits:
Compare Banking Records to Business Records
The next step is comparing the business records to your husband's checking account. If he claimed to make only $1,000 during one month but deposited $3,000, the accountant will want to know where the money came from. There are numerous other methods used for this too, and one of these is to compare business records this year to those from last year. Major differences may be clues of fraud.
Analyze His Lifestyle
Finally, the accountant can piece things together by looking into your husband's lifestyle. If his bills are $3,000 a month, but he is claiming to make only $2,000, how is he paying for everything? The accountant may also unveil large purchases he has recently made, and this too is something that will be questioned.
With this information, the accountant may be able to clearly prove to the court that he is hiding income, and this may help you get a fair settlement in the divorce.
If you believe that your spouse is trying to cheat you out of money, contact a forensic accountant, like Epps Forensic Consulting PLLC. This accountant will know what methods to use to help you find out what is really going on with your husband's finances.