Your ex wants revenge
taxes red flags ex revenge

Following messy divorces, many ex-spouses will go to great lengths to get revenge -- some will have even try to wreak havoc on your reputation by contacting the IRS.

John Lieberman, a CPA at Perelson Weiner LLP, said he has heard of people telling the IRS that their ex-spouse laundered money, committed serious financial crimes, underreported income, even owned a brothel.

"[Ex]-spouses love writing letters to the IRS," said Lieberman.

It's not just the ex-wife or husband you have to watch out for. Lieberman said he worked on one case where the mother-in-law told the IRS that her ex-son-in-law was a money launderer.

Sometimes the claims are completely made up, while others are legitimate. And while some people write in anonymously, others divulge their names -- which is required in order to claim a whistleblower reward of 15% to 30% of any extra money collected as a result of their tip.


Have you had a nightmare experience with your taxes? From tax preparer mistakes to audits -- or worse, e-mail blake.ellis@turner.com to share your story.

Illustrations by Kacy Belew
- Last updated March 21 2013 12:52 PM ET
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