Linda K. Haltom - Page 12

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         be charged with knowing about Jerry’s investment accounts.  The              
         Commissioner believes that this alone should have been enough to             
         make her suspicious.  We disagree.  In today’s society, simply               
         receiving a letter from a financial institution will make a                  
         reasonable person suspect only that her family has somehow made              
         its way onto a marketer’s mailing list, not that her spouse has              
         money hidden away.  It certainly would not be enough to compel               
         her to open the statements to check the account balances.                    
              The Commissioner also points to Linda’s receiving checks                
         from Jerry written from two different accounts.  He argues that              
         this should have caused her to suspect that he had multiple                  
         accounts of his own, concluding again that he must have money                
         hidden away.  We again disagree.  Having more than one account is            
         not necessarily a particularly suspicious act, especially for a              
         prosperous businessman.  Without some other sign of dishonesty,              
         noticing the different account numbers on the bottom of the                  
         checks would not make a reasonable person in Linda’s position                
         suspect anything other than Jerry had a business need for more               
         than one account.                                                            
              We next look to see if there were large or lavish expenses.             
         Courts have been careful to consider whether a family's expenses             
         were reasonable in relation to the income reported on the return.            
         Barranco v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2003-18.  This is based on              
         the commonsense observation that even a trusting wife should                 

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