Tax Question

“I Make you wonder”

Level 7

Since: Jan 13

Location hidden

#1 Sep 30, 2013
Not the best place to ask here on Topix but maybe I'll get a couple good answers.
My gf paid a CPA to do her taxes last year. The CPA royally screwed things up and now my gf owes the feds $2500 and the state $1300 due to the cpa's mess up.
Is there anything that can be done from a legal stand point? Like could the cpa be accountable for interest charges or the entire thing altogether?
Is this a small claims case? Any idea's? Thanks.
Which One

Utica, NY

#2 Sep 30, 2013
Tell us so we can avoid getting into a similar jam.

“I Make you wonder”

Level 7

Since: Jan 13

Location hidden

#3 Sep 30, 2013
Which One wrote:
Tell us so we can avoid getting into a similar jam.
It's just a one person operation. But the lady is certified etc... I didn't mention any name because it's highly unlikely that anyone would use her. Plus it's a violation of Topix to use full names. I would just like to hear some options.

Level 6

Since: Nov 10

Location hidden

#4 Sep 30, 2013
This is a very difficult question to answer based on the limited facts you provided.

#1 – If the problems that arose were due to incomplete, inaccurate or false information and documentation provided by your girlfriend, then the accountant would not be at fault.
#2 – If she signed a contract with the accountant then the contract should indicate who takes responsibility if there is a problem. Most good accountants will go with you to the audit to explain their reasons for making certain deductions etc… and help litigate penalties and interest charges.
#3 – If she could prove the accountant was irresponsible or incompetent she might have a basis to sue for the money she paid the accountant and possibly penalties and interest incurred. The additional money she legally owed the IRS she would not be able to sue for.

Hope this helps.

“I Make you wonder”

Level 7

Since: Jan 13

Location hidden

#5 Sep 30, 2013
Thanks Justice.

Yeah, it wasn't any fault of the gf's by the information she provided. More or less just the cpa's mess up.
My gf would of owed the money anyway if the taxes were done right so I can't see that being an issue. But the interest is added up quick and now the cpa doesn't want to be of any help.
Is small claims an option?

Level 6

Since: Nov 10

Location hidden

#6 Sep 30, 2013
Small claims is always and option but winning might be a stretch. If there wasn't a written contract then there is very little to go on. You can also send a complaint to the “American Institute of Certified Public Accountants” if you think this accountant is disreputable, dishonest or unqualified. Your best bet would be to talk to another CPA to get an opinion on your options, but this will cost her. I think winning in small claims court would be very difficult. Without having to spend more of her hard earned money fighting this, her best option is probably to just write it off as a bad experience. She might also try to appeal to the IRS to waive the penalties and interest if she pays off the additional taxes promptly. The IRS is not that difficult to deal with if you explain your situation honestly.
Corkey

Utica, NY

#7 Sep 30, 2013
Send the CPA a certified letter asking for a refund of the tax prep fee and also the reimbursement of any penalty and or interest charge. If the person really screwed up and is reputable they will do so.

“I Make you wonder”

Level 7

Since: Jan 13

Location hidden

#8 Sep 30, 2013
JusticeDefiled13501 wrote:
Small claims is always and option but winning might be a stretch. If there wasn't a written contract then there is very little to go on. You can also send a complaint to the “American Institute of Certified Public Accountants” if you think this accountant is disreputable, dishonest or unqualified. Your best bet would be to talk to another CPA to get an opinion on your options, but this will cost her. I think winning in small claims court would be very difficult. Without having to spend more of her hard earned money fighting this, her best option is probably to just write it off as a bad experience. She might also try to appeal to the IRS to waive the penalties and interest if she pays off the additional taxes promptly. The IRS is not that difficult to deal with if you explain your situation honestly.
There was a contract for services rendered. The gf has already worked out something with the federal taxes several months ago. They waived the interest for a year or so. But today she got a bill from the state for $1300 or there abouts. Just a stressful situation for her because of the wack job cpa who did her taxes. Thanks for your help though.

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