Thursday, November 12, 2009


I think I've mentioned here before that I have a bad temper which I have worked hard to learn to control over the years. So though I don't get *as* mad or get mad as often as I used to, I can still become enraged if I feel it is warranted.

Today was one of those days. I will try to be brief. In February of this year, my husband wanted to use the same accountant to prepare our tax return that he had used for the previous few years. I had been doing my own taxes my entire life up until this point, but I agreed. The accountant charges a flat fee (can't recall how much) for the filing of a joint return.

I could not attend the appointment with the accountant in person, so I typed up a detailed list of my deductions, along with dates and receipts, and MM provided this, in total, to the accountant along with all the other necessary documentation he requested. Despite this, when we got the copies of our returns--after they had been filed, never having been given an opportunity to review them prior to filing--I found two mistakes. While they were not likely the type of thing for which the IRS will have you put in federal prison, I felt that they needed to be corrected because my (electronic) signature is on that return.

Finally, a few weeks ago, the accountant filed an amended return on our behalf, correcting his errors. And charged my husband $100 for doing so.

Because MM dealt with the receptionist and not the accountant himself, he did not feel that he was in a position to argue about the additional charge. I insisted that he contact the accountant personally and have him refund the $100. Today he finally did so.

The accountant grudgingly refunded the money but made a sarcastic remark to MM to the effect "your wife is a lawyer, so she should understand about billable hours."

Yeah, I am a lawyer, and I do understand billable hours. I also understand that it is unethical to charge your client extra to fix YOUR OWN mistake. He should be paying US, not the other way around. I could NEVER ethically charge a client for work done to fix my own error, and I would never do so. And all of this could have been avoided had he simply done what he should have done and allowed us to review our returns before he filed them on our behalf.

Needless to say, we will be changing accountants for 2010. I am still debating whether to make an ethics complaint to his licensing entity as well.

Don't f$%& with me, especially during the 2WW!!!!


  1. I hate it when anyone mentions that I'm an attorney, for any reason! Whether it be in the type of situation mentioned in your post, or like the other day when my FIL shouted that he's not in a courtroom, I can't play lawyer with him! Um. . .I wasn't. I was arguing with you because you screwed up, my profession is irrelevant! Grrrr.

    Sorry you had to deal with this today.

  2. I'm an accountant and I'm shocked that you went through this! First of all as far as we are concerned it is manditory to provide our clients with a copy of their tax return, and if they wish they can review it before signing the forms allowing us to electronic file them. We can not and will not file their taxes until we have those forms signed. And when it comes to filing amended returns we only charge our clients when it is an error in their part. If we made any mistake we would eat the cost of the time spent doing it. Oh and doing an amended return really doesn't take long. Unless you have a lot of errors it's really just basic data entry, print and copy. Yeah I would look for a new accountant next year!

  3. Report him. What an a$$hole.


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