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  1. #1
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    Default Any accountants out there? Mine made a mistake which I now have to pay (dearly) for

    Just wanted to ask people opinions...

    Last year our accountant stupidly wrote the TAX PAID as the total tax earned for one of hubbies jobs. He didn't notice, we stupidly didn't check closely enough (4th year we have seen him, we've never had a problem, in fact he's just about the cockiest guy ever) and the ATO didn't pick up the discrepancy until now, meanwhile they refunded us a nice sum last year; which we put straight on the credit card.

    Anyway, now we are supposed to pay back nearly $4,000 D:

    Do we just have to 'take it on the chin'? Shouldn't he at least have offered to refund that years fee, or offer a free return this year? He just said 'sorry, I've never done that before'.

    I know it wasn't ever really our money, that we owe that tax, it's just a horrific time to have to find it (Live in Gladstone, our rent was just put up $800 a month) all because our accountant missed his morning coffee or something.

    We are doing it ourselves via e-tax this year.

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    I would have thought he would have offered to refund you the cost of the return, as a goodwill gesture if nothing else.

    I don't see you have any recourse, unfortunately, as you haven't suffered any loss out of it. If the ATO charges you interest or a fine, then you could ask them to pay.

    It's very annoying, though, suddenly having to shell out $4k.

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    You should be contacting the ato and discussing it with them! You paid for your accountant to do it and if he is registered to do tax on your behalf then shouldnt his company have to pay for there stuff up? You trusted them to do it correctly afterall. I wouldnt be taking it thats for sure!!

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    My husband is an accountant.

    He says contact the ATO and tell them about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MsMummy View Post
    I would have thought he would have offered to refund you the cost of the return, as a goodwill gesture if nothing else.

    I don't see you have any recourse, unfortunately, as you haven't suffered any loss out of it. If the ATO charges you interest or a fine, then you could ask them to pay.

    It's very annoying, though, suddenly having to shell out $4k.
    Thanks for replying! This is kind of what we are resigned to. We accept that we will have to pay, but the accountant said the ATO should drop any penalties or anything like that (hopefully that relates to interest too, seeing as we will choose to payment plan if we can).

    I just feel like there should be some kind of 'accountant insurance' or a guarantee or something. The WHOLE point of paying him was so this scenario doesn't happen. We would have been better off on our own.

    He didn't offer a refund, and we feel he should have, but feel veeerryy awkward asking him for a refund...

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    Quote Originally Posted by jess1992 View Post
    You should be contacting the ato and discussing it with them! You paid for your accountant to do it and if he is registered to do tax on your behalf then shouldnt his company have to pay for there stuff up? You trusted them to do it correctly afterall. I wouldnt be taking it thats for sure!!

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    Apparently because we signed his return, it negates his responsibility, which in my opinion makes him and his fee redundant... And makes me very cross. We should have checked better I guess. After 3 easy, correct returns we let our guard down...


    Thanks tough love. Hubby did call and seemed to get the same answer, but he's not very assertive. Maybe I will call again...

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    When u sign off on the tax return, the text there actually says that the accountant is not liable for any errors - the final responsibility lies with you. So unfortunately you have no recourse.

    I think you should demand that your accountant refund that year's fee though, such poor form.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jess1992 View Post
    You should be contacting the ato and discussing it with them! You paid for your accountant to do it and if he is registered to do tax on your behalf then shouldnt his company have to pay for there stuff up? You trusted them to do it correctly afterall. I wouldnt be taking it thats for sure!!

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    The problem is, that to make the accountant pay, you both have to show that the accountant made a mistake AND that you suffered loss from that mistake.

    The accountant did make a mistake, but the OP didn't suffer a loss, as she always had to pay the tax, and actually got a benefit by having the money for another 12 months. So, if the accountant paid, she would actually benefit from their mistake.

    It would be different if the accountant failed to give adequate advice on a deduction, although even that is probably fixable as I think you can amend the return later on with the ATO.

    You can jump up and down about it all you like, but ultimately, what would be the recourse? You sue the accountant, spend money on legal fees, lose and potentially have to pay the accountant's legal fees plus the original $4,000 to the ATO?

    I agree with other suggestions about contacting the ATO. they might give you a payment plan, in the circumstances.

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    I really have no idea I have never been in a situation like that but it can never hurt to ask

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    Definitely contact the ATO. Dh and I were stressing over a $7000 tax bill last year so he called the ATO and sorted out a payment plan. His employer at the time (dodgy) said they were taking out the tax but they actually weren't so you can imagine our shock! Anyways, they give you options on how long you need (6mths, 1 year... Or more) They were really good with us- no questions asked. I guess they just want their money so if you're paying it back one way or the other, they are happy!


 

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