May 30, 2024

Can I Sue a Tax Preparation Company?

Can I Sue a Tax Preparation Company?

You might be capable to sue a tax preparing organization for negligence, negligent using the services of, breach of deal, and fraud. Your lawsuit might be directly against:

  • an person tax experienced
  • a organization that employs accountants and/or tax lawyers
  • a corporation that develops tax application.

If you are considering about suing particular person tax preparers, this kind of as certified public accountants (CPAs), check out our website article, “When Can I Sue a Tax Accountant?” That short article might also be practical if you’re thinking about suing an specific tax attorney who may well have committed malpractice or breached their fiduciary obligations.

This report precisely focuses on suing tax planning businesses and firms, not individuals or unique practitioners. You can consult with a tax lawyer or independently, with a business enterprise and business legislation lawyer, to decide no matter whether a tax prep company or company has:

  • Improperly well prepared your taxes (negligence promises)
  • Carelessly employed an individual who improperly well prepared your taxes (negligent choosing declare)
  • Unsuccessful to give you with the tax prep service you purchased from them (breach of deal assert)
  • Intentionally and maliciously supplied you with defective tax prep companies (fraud declare)

Can I Go the Buck?

Taxes are submitted with the federal government via the Interior Earnings Service (IRS). On the state level, the agency with whom your taxes are submitted will be called a Section or Division of Income/Taxation, a Tax Commission or Comptroller, or a Franchise Tax Board.

When you might be suing your preparer, it will be for the reason that of a dilemma that has arisen out of possibly or equally of your:

  • Federal tax return
  • Condition tax return

People challenges generally contain an inner income code violation and can result in acquiring to spend:

  • additional taxes owed (or a smaller sized tax refund)
  • a financial penalty (tax penalty)
  • tax credit rating or tax liability evaluation

When any of these matters come about to you, your to start with urge will be to pass on the blame. Regrettably, no subject how strongly you stage the finger at your tax prep corporation, the IRS or your condition tax agency will be content to notify you just how considerably they don’t treatment that the difficulty wasn’t instantly your fault.

So no, you cannot pass the buck. You are on the hook. It may help to give the IRS with supporting documentation to show, for example, that your tiny business enterprise was the target of a prep organization that created careless errors for the duration of a busy tax year. You can even attempt to file an amended return to accurate the difficulty. But that’s ordinarily not likely to be ample for the IRS to completely forgive any penalties that you may have to pay out.

Ultimately, you can have to cough up to the government coffers to start with and sue your tax prep organization afterward to maintenance the hurt to your financial institution account.

In this short article, when we only mention the IRS, you must nonetheless think the exact same rationale applies if your tax challenges issue your point out government’s tax collection company. We also use the terms “company” and “firm” interchangeably to refer to tax preparation services suppliers.

Suing for Carelessness

Oh no—it turns out you owe the IRS a thousand bucks much more than your tax prep program calculated for you. Apparently, it was due to the fact the company that programmed the software program for you jumbled figures due to a careless coding error. You can sue for carelessness by displaying:

  1. The tax prep firm owed you a obligation of treatment to properly compute your taxes simply because you hired them for that certain service
  2. The tax prep corporation breached that obligation for the reason that they acted carelessly and unreasonably in the way they calculated your taxes making use of incorrect plan code
  3. Your taxes had been improperly calculated mainly because of the tax prep company’s carelessness (and not your individual oversight)
  4. You endured ensuing monetary damage or hurt (e.g. IRS penalty).

Suing for Negligent Hiring

Oh no—it turns out you owe the IRS a thousand bucks far more than your tax prep company calculated for you. Seemingly, the accountant they hired to procedure your files was obviously a habitual drunk and the firm was much too careless to ever detect it. You can sue for negligent selecting by showing:

  1. As an employer, the tax prep firm did not physical exercise acceptable treatment in selecting the drunken accountant as their employee
  2. The accountant, a clear habitual drunk, was incompetent to cope with your taxes
  3. If the tax prep company had exercised realistic care, the accountant’s incompetence would have been obvious to them
  4. As of end result of the tax prep firm’s failure to training owing treatment in selecting the proper particular person for the accounting posture, you as their client endured harm (IRS penalties).

Suing for Breach of Contract

Oh no—it turns out you owe the IRS a thousand bucks in late submitting penalties due to the fact your tax prep organization delayed in processing your return despite your well timed submission of files to them. Your breach of agreement lawsuit would allege:

  1. A legitimate deal for timely tax preparing existed amongst you and the business
  2. You held up your side of the offer by paying for the tax prep services and well timed furnishing your documents to the company
  3. The tax prep firm unsuccessful to honor their component of the deal by delaying the processing of your return
  4. You suffered damages (e.g. IRS fines) simply because of the tax processing hold off.

Suing for Tax Return Preparer Fraud

Tax fraud won’t just have to necessarily mean that a taxpayer purposefully lied to the IRS. What if you have been owed a greater refund and a tax prep organization dedicated tax fraud to reduce your refund payment so they could take more of your cash? What if they deliberately ripped you off by misrepresenting the amount of money of their preparation costs?

Cons like this are all also popular. According to the IRS, you can file a criticism towards tax preparers for:

  • Filing or changing your tax return paperwork with out you knowing or offering authorization
  • Misreporting your filing position, exemptions, dependents, revenue, or expenses, so that you (or anyone in your area) can wrongfully get a larger refund.
  • Failing to enter a right Preparer Tax Identification Amount (PTIN) that identifies the preparer to the IRS
  • Refusing to give you a copy of your return or using the wrong software to put together the return in the initial location
  • Falsely pretending to be a lawyer, CPA, enrolled agent, or actuary.

In these sorts of conditions, the aspects of a fraud lawsuit are that:

  1. The tax prep firm designed a assertion or promise to you, e.g., to file your taxes ideal
  2. When in truth the promise was phony, the firm knew it was untrue, and they lied to you with the intent to deceive you and
  3. You fairly relied on their assure in letting them file your taxes for you, and you endured damages (e.g. IRS penalties) as a end result of that reliance.


If you win your lawsuit against a tax preparation firm, you may perhaps be able to recuperate:

  • Contribution and Indemnity — They pay you or help towards having to pay the total the IRS charged you. This is ordinarily available if you experienced a deal with the tax prep company the place they promised to make you entire for their blunders.
  • Compensatory Damages — All the money you missing. Professional medical charges are a lot less common below, while a court could locate it acceptable that someone suffered anxiety, depression, or a coronary heart attack from all their IRS problems.
  • Punitive Damages —Extra dollars on top rated of your other damages just to punish the tax prep company for their fraud. This is to make an instance out of them if they acted maliciously and intentionally in leading to your difficulties with the IRS.

Make contact with An Lawyer

Depending on the info of your scenario, possibly a tax law firm or separately, a organization and industrial legislation legal professional, may possibly be equipped to aid you sue a tax preparation enterprise. Relying on regardless of whether you might be suing for carelessness, breach of agreement, or fraud, the relevant statute of limits (time limit) to file your case might be various. So don’t hold off.