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Is the tax preparation company I used liable for mistakes

Port Townsend, WA |

led with a company who apparently according to the people in the office i went to they had their software for 2013 wrong and i filed before they fixed it, resulting in letters from IRS for missing info, that is actually on my copy of return paperwork from the company. Now I have to do the paperwork shuffle and wait 4-6 weeks for my return, which i filed on 1/28. Also i opted out of company arbitration agreement which all in all basically stated that if they screw up i cant do anything

Yes I meant my refund. Also I left nothing out of refund information and on my copy they printed me that I went over all info was proper and there. I am waiting now the additional time because they programed their software wrong and their program error made it that the irs systems would not recognize ( therefore not receive) parts of the paperwork which was all in order. They now fixed software but failed to notify my self and others who filed prior to them correcting the issue. They only told me because I called and asked into why, and at first they even tried to push it off and not explain.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Please see my previous response.

    The Law Office of Tuella O. Sykes, PLLC 600 1st Avenue, Suite 307 Seattle, WA 98104 Phone: 206-721-0086 Fax: 206-721-0087 Website: www.tuellasykeslaw.com Call and mention this post for a free 20 minute consultation


  2. I agree with Ms. Sykes. To augment her response, they may be liable for their mistakes depending on what the contract provides. However, you generally must be able to prove damages in order to prevail in a lawsuit. In most situations, waiting a few weeks for your refund will not give rise to damages that are sufficient to justify bringing a case to trial. I don't know what you stand to lose by waiting 4-6 weeks for your refund, but in Jefferson County, WA, a case must be worth more than $5,000 just to make it out of Small Claims Court.

    Robert Hoffman is a tax attorney licensed in California. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended as a substitute for legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For competent advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.


  3. You may be referring to the IRS delaying sending the refund for taxpayers with the Earned Income Tax Credit. This year, the IRS is requiring tax preparers to gather some information about qualifying taxpayers to document that the tax preparers discussed with the taxpayers about the EITC.

    One major tax software company failed to write its software to meet the requirements of the IRS. Tax preparers using the software did not get any message that information was missing as the software would indicate that the affected return complied with the IRS's requirements.

    Due to the late start of the tax filing season because of the late passage of tax laws, there was not enough time for the software companies or the IRS to fully test out the software. The error was discovered within a few days after the IRS started to accept efiling of tax returns. The software company fixed the error when it was discovered.

    I doubt that any one promised you that you would get your tax refund within a particular time.

    Your return was likely properly prepared and you would eventually get your refund.

    The IRS always has the right to request supporting documentation for you to show that you are eligible for the credits you are claiming.

    You can review the specific facts with your attorney to find out if you have any legal options. Since you will get your refund, I doubt that taking any legal action against the tax preparer would be fruitful for you.

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