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What is the Bookkeeper employee liability level vs Owner and CPA?

Miami, FL |

Im bookkeeper employee in a company since 2009. I do payroll taxes, 941's , Sales Tax, etc. Everything running good, Except for 1 thing. I noticed that the owner of the company make some "dishonesty changes" on his reports each year when he goes to the CPA office to prepare final reports for income taxes. My concerning is, I'm not the person who sign those reports, I just prepare some reports in Quickbooks. But I already let him know I don't feel comfortable to work with him anymore since I know this is not correct. Now , I don't even know if his CPA always knew about details of those reports that she used to prepare the final income tax forms for the company. I've thought that in case of an audit, they can conspire against me as "was bookkeeper fault. What can I do to protect myself?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Often times the answers to these types of situations really are common sense based rather than a legal reasoning. Some questions for you would be: (1) Are you on the Company's Board? (2) Do you have any control over how the money is spent by the Company? If the answer to both is no then on your end as a book keeper of the Company, provided you are relaying on credible evidence while creating your reports and if you have not intended to commit tax fraud, it is not your fault as you working under the guidance of the Owner of the Company. For your piece of mind, it maybe best for you consult a Tax Attorney locally to cover your bases. Good luck to you.

    DISCLAIMER: This answer is provided solely for informational purposes only. This answer does not constitute legal advice, create an attorney-client relationship, or constitute attorney advertising.


  2. Document your concerns, save copies of the reports you're generating (and you probably already have this information in the QB files), etc. will all provide you with proof that you've not modified the reports. But something else to consider is whether or not you want to continue in the employ of someone who you have ethical concerns with. You've got ways of protecting against liability but the longer you continue in the situaiton, the more potential risk you take.

    Good luck.

    Evan A. Nielsen is licensed to practice law in California and handles federal tax matters throughout the U.S. The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice for a particular matter. This response does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult an attorney.


  3. Keep thorough records. There are a variety of other questions that need to be answered before an attorney can really give you a proper answer. I would suggest contacting one immediately.

    DISCLAIMER: This answer is provided solely for informational purposes only. This answer does not constitute legal advice, create an attorney-client relationship, or constitute attorney advertising.