In 2014, my spouse and I hired an Enrolled Agent who is also an US Tax Court Practitioner to prepare our taxes. Everything worked out as expected, but we owed money, so we continued to use her in 2015 and contracted her to advise how we should adjust our withholding so that we would avoid owing on our taxes and get as close to breaking even as possible. In Mid-2015, she had advised that we change our withholding with both of our employers based on her calculations of our income and tax level for the year. When preparing our return this past January, I received a call from the EA explaining that she made a mistake in calculating our withholding back in 2015, and we will owe over $7,000 between federal and state tax. This was a shock, as we had been advised to change our tax withholding status as a means to not owe anything (or receive a return) and even were told we would likely get a small return. I have all email correspondence from 2015 showing the EA advising the incorrect withholding, as well as a recent email with admittance to the mistake.
Withholding miscalcutions or not, if you owe the tax, you owe the tax. Maybe the EA or another tax pro could reduce any penalties that may have been applied
Not sure what sort of complaint you could file with the IRS. Your remedy could perhaps be a professional malpractice claim but that would likely only be for any penalties you incurred for any delays in payment of the tax.
This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is informational in nature only. This attorney may not be licensed in the jurisdiction which you have a question about so the answer could be only general in nature.
While you could make a complaint with the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility or with the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA), I would suggest you have a conversation with the EA and also inquire as to whether or not he or she has E&O insurance; if so, if your claim can be proven, it should cover applicable penalties and interest.
To be clear, the damages caused by your EA were applicable penalties and interest. Assuming no other errors were made to your return, your actual tax obligation should not have been more--i.e., you would have owed the same amount of taxes regardless. (It likely just felt like more due to the underwithholding.)
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