Tax season is upon us, and many of you have probably already finished filing your taxes. However, after compiling all your income information, receipts, W-2s, and expenses, you handed them to your tax accountant—only to have the IRS come knocking for an audit and penalty fees. Yikes! If your accountant made a mistake, does that mean that the blame falls on your shoulders? And if so, is there a way to fix it?

Your Responsibility

Here’s the bad news: since it’s your tax return, this is your responsibility to handle. Even if your accountant was the one who added an extra zero at the end of your annual earnings, it’s up to you to handle it. Some accountants don’t file anything at all, but the late fees and penalties are still going to be charged to you. This means that you’ll have to pay the penalties, and you’ll most likely need to do so before you seek that money from your accountant.

You Can Get Help

The good news is, you may be able to get those fines and fees taken care of by your accountant. If the accountant claims that there are no errors to fix, or if they refuse to pay back your IRS penalties that they are responsible for making in the first place, then you may be able to sue your accountant for malpractice. In a lawsuit like this, you may be able to claim your penalties as damages.

Many people have heard of doctors committing malpractice, but most aren’t aware that accountant malpractice exists. We are here to say that it certainly does. It’s close to many other standard negligence lawsuits, so here are the things you need to prove in a court of law in order to seek justice:

  • Prove that you hired the accountant to handle your tax return and that they owed you a duty of care. In other words, you paid them for a specific service.
  • Prove that the accountant either negligently or purposefully violated standard procedure and, as a result, did not deliver on their promise.
  • Prove that their negligence resulted in financial distress for you in some way, including fees, penalties, and additional taxes.
  • Prove that it is the accountant’s fault that you now have such financial hurdles.

If you make a successful claim, then it is quite likely the accountant will need to pay you back for any penalties you’ve already paid. If the accountant was intentional in their malpractice and made severe mistakes, you may be able to sue your accountant for fraud.

Contact an IRS Tax Attorney

If you believe that your accountant has wronged you in handling your taxes, it’s time to seek help. Contact the professionals at Tax Law Offices in Naperville to learn about your possible courses of action. Our staff is knowledgeable and prepared to hear about your situation. Each of our IRS tax attorneys wants to help you seek the best possible outcome, so don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule your free consultation!