How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask TJ, Esq. Your Own Question

TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 9701
Experience:  Licensed to Practice Law
9373668
Type Your Business Law Question Here...
TJ, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Tax Return Question: A local company prepared our 2007 taxes.

Resolved Question:

Tax Return Question: A local company prepared our 2007 taxes. They messed up badly. Now...they're out of business. The IRS now says we owe over $3000, and that means refiling the state for the last two years as well. What is the responsibility of the preparer? I can't even get ahold of them.

Thanks...Norm Collins
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 5 years ago.

Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

Question: “What is the responsibility of the preparer? I can't even get ahold of them.”

Answer: Well, you are liable to the IRS and State treasurer’s office. The fact that the mistake was made by a preparer will not, unfortunately, excuse you from liability. But if the preparer (the business, not the individual) was negligent, then you can probably win a lawsuit for indemnification against that preparer (the business, not the individual).

Even if the preparer (the business, not the individual) is out of business, you may be able to go after the individual preparer. Of course, collecting a judgment against an individual is more difficult than doing so against a business. Nonetheless, you could still likely win a judgment if you can prove that the preparer (the individual) acted negligently.

Have I satisfactorily addressed your concerns? If not, then please feel free to ask for clarification.

.

DISCLAIMER: Please be aware that only an attorney licensed in your state is authorized to advise you in legal matters, and that the limitations of this setting may prevent your legal issues from being thoroughly addressed. Accordingly, please understand that (1) by answering your question(s) I am not acting as your attorney, (2) my answer(s) should be construed as general information only, and (3) our discussion is not an adequate substitute for an in-person consultation with an attorney.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Would an example of negligence be...taking deductions for Roth (front-loaded) IRA's? I'm not a financial savy guy, but even I know better than that. What kinds of things constitute negligence?
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 5 years ago.

Hi again.

Question: “Would an example of negligence be...taking deductions for Roth (front-loaded) IRA's? I'm not a financial savy guy, but even I know better than that. What kinds of things constitute negligence?”

Answer: That would probably be considered negligence. But here’s the legal definition of negligence:

(1) A duty to use reasonable care; (2) a breach of such duty; (3) damages; and (4) the damages were caused by the breach of duty.

A tax preparer who holds himself out to the public as a tax professional, and who takes money for preparing tax returns certainly has a duty to use reasonable care in preparing such returns. Incorrect preparation of tax returns could be a breach of the duty. You were definitely damaged since you now owe fines/penalties, and your fines/penalties are a direct result of the breach (i.e. if not for the breach, you would not owe such fines/penalties).

The biggest issue is with regard to (2). Did the tax preparer breach the duty of using reasonable care by taking incorrect deductions? Probably, but I can’t say for sure. To determine whether the tax preparer acted unreasonably (and thus, breached the duty), you’ll need to get another tax preparer to take the stand and testify that the defendant should not have made that mistake.

Also, you mentioned that you even knew that the tax preparer was wrong. The tax preparer may argue that you are contributorily negligent since you should have reviewed the tax return yourself, and you apparently did not do so. If that argument is successful, then any award you could win may be reduced.

Have I satisfactorily addressed your concerns? If not, then please feel free to ask for clarification.

.

DISCLAIMER: Please be aware that only an attorney licensed in your state is authorized to advise you in legal matters, and that the limitations of this setting may prevent your legal issues from being thoroughly addressed. Accordingly, please understand that (1) by answering your question(s) I am not acting as your attorney, (2) my answer(s) should be construed as general information only, and (3) our discussion is not an adequate substitute for an in-person consultation with an attorney.

TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 9701
Experience: Licensed to Practice Law
TJ, Esq. and 2 other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Law Pro

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    1426
    20 years experience in business law - sole proprietor, partnership, and corporations
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LA/lawpro/2012-6-25_171315_PT206740s.64x64.jpg Law Pro's Avatar

    Law Pro

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    1426
    20 years experience in business law - sole proprietor, partnership, and corporations
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DC/DCraneEsq/2012-8-14_14436_DCrane.64x64.jpg MShore Law's Avatar

    MShore Law

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    1233
    Drafted Negotiated and/or Reviewed Thousands of Commercial Agreements
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    1162
    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    1142
    Run my own successful business/contract law practice.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/ohioatty/2009-1-22_185545_me.jpg J.Hazelbaker's Avatar

    J.Hazelbaker

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    393
    Experienced and trained in the area of business law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/scottymacesq/2009-6-10_221523_small.jpg RGMacEsq's Avatar

    RGMacEsq

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    393
    Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/barristerinky/2012-6-10_22423_office.64x64.jpg Barrister's Avatar

    Barrister

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    301
    13 years practicing attorney, MBA
 
 
 

Related Business Law Questions