Have Tax Questions? Ask a Tax Expert for Answers ASAP
Yes, the tax preparer - as any other professional - may be held responsible for the mistake.
However - as that was your decision to hire a tax preparer - the IRS will hold you responsible for any mistake on your tax return - and you in turn may ask the tax preparer to compensate your damages or even sue that person.
While that depends on your contract with the tax preparer - the usual practice is that the tax preparer would compensate you with penalties and interest, but not with taxes. Normally - any professional has some kind of malpractice insurance that cover such situations.
I would suggest to contact the tax preparer and claim your damages. If you will not come to an agreement - you may sue him/her.
Actually - you may request him to compensate you with that amount, but if you sue him - it is unlikely that the judge would support such a claim.
The reason is that this amount you should pay to the IRS and it was left in your pocket - so it is not considered as damages.
Most tax preparation firms offer some type of insurance that cover your additional tax liability. For instance HRBlock offers so-called Peace-of-Mind - http://www.hrblock.com/taxes/doing_my_taxes/products/popup/pop_pom_features.html - under that coverage your taxes would be paid. Most my clients purchase the coverage unless they opt not to.
While I understand your frustration but unless that compensation is included into your agreement - it is unlikely you may recover that amount.