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Dear Sir/Madam, Some time ago I had some tax accountancy work…

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Dear Sir/Madam, Some time ago...
Dear Sir/Madam, Some time ago I had some tax accountancy work done for me which was very substandard. Along with the work I was sent a substantial bill. After I picked up the errors the accountant and I, after alot of work on my part, the accounts were corrected and we avoided making wrong statements to the Australian Tax office. I wrote in detail to the accountant complaining about both the multiple errors, the effort I had to make to correct matters, and about the size of the bill in view of the substandard work. I suggested the bill be reduced. The accountant wrote back saying he would look into the matter and respond within two weeks. After 3 months of hearing nothing I sent another letter asking for the bill to be reduced in light of the substandard work. The accountant eventually replied by letter in which he admitted many of the errors and apologising. but refusing to reduce the bill. In response I paid 60% of the bill and said I would pay no more.They have now issued a writ in the small claims magistrates court caliming the other 40%. I have looked into the matter and it appears that the accountants fees are not regulated in Australia. My question is please: if I defend their claim in court how will the magistrate decide whether I should pay or not if there is no law regulating accountants fees? Many thanks.
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Australia Law
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Answered in 1 hour by:
6/22/2010
Solicitor: Peter G., Solicitor replied 8 years ago
Peter G.
Peter G., Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 767
Experience: Law degree from the University of Melbourne 1978, with thirty years of practice experience.
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This is an interesting question. How much is involved here? What is this remaining 40% worth?
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago

Dear XXXXX

About $350. Not a huge sum I know but the principle is important enough to me to defend in court. My accountant is threatening me with the small claims court at which legal representation is not allowed. What I am not sure about is on what grounds does a magistrate decide if I have to pay the outstanding amount or not if there is no law to regulate accountants fees. It seems counterintuitative and unfair that accountants can provide demonstrably substandard work, charge what they like, and the consumer has to pay regardless. Have I got a valid legal argument for not paying the whole amount?

Regards

Rob

Solicitor: Peter G., Solicitor replied 8 years ago
The simple answer to your question is that the court will look at what the contract is between you - have you got nothing to go on here? Did the accountant not give some basis upon how he was going to charge? Hourly basis, fixed price, according to some scale?
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Relist: I still need help. I don't believe I ever saw or signed a contract with my accountant. So how does the magistrate judge who is in the right?   Regards
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