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Infolawyer, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 1780
Experience:  Experienced lawyer
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I red a law firm to handle some tax issues (past returns not

Customer Question

I hired a law firm to handle some tax issues (past returns not filed, identity theft and hoping for an offer in compromise). They brought in their accountant who has a separate company. I paid the law firm $2500 and the accountant $8000 to compile 4 years worth of tax returns (business and personal). I had a small restaurant - no investments, no complex filings. It has been 5 months and I still do not have one return complete. Is this reasonable. Do I have any recourse? I paid for everything up front. They are a reputable law firm in Orlando.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I need you to be more specific in your question(s) if you could. When we answer general ones like "What is my recourse", "what are my rights", or "what are my options" we have to give general answers and, invariably, the customer responds with "I already knew that". This type of forum works better if you ask specific questions so we know exactly what you are looking for.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can I push to get some of my money back and hire another accountant? I imagine they are well prepared to fight me but would five months fir relatively simple tax preparation be considered unreasonable?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

Five months isn't per se unreasonable. It can be unreasonable, it just isn't automatically. It depends on the work involved, the amount of paperwork you turned over to them, the price you paid (whether you paid for exclusive service or whether you want them to work it in).

Be Right back.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I turned over the paperwork in good format - no loose receipts. All expenses categorized etc. When they were pressuring me to make a decision and pay they continually said - "if we don't get this taken care of I can't protect your bank accounts if the IRS decides to garnish your wages". I paid the full amount within 30 days and hired them not on a when you can work it in basis.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

Sorry, I'm having a few computer problems today.

I used to work with a lawyer that I sent people to for planning trusts, IRS problems, etc. He always said figure a month and a half to two months per year of returns. I'm not sure if that is industry standard or not but I wouldn't think 5 months is an issue, particularly if no specific deadline was given.

What you need to do now is find out what specific date they are planing on having them all done and at that point you make the decision on what to do. If they are going to have them done in a week, it's not worth pursuing. If they are going to have them done in a year, then it likely is.

Have they given you any idea on a time?