paulb
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Clients

Clients

Just some thoughts wanted.

I called a client & asked him if he had his books & records ready (sent him a usual questionnaire previously) to my surprise he replied "no need I have done them" "What do you mean, done them." He replied with "well I submitted them online myself - so I don't need you." Ok I wished him the best of luck and if he needed an accountant in the future then please get back to me.

I decided out of curiosity to take a look at the return online. I noticed he had used my details as agent and requested a tax rebate circa £1000. Now I know he has not included all expenditure unless it changed hugely from last year! However it's the using my details that annoys me. It looks as though he has nominated for the repayment to come to my client account!

Two points - What do you think..

1. I'm going to charge him for processing the tax rebate say £50.00 if it hits my account.

2. I do not support his figures - should I inform HMRC that I am not his agent and request he amends the return or is it a little childish!!

The fee was only around £250 per year but hey it’s the little things in life that wind us up! I BET HE WILL CALL WHEN HE NEEDS TO RENEW HIS TAX CREDITS!

He will get a reply then..

 

Replies

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23rd Apr 2012 10:15

Personally ....

I would send a disengagement letter, and add what you have said above, ie. he has prepared and submitted his own return but did not have your permission to use your agents details or client account.

I would inform HMRC I was no longer his agent and when he wants his refund/tax credits info I would give it him less a small admin charge .... but I would probably give him his refund in full, just to get rid of him and let him sort out his own tax credits!

If you do charge him a fee make sure the invoice cannot be interpreted as you providing him with accountancy services!

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23rd Apr 2012 13:11

I think i would go a step further by

returning the cheque to the Revenue and then advising this client that that is what you have done and he will have to call the revenue to get it reissued.  At least that way there is no trail back to you or your involvement if they do enquire, otherwise it may appear as though you in some way rubber stamped things by allowing use of your bank account.

 

 

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By mm01
23rd Apr 2012 13:42

I would also return payment

I would also return payment to HMRC although not sure how best this would be done given its probably going to be paid to the client account electronically?

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23rd Apr 2012 13:52

by cheque - covering letter explaining...

why.

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By paulb
23rd Apr 2012 21:11

After thinking about it you

After thinking about it you are all correct. I will be sending a cheque to HMRC detailing why. No deduction just letting it go.........

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23rd Apr 2012 23:13

how petty can you get

send it on to him - dont waste your time seding it back and dealing wuth the fall out

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By paulb
23rd Apr 2012 23:36

I don't think that would be wise. Have a think about the what if's - I do not know if this rebate is correct (genuine) I have not had sight of any figures, statements, records.

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24th Apr 2012 09:29

Not petty, just being cautious

If the return submitted by the ex-client turns out to be a load of old rubbish and an enquiry ensues, then you will have clearly demonstrated that this return was nothing to do with you whatsoever.

If you process it through your clients' account when he is no longer a client, it muddies the waters somewhat.

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24th Apr 2012 10:04

I'm with carnmores

But literally.  Just send on the cheque along with the disengagement letter.  This will leave him with a cheque payable to you.  If he wants to have the money he will have to contact the Revenue himself to explain why it shouldn't have gone to you, but directly to him.  That way you aren't involved in the loop of even thinking about whether the figures are justified.

And if he does want you to process the repayment you can explain that you'd have to do the figures in order to put your name to it.

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24th Apr 2012 13:14

Petty...well in this case I would prefer to

'waste' my time sending the cheque back to hmrc rather than sending it to an ex client...not spent any more time doing it.  And I certainly wouldn't like to rely on the ex client to explain how a cheque for him ended up in my account (he wouldn't dare say i approved his calculations would he.?!?!...)....call me cautious but playing a straight bat (in criciket terms that is) on this occasion leaves no explanations required. 

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25th Apr 2012 09:41

Why does he want to use your client account ?
???? Alarm bells
If the repayment is fraudulent then you have handled / laundered the proceeds of crime ?

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25th Apr 2012 10:06

Let's not make assumptions

My guess is that he just copied the return you prepared the previous year and changed a few figures! Many clients think that is all we do, anyway ;)

Lots of people don't have any common sense (or bother to engage brain), and they don't consider how their actions affect other people. 

I doubt it is anything more sinister than that, but it would be wise to send a disengagement letter pointing out your concerns, and, if you feel the need, return the refund to HMRC.

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Paul Bulpitt
25th Apr 2012 10:25

just a form filling adding up machine !

ShirleyM wrote:

My guess is that he just copied the return you prepared the previous year and changed a few figures! Many clients think that is all we do, anyway ;)

That's all you need to do for HMRC ! LOL

It will get worse with cash accounting as there will be no meaningful comparatives to judge the figures by.

Best one I've seen is just put it all down as dividends for a non existent company......income.....and no tax either.

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25th Apr 2012 10:58

I am confused by some of the answers

The OP said that the (ex-)client had nominated him and given his client account details to receive the tax refund, so that will be an electronic transfer, not a paper HMRC cheque.  The option to either return the HMRC cheque to HMRC or to forward the HMRC cheque made payable to the OP to the (ex-)client does not exist.  The OP will have the tax refund sitting in his client account.

For the reasons given by other posters, I would not take the positive action of writing a cheque on my client account to the (ex-)client.  I would suggest writing to HMRC immediately to ask them to delete you as the (ex-)client's agent and to not send you any tax refund.  If the refund still arrives in your client account, send a cheque to HMRC with a copy of your original letter.

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25th Apr 2012 11:50

or advise HMRC

that they appear to have made a payment erroneously to your account and ask them what they would like to do about it.

And

or tell ex client he will have to take the matter up with HMRC

At the end of the day the ex - client has used your client account without your approval.,,,and you have a suspicion that the return may not be correct.

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