accountant screw up with SEISS

She messed up, lied and is not supporting my complaint, I have lost SEISS grant which I needed

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So, my accountant offered to do my returns for free to help in these hard times. I gave her the information by email. She said she did not get it. I resent it, she answered that email positively and in good time for her to do this simple task. Then I got a fine from HMRC which meant the returns were late. She didn't seem to be bothered and was not actively helping me. I was denied the SEISS 4th and 5th grants. I have been banned from working for half a year and this money was vital. I have copies of all texts and emails which I sent to her, she has not looked at them, or if she has she is denying there was a problem, blaming me for giving her the details too late. My fault, apparently, although the email was sent on 23rd Feb, she said I didn't give figures until 2nd March. She said she did returns on 2nd March, but later said 3rd March, which is late. I am so stressed out, she was a family friend.  I cannot find out how to get help. I even threatened legal actions, but she just said OK. I cannot be the only person in the UK who has had this type of problem. Please if you have any suggestions for helping me, tell me. Thanks

Replies (54)

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By Matrix
22nd Sep 2021 18:48

If you believe that you have suffered a loss as a result of your accountant’s actions, then review the accountant’s complaints procedure and make a claim for which she will likely need to involve her insurers.

Although, given SEISS 4 was announced on 3 March, I think such steps should have been taken 6 months ago (if you believe you have suffered a loss as a result of her actions).

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By New To Accountancy
22nd Sep 2021 22:30

Well, I've just booked 52 driving lessons with Janis. 1 per week.

(Whispers: but I'm going to miss 51 weeks worth and go ballistic if she can't do all 52 in the last week. I don't care that she has other learner drivers, it's all about me. Then I'm going to the papers and my MP) .

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By atleastisoundknowledgable...
23rd Sep 2021 09:18


1. Should she have lied? No. But we don’t know her side of the story - maybe it wasn’t a lie.
2. Given that you’ve been in business at least 15 years and know the filing deadline is 31/1, should you have given your records in around 2/2? Also no. What you’d been doing for the 6 months you weren’t working is irrelevant - you knew a deadline of at least* c9 months and missed it.

There’s only 1 of the 2 above that we know to be factually correct from your side of the story. There’s only one that HMRC care about.

I’d be interested to know when in the at least c9 month deadline period 5/4-31/1 you normally give your records to your accountant. In years that you are working all year. Without an enforced 6 months not working. In years that tax return compliance isn’t needed for grants but just legal compliance.

* as has been pointed out albeit not explicitly, if your year-end is 30/4, you actually have a 21 month deadline

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By Catherine Newman
09th Oct 2021 15:47

Accountants look forward to quiet time in February and a chance to catch up with filing and necessary jobs that don't get done in January. The extension to 28 February was to help accountants get their work done as a result of helping clients apply for grants which prevented them from getting proper work done.

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