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Client's bad manners

Alternatively *************** client

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We have prepared client's tax returns for the last 3 years with no problems Have been chasing for 2018-19 information with no answers forthcoming

Just checked on HMRC website to find Iam no longer listed as the agent

Why couldn't the client just tell me rather than waste my time. I've not been approached my another firm so am just left in the dark

 

Replies (31)

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By Louisemunro320
05th Nov 2019 11:48

We have seen this increase over the past year or two.. What infuriates me is the number of so called backroom accountants working for cash and without practising licences. This is where they tend to migrate to.

Also you have the cloud software (tv advertised) which claims you just press the button and technically dont need an accountant.

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By SXGuy
05th Nov 2019 11:55

Happens all the time. I think I may have 2 this year who will do the same. Usually prompt each year, been chasing for months, 3 months left to file isn't like them at all. Got a feeling ill see another accountant submitted returns if I check.

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By busacrun
05th Nov 2019 12:07

we had one earlier this year who had ignored requests for records - it turned out they were trying to complete their tax return themselves - its a complicated return return with foreign income and pension tapering

they had the cheek to phone us up asking for our help in how to do it and what income to include in what sections!!

needless to say we promptly disengaged

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Replying to busacrun:
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By sammerchant
09th Nov 2019 09:37

Yes, I've had that happen too. A client said he had done his own Tax Return and also the Capital Allowances (part personal use). Would I mind just checking the Return and as it shouldn't take me long, he'd pay me for an hour of my time!

I told him to take his business elsewhere, in no uncertain terms.

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By bernard michael
05th Nov 2019 12:21

The client has now contacted me (after a strong e-mail from me) to tell me she got married last year and definitely wants me to continue to act
"Grovel,Grovel"
The question now is why would HMRC remove me when her NIC no & UTR are still the same as is her address and employment
Surely there should be a link from the old name to the new name or am I asking for common sense and miracles

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Replying to bernard michael:
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By SWAccountant
05th Nov 2019 12:53

We've had clients who we've lost authority for for no reason. HMRC have no record of any new agent or a request to revoke our authority... it just ended.

Still made us go through the normal process to reactivate it.

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Replying to bernard michael:
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By JoF
05th Nov 2019 16:23

Are you going to keep her as a client?

Grovelling has worked for me in the past, but they never really change.

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By Alex_T
05th Nov 2019 13:29

It happens all the time and it's so inconsiderate. They clearly think they can do better themselves. More fool them!

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
05th Nov 2019 13:49

I must admit we do a check after about 3 reminders as this happens to us regularly too.

I never see why its so hard to say "Hi, we have gone elsewhere now/are doing our own" rather than just blanking you.

Its really rude and wastes a lot of time.

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By leeanthonyblackshaw
05th Nov 2019 13:51

Is there a possibility that they've been moved by HMRC to PD1? HMRC don't seem to inform taxpayer or agent but simply disappear from agent list, as paper based unit.

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Replying to leeanthonyblackshaw:
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By JDBENJAMIN
06th Nov 2019 12:17

That happened to a client of mine. A lot of time was then wasted finding out what had happened at HMRC.

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Replying to leeanthonyblackshaw:
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By Trish Baillie
08th Nov 2019 10:48

HMRC told me when this happened to a client of mine - we got a letter saying that he would need to file paper returns in the future and that his records would not be accessible on line.

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By norstar
05th Nov 2019 15:51

I feel your pain. We also do a regular and remove clients who submit their own returns or haven't submitted them as at 31/1 - just to avoid being tainted.

I agree however - if someone is receiving reminders and you've acted for some time, why wouldn't you just drop your accountant a quick email and say "I've done it myself". Rude.

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Replying to norstar:
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By sammerchant
09th Nov 2019 09:39

I cover myself by sending them a Letter of Disengagement .... by recorded delivery.

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By Cloudcounter
05th Nov 2019 16:08

Happened a few times, and it will be because the client perceives the relationship in a completely different way from you. In their view, they have asked you to complete one or more tax returns. They might or might not ask you to complete another. Compare it with using a hairdresser - you go for a few years, then you go somewhere else. You don't feel any need to tell the old hairdresser that you are leaving.

Like it or not, that's how many clients see things. I just accept it and move on.

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Replying to Cloudcounter:
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By Matrix
05th Nov 2019 16:12

Until a return is not submitted and then of course it was an ongoing relationship!

I have about 5 which could turn into one off returns, although I did not know it at the time. They are not my priority and have had 2 reminders so far.

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Replying to Cloudcounter:
By Red Leader
05th Nov 2019 16:33

Yes, that realisation has slowly dawned on me as well. I think you're right, though some do send me a "Dear John, it's not you, it's me" letter.

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By atleastisoundknowledgable...
05th Nov 2019 17:38

Frustratingly, a decent sized client (£15k, 7%) 3 months ago said ‘things aren’t going as I want, you’re on 3 months notice”. Obviously I asked what was going wrong, agreed & both confirmed by email exactly what he wanted in what format, all good. All was going well, all communication from then was just general queries ie nothing negative.

Just had professional clearance letters through.

This is the client who 15 months ago the previous accountants signed their handover letter “good luck”.
TBH if it wasn’t for the money I’m glad I no longer act, he was starting to try and pull the wool over the bank’s eyes.

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Replying to atleastisoundknowledgable...:
By penelope pitstop
05th Nov 2019 21:10

"Good Luck" letter is warning of imminent trouble.

Insert standard paragraph in Engagement Letter saying that if previous accountant uses the phrase "Good Luck" then engagement is null and void.

If only!

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Replying to atleastisoundknowledgable...:
By penelope pitstop
05th Nov 2019 21:11

Ditto

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Replying to penelope pitstop:
By Red Leader
06th Nov 2019 11:09

Yes, "good luck" is definitely a warning sign.

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Replying to Red Leader:
By Glenn Martin
11th Nov 2019 00:17

Its how I always end and clearance letter if the client is a wally.

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Replying to Red Leader:
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By MissAccounting
11th Nov 2019 10:00

Red Leader wrote:

Yes, "good luck" is definitely a warning sign.

It can be but also be careful as we received a reply to a clearance letter from an active user on this very forum and it was signed off "Good Luck..." but theyve turned into one of our best clients! It was clearly sour grapes and the client is good to work with and a great fee to match.

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By bernard michael
06th Nov 2019 10:26

I now have the real (?) answer. The client has just told me that she has found out what has happened Apparently her husband had a discussion with his accountant just after they got married. During this he intimated that they could do my client's tax return as well .....without her knowledge or permission. They must have charged ahead hence the HMRC problem.
Marital disharmony has ensued

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Replying to bernard michael:
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By JDBENJAMIN
06th Nov 2019 12:02

Why did she disappear from your client list at HMRC? Did her husband forge her 64-8 signature?

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Replying to JDBENJAMIN:
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By Practice Admin Monkey
08th Nov 2019 09:59

Or the firm pushed it through the online request. Code, issued, given to the new agency, not a form to be signed...

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By JDBENJAMIN
06th Nov 2019 12:06

I'm just about to send a disengagement letter to someone who has done just this. It happens once or twice every year.

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By Matrix
06th Nov 2019 13:27

While she is embarrassed, offer to do the husband’s tax return and get him to move to you instead.

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7om
By Tom 7000
08th Nov 2019 10:06

They don't ring up Sainsburys and tell them they are going shopping in Tescos now... why should they tell you?

That's their perspective...

Just get used to I,t you are not their mam/mom/mum …...depending where you are reading this.....

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By Hut15
08th Nov 2019 13:03

We've just had this with a Ltd Co client - they even rang me up to arrange a handover meeting saying there were a few things they needed to go through, then they bailed at the last minute and made noises about rearranging. Then total silence. Phonecalls went unanswered, same with emails. In the end we sent a text pretty much assuming they had gone elsewhere and they finally replied to confirm it. And yet when we originally met I would have said they were professional and confident and not the type to ghost their accountant. I can only assume that in the past they've not dealt with accountants who bother with formal disengagement.

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By bernard michael
09th Nov 2019 14:22

You could have said that your hourly rate was £200

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