Engagement and disengagement


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We had a client who signed up for their tax returns. We completed the engagement and received the fees upfront. However, before commencing the work, the client decided to move on and is now requesting a refund. While I acknowledge the 14-day cooling-off period for online contracts, it has been several months since their signing. Are we obligated to refund the fees?

Replies (10)

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By stepurhan
16th Apr 2024 09:33

More of a legal question, but from an ethical point of view do you think you should be holding on to fees when you won't do the work? You could argue a retention for work undertaken to fully engage the client, but keeping anything above that is likely to be bad for your reputation, even if your terms legally allow it.

Thanks (7)
By David Ex
16th Apr 2024 09:40

Very annoying but you’ll waste more time arguing the toss if you don’t repay the fee. Just comfort yourself with the thought that you’ve avoided taking on a client who would probably have been a pain in the ….

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By lionofludesch
16th Apr 2024 10:57

Yes, you are.

Don't accept fees up front if you're not prepared to repay them if thed work's not done.

"Fees up front" should be about ensuring you're paid, not about fleecing your client.

Thanks (11)
Replying to lionofludesch:
By Paul Crowley
16th Apr 2024 11:03


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Replying to lionofludesch:
By Leywood
16th Apr 2024 11:25

+another 1

Why do morals, decency and ethics seem to go out of the window on an ever increasing basis?!

Thanks (4)
Replying to lionofludesch:
By Mr Hankey
16th Apr 2024 12:18

Another +1

If you've not done the work, it's rather underhanded to trouser the beans via the back door.

Thanks (4)
Replying to Mr Hankey:
By FactChecker
16th Apr 2024 14:10

Now there's a mixed analogy of which I've no desire to see a slo-mo action replay! :=)

Thanks (7)
By johnthegood
17th Apr 2024 12:11

you need to ask?

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By indomitable
17th Apr 2024 13:40

I think most have already said it all. Forget what your engagement letter says I would refund the fees if you haven't done any work

You could charge an admin. fee for AML, KYC etc, if this is stated in your engagement letter

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Replying to indomitable:
All Paul Accountants in Leeds
By paulinleeds
17th Apr 2024 22:57

I'd charge for the AML, KYC etc (say £200) and repay the balance.

Thanks (1)