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Unpaid account

Unpaid account

We have a client who has an unpaid account dating back to May 2005 in respect of simple self employment accounts and tax return completion including employment income.

On the basis that the same client took many months to pay the account in 2004 we did not submit the tax return, awaiting settlement before doing so.

We have been obliged to pursue the account through the Small Claims Court; the client has now 'gone elsewhere' to have the tax return completed and filed, and is counterclaiming on the basis that we did not provide professional service in failing to file the tax return in good time. Are we in the wrong?

Anon

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By frauke
18th Jan 2006 19:01

Outstanding debt
Many years ago I found myself spending too much time taking clients to court for none payment of fees. Getting judgement was not a problem, getting paid afterwards was.

Now I don't bother, clients that have outstanding fees, don't get work done until they are paid in full. Then I ask for a payment on account prior to doing anymore work. If they refuse, they can take their business elsewhere. I'd rather take life easy than work for free!

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17th Jan 2006 10:11

Engagement letter

Did you have an engagement letter in place (signed by the client)?

If so, what does that say about non-payment of fees and ceasing to act?

David

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17th Jan 2006 10:03

It all depends!
Hi Anon

If you wrote to the client, by recorded delivery of course (!), stating that their return would not be completed and filed unless and until the outstanding debt was paid, then they have no case. Don't be scared by the court; they do NOT like chancers and will not be at all sympathetic with your ex client. The chances are that he is just trying to work the system and scare you off. STICK WITH IT, as long as the paper trail is in place.

Of course if it's not you're stuffed, and well deserve it!

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19th Jan 2006 23:44

Getting Paid
If your paperwork is in order, you could always send a "Statutory Demand". You tend to get paid within 21 days!

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