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What would you do?

What would you do?

Didn't find your answer?

Briefly, client fairly new to me; filed own returns for years, brother of longstanding client, came to me due to HMRC enquiry.

I sorted enquiry without tax or penalties due, but it emerged he'd been completing self-employed pages to disclose his rental income.

I also completed his 2014 return.

He promised to let me have 2015 info on a couple of occasions, most recently two weeks ago; just looked on HMRC list and see he's filed it himself. However, guess what, he's used the Self-employed pages again! The amount he's been charged for Class 4 NIC is considerably more than I'd have charged him for the work.

So, to my header - what would you do?

Replies (9)

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By Phil Yaboots
23rd Jan 2016 22:20

The client is an idiot - at best. Disengage. Have you been paid anything for work to date? What did your engagement letter provide?

Thanks (1)
By birdman
23rd Jan 2016 22:25

re Idiot

...quite - but no work done other than chasing, and no POAs taken as it's only a "tiddler" really, so disengagement the obvious route; however, I do have the option of being helpful, and I am interested to see the consensus here.

BTW, I do seem to get a inordinate number of typos whilst trying to post here, and have to keep on going back and correcting - is that just me?

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By mrme89
23rd Jan 2016 22:30

Don't let the him know
Don't let him know the error of his ways. He'll just try and amend it himself.

Just disengage.

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By Phil Yaboots
23rd Jan 2016 22:54

You have been helpful and for whatever reason he's decided to do what he wants rather than appreciate your efforts. If it's a small job, all the more reason to get rid.

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By Tim Vane
23rd Jan 2016 23:49

Ring him up. Offer to redo the return for free on condition you keep 50% of any tax you save him.

No reason you shouldn't benefit from his idiocy rather than the exchequer.

Thanks (2)
By Cloudcounter
24th Jan 2016 09:49


The first question is whether you had any right to look at his tax return.  I don't know the answer, but I'm sure that there is a school of thought that says that you don't as by filing his own return he's made it clear that he's not using your services.

Either way, I'd disengage,  This has happened to me a couple of times (and yes I deed peep at the returns, which were both wrong, one overpaying and the other with stupid expense claims for a subbie)  But having looked, I didn't tell them.

Just sent out disengagement and closed the files.  The subbie actually came back a few years later but I declined to act.  The bloke clearly doesn't value what you do, so good riddance

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By The Grammar Police
24th Jan 2016 21:32

It's a question of morals

It begs the question, when does a 64-8 expire?

We've all got ex clients still on the HMRC list, and we all take a look on occasion.

It's one click to remove them, but curiosity is a strange bedfellow......................


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By stepurhan
24th Jan 2016 21:58

Still agent

Until the client has told you he is dispensing with your services, or you have disengaged yourself, you are still their agent. As such, I can't see any trouble arising from looking at the return in this scenario. Especially since he was talking about you dealing with it as recently as two weeks ago. It would be different if he was an actual ex-client who just happened to still be on your list.

As others have said, just disengage. If you mention the return at all in doing so, simply mention the fact of it being filed being taken as an indication they don't require your services. No need to say you've looked at it, and no obligation to tell them what's wrong. After all, if they did the same thing before, you've told them once already.


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By birdman
24th Jan 2016 22:49

Thanks all!

I shall disengage forthwith! It will be interesting to see if he gets another enquiry, and what happens if he does.

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