by Brian Mahany
The term “malpractice” strikes fear in the minds of many professionals… doctors, lawyers and accountants. For most people, their only interaction with an accountant occurs during income tax filing season. People make that once a year visit, drop off a box of receipts and that’s it. For many other people, however, their accountant is also a tax planner, adviser, business consultant and financial planner.
CPA’s commit malpractice when they deviate from a standard within the accounting industry. Examples include:
- missing filing deadlines resulting in penalties
- making errors on returns that result in penalties
- providing bad tax planning and accounting advice
- failing to file FBARs (Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts) for those with offshore accounts
- wrongfully certifying financial statements
- recommending impermissable welfare benefit plans (there is a growing number of claims against CPA firms who sold or “blessed” these 419 and 412(i) plans)
- failing to detect fraud
- payroll processing fraud
As the Internal Revenue Code becomes more complex, the chances for mistakes increases.
Luckily, most CPA firms carry insurance. While the local tax preparer who hangs his “Taxes here” sign on the street corner is usually not insured, CPAs generally are. Unless the actions of the accountant were intentional, their negligence and errors may be covered. Theft, embezzlement and fraud are not usually covered by insurance, however.
If your accountant made a mistake that cost you money, don’t delay in seeking help. The period for pursuing claims for professional malpractice varies widely from state to state but in some cases, could be as short as 1 year! If the accountant does not immediately make you whole for all your losses, contact an experienced accounting malpractice lawyer.
The attorneys at Mahany & Ertl represent victims of accounting malpractice and fraud. We are both experienced tax lawyers and fraud recovery attorneys. Our unique experience can help you get back your hard earned money. For more information, contact attorney Brian Mahany at (414) 704-6731 (direct) or by email at
Mahany & Ertl – America’s Fraud Lawyers. Offices in Milwaukee, Detroit and Portland (ME).