Can I sue a tax professional for not having my taxes ready to file on tax day?

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Can I sue a tax professional for not having my taxes ready to file on tax day?

My taxes did not get filed on time,so I got my file back from the tax service but didn’t get my money back. Can I sue to get my money back?

Asked on April 27, 2012 under Business Law, Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Did the service contractually agree that the taxes would be ready on tax day? Or if they did not contractually commit, did they represent to you (i.e. promise) that they woudl be ready on tax day, and was that representation a material, or significant, part of the reason you hired them? If the answer to either question above is "yes," then you may be able to sue for a return of some or all of your money, based on either breach of contract (if there was an agreement as to when it would be ready) or fraud (if they promised and knew when promising that they could not deliver on time). Otherwise, you most likely could not sue--if there was no committment or promise to have the taxes ready on tax day, there is likely no cause of action (many people file for an extention; it is not automatically actionable to not have taxes ready by April 15). Note also that even if you could sue under one of the grounds above, if you got something of value from them--e.g. they partially completed your taxes, and turned that work over to you--that would reduce what you could recover; to the extent you received value, you cannot obtain compensation or reimbursement.

 


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