Awaiting previous accountant clearance and filing Tax Return for new client

anniem Registered Posts: 1,326
Not sure what to do about this one!

I have a new client who hasn't yet filed 2013 Tax Return. He started looking for accountant after 31 January filing deadline had passed and he had already received £100 late filing penalty. So not off to a good start already! He doesn't know his year end and had given me a pile of (not too onerous) paperwork.

I contacted the previous accountant who advised there were outstanding fees. Then went back to client to see what had happened; he said this had been sorted and there should have been a credit note.

I have again spoken to the previous accountant who advised that there is an unresolved issue (payment) for this client and that information will not be released until this is sorted out. I have advised the client that I cannot complete his Tax Return until his previous accountant provides clearance.

Should I just hang fire, and wait for this issue to be resolved between client and previous accountant, or should I try and file a Tax Return before end April (to mitigate further late filing penalties) knowing that I do not have sufficient information, haven't got clearance and that an amended Tax Return will have to be filed in due course?

Having written this I think I should just hang fire. My BIGGEST PROBLEM is always that I want to do what is in the client's best interest, which would be to file a quick-but-incorrect return, however I think this will only enable him to 'run away' from his issues with his previous accountant.

PS. As it was a post 31 January client I have already taken a 50% payment up front, to cover myself, as I think these are the ones who are disorganised enough not to pay when the time comes, so hindsight has proved that this was a good judgement call in this instance.
FMAAT - AAT Licensed Member in Practice - Pewsey, Wiltshire
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