Outstanding invoice

Hi All,

I had a client who I completed a self assessment for last year, he had been a client for some time so I didn't ask for payment before submitting the return as invoices had always been paid. However several months later the invoice (just under £200) had not been paid and he had not returned any of my communications, however this morning I received a letter from him saying he had changed accountants and could I let him know of any outstanding monies owed. While I do believe the non-payment has not been intentional and perhaps a slip of the mind I am reluctant to give any paperwork until I receive payment.

My question is, I imagine his new accountants will get in touch to receive a copy of his last tax return and professional clearance but can I withhold this information until I receive payment? I am sending a copy of the outstanding invoice to the client and hopefully I will receive this before the new accountants get in touch.

Has anyone been in this situation before?

Thanks in advance


  • burg
    burg Moderator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,441
    His records are his and you cannot take a lein over his records i.e. bank statements, sales invoices, receipts. Your working papers and the accounts are yours until paid for. You are within your right to request payment of outstanding fees before passing over any working papers.

    If you receive a clearance request you can reply stating you have no objections to the clearance (if applicable) and you will pass on all information as soon as there outstanding account has been settled.

  • kelsmick
    kelsmick Registered Posts: 89
    Thats what i thought. I don't have any of his actual paperwork, these were returned after I completed his return so anything I have is my own workings and papers so I thought that would be the case but thought I would double check!

    Thanks for the advice.
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