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Should I disengage from angry client?

DcollinsDcollins Well-KnownRegistered Posts: 179
I have a client who lost his rag with HMRC on the phone. He then rang me and continued the rant, but peppered it with 'I know it's not your fault'. The thing is, HMRC hasn't done anything to warrant his anger, other than follow their own guidelines for a VAT repayment. HMRC are acting reasonably, and I've explained why they need to ask for more information, but he's now asking me if he can sue HMRC!

The client has failed to follow my advice on several occasions, doesn't read letters and emails from HMRC or me properly, and 'can't be bothered' with paperwork. And so far I've only done VAT returns.

I'm thinking of disengaging before he wants to sue me, because I just don't have any confidence that what I tell him gets through. Am wondering how other MIPs handle such cases. Any advice would be welcomed.



  • payrollpropayrollpro Trusted Regular Hampshire/SurreyRegistered, Working Together with HMRC Posts: 418
    My view is that I would not want such a client at all. We all have the right to hand back client records, suggest they find a new adviser and wish them well for the future.

    In this case, however, I wonder if such an action, at this moment may actually precipitate legal action from the client.

    If he is that angry you fear he will make a complaint of some sort then sending him packing is only going to exacerbate the situation so why not work with him, if you can, to sort out the current problem and then when it is fixed and you've been paid collect up his records and ditch him.

  • MonsoonMonsoon Font Of All Knowledge FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,071
    My gut feeling is 'get rid' but PP makes a very good point about possibly triggering something from the client, in which case it may be better to wait until this particular issue is dealt with.

    Should you disengage? Definitely, absolutely and without a shadow of a doubt. The question is of timing.
  • DcollinsDcollins Well-Known Registered Posts: 179
    Thanks both, needed a sounding board - that's the trouble with working alone.

    I'm planning to see through this VAT repayment (if nothing else it's good for my CPD), and I've no reason to believe he has cause to complain about me, just a general worry. Will extracate myself diplomatically.
  • Steve CollingsSteve Collings Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 997
    Sorry I'm a bit late on this one!

    I tend to think clients like this are more hassle than they are worth - often wanting a Rolls Royce service for the price of a clapped out Austin Metro! Invariably they end up causing no end of misery for you and put disproportionate demands on your workload!

    Be careful with this guy and don't take any flak!

    All the best

  • DcollinsDcollins Well-Known Registered Posts: 179
    Thanks Steve
  • DeanDean Experienced Mentor DevonRegistered Posts: 646
    Sorry I'm a bit late on this one!
    Be careful with this guy and don't take any flak!

    ....and get paid up front!


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