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Pursuing a claim against your accountant

Anybody can call themselves an accountant, and some who call themselves an accountant may not have the skill to provide proper financial advice and services. Regardless of their skill and qualifications, a professional who holds themselves out as an accountant has a duty to their clients to provide their services with reasonable care and skill. This is known as the duty of care.

Sometimes, even the most skilled professionals make a mistake. Some of the issues that we have seen include:

  • Failing to file tax returns on time, leading to fines from HMRC
  • Structuring a company incorrectly so that the owner was not able to claim tax relief
  • Calculating PAYE incorrectly

As with all professional negligence claims, you will need to prove that the accountant breached their duty of care and that this has caused you a loss. In the case of accountants, this means that you have been ordered to pay a fine or other money that you would not otherwise have had to pay.

For example, if your accountant files your taxes incorrectly and HMRC asks you to pay the amount of tax that you would have had to pay if the accountant had filed your taxes correctly, then the accountant has been negligent but they have not caused you any loss.

Time Limits

There are strict time limits to bring a claim for professional negligence against an accountant. That time limit is normally 6 years from the date of the negligence. In some cases, if you do not find out about the negligence, or the damage that it has caused until a later date, you may still be able to bring a claim. This means that if you believe that your legal professional has been negligent you should not delay in making an enquiry of our expert team, who will be able to advise you on all aspects of your claim.


Once we have assessed your claim, we can offer a number of funding options. We often accept claims on a no win, no fee basis, where you only pay our costs if we win and which you can read more about on our funding page. We can also offer discounted fees and other funding methods where appropriate.

If we have to issue proceedings, we can also advise on minimising your risk by obtaining an appropriate insurance product to protect you from adverse costs awards.

Whether you are an individual or a business, Specters’ expert team has over 25 years’ experience in resolving professional negligence disputes. We believe in dealing with matters without the need for lengthy and expensive court proceedings and we will help you devise the right solution to your problem.

Contact our friendly team to enquire or start your claim today.
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