USA New tax practice, new client, unbelievable books...what to do?

Feb 28, 2014
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Hello everyone,

Recent transplant from another tax website which is no longer working for me and I need help. This year I decided to do a couple smaller returns on the side that my firm would not be interested in. I'm starting small, with five 1040s and one 1120S.

The problem is this 1120S. The client sent me what is supposed to be a trial balance, unfortunately it is a complete disaster. We have accounts like "borrowed money paid back" (expense item)," money lent " (revenue account), "payroll" which is also a BIG revenue account. They have accounts all over the place, nothing ties to bank statements and in general, it's a complete disaster. Also, this will be their first tax return, new entity formed in 2013.

I've never had to deal with anything this bad and quite frankly, I don't even know where to start. Suggestions?
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VIP Member
May 12, 2011
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United States
You cannot prepare a tax return based on clearly unintelligible financial information. To do so would be gross negligence on your part. In which case the client and the IRS can pursue you.

Those books need to be re-done. If you can do that submit a proposal (based on hours not flat fee cause you do not know how much mess is there) If they refuse I'd pass on doing their return.

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