How To File A Complaint Against Your Accountant

When it comes to dealing with an accountant, few things are more frustrating than having a problem that can’t be resolved. 

If your accountant made a mistake on your taxes or has been unresponsive, the best way to resolve the situation is to file a written complaint with the IRS or state board of accountancy. If you haven’t already done so, read my previous article about how to find an accountant who will take care of you.

How to file a complaint – YouTube
1. Know the Process: Familiarize yourself with the procedures outlined by regulatory bodies like the FRC and ICAEW for filing complaints against accountants.
2. Provide Detailed Information: When submitting a complaint, include all relevant documents, communications, and evidence to support your claim and aid in the investigation.
3. Understand Timelines: Recognize that the duration of the complaint process varies and depends on the complexity of the case and the regulatory body’s procedures.
4. Expect Confidentiality: Regulatory bodies typically maintain confidentiality throughout the complaint process to ensure fairness and protect both parties involved.
5. Potential Outcomes: Filing a complaint can lead to investigations, disciplinary actions, or recommendations for resolution, depending on the regulatory body’s findings.

How Do You File A Complaint?

Check the website of the organization you are filing against.

Check the website of the government agency you are filing against. They will have a page on their website that explains how to file a complaint and who to contact about your case. You can also call them and ask for an employee who handles complaints or an individual in charge of overseeing that department.

If there is no information on their website or if they do not provide it over the phone, try calling someone else who might be able to give you more information about how to handle your case properly and efficiently (see below).

Writing a compelling complaint demand letter is crucial for conveying your grievances effectively. Our guide on creating a complaint demand letter can help you draft a persuasive message that gets your point across.

Make Sure You Have A Legitimate Complaint

Oftentimes, clients come to us with problems that are not problems. They have a complaint that they think is legitimate but it’s not. For example, they might say their accountant didn’t send them an email or call them and let them know when their taxes were due and now they’re in trouble with the state for filing late. 

This is something your accountant cannot prevent or control because tax law changes every year and affects everyone differently depending on how much money they make and what deductions there are available to them.

Your accountant can never predict what will happen in tax law this year or next year so him/her can’t tell you when your taxes are due before he/she prepares them for you at the end of each tax season. 

You should talk about this issue with someone else besides your accountant if you truly believe that s/he was negligent by not communicating correctly with you regarding this matter; maybe speak with a friend who knows more about taxes than yourself (or even ask one of our CPAs!)

Get Everything In Writing

The first thing you should do is get a copy of the letter they sent you. You can do this by asking them to send it, or by requesting it from your online account. If they refuse either way, then maybe it’s time to think about finding a new accountant!

You should also get copies of all their responses and follow-up letters. This will help you understand how they responded to your complaint and whether or not they were responsive enough. 

It may also be used as evidence later on in the process if things get more complicated than just an apology letter from your accountant stating that “they won’t make this mistake again.”

Crafting error-free legal documents is essential to avoid confusion and misinterpretation. Learn about common pitfalls and how to steer clear of them in our article on mistakes to avoid when writing legal documents.

Determine Who To Complain To

You’ll want to start by determining to who you should be complaining. This can be a little tricky, as many companies these days have multiple customer service departments for different types of complaints. 

For example, if you’re having an issue with the work that your accountant did for you, it might make sense to contact the accounting department directly rather than going through customer service; however, this isn’t always possible. 

If there’s no specific number or email address listed on their website and they don’t list any other contact information either (like fax numbers or mailing addresses), then your best bet is probably just calling or emailing them directly but even then there’s no guarantee that those will be enough either!

You might also consider using a search engine like Google along with keywords like “complaint” or “complaints” to see if anyone else has written about similar experiences with this company in the past so that they can give advice based on what they’ve seen happen before – but again: beware false positives!

The Irs Is Not The Place To Go For Technical Errors Or Incompetence

If you have a complaint about an accountant, do not go to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS does not handle such complaints. They will refer you back to your state’s licensing agency or another appropriate authority.

This is because the IRS cannot investigate complaints about tax preparers, including accountants and attorneys. We’re not sure why this is so, but it does leave taxpayers in a bind when they need help with their taxes and can’t get it from the person who prepared them (or even worse: screwed them up!).

Many people think that if something goes wrong with their taxes because of their accountant’s error or incompetence then it’s up to them as customers to fix things on their own and maybe even pay for it too! But that’s not true; accountants can be held accountable for mistakes made during preparation and filing processes they’re legally required by law!

The art of writing legal briefs lies in presenting your case logically and persuasively. Explore our tips on how lawyers can write legal briefs to create documents that engage judges and advocate for your clients effectively.

File Your Formal Complaint In Writing

Write a letter to your accountant, explaining that you are filing a formal complaint against him or her. Include information about what happened and how you feel about the situation. Be sure to include all of the facts, dates, and names of people who were involved in your case.

Write another letter to the IRS stating that you have filed a formal complaint against your accountant, along with copies of all documents used in support of the said complaint. Send this by certified mail so they know they can’t ignore it! Keep copies of both letters for your records.

You Can Also File Your Complaint Online With The Irs

You can also file your complaint online with the IRS. Simply go to, select “Complaint” from the menu on the left side of the screen, and fill out all of the required information. Once you’ve completed this process, you’ll have to print and sign a copy of your complaint before mailing it to:

Mail Stop 8D-ABSM-4P, Room 3C2T1, Internal Revenue Service Center, PO Box 770410 East Point Georgia 30346-0410

Tell Them What You Want To Happen

It’s important to tell your accountant what you want them to do. For example, if you want your accountant to fix the problem, explain how they can do so and when they should have it fixed. If you want your accountant to return your money, specify an amount of time in which they should do this before taking legal action against them. 

If you feel that additional legal action is necessary on top of filing a complaint with your state’s licensing board or attorney general office, let them know that as well so that they understand the severity of their actions and are more likely to take action quickly without adding any unnecessary delays on either side.

Addressing concerns through an effective complaint letter can lead to resolutions. Dive into our guide on writing an effective complaint letter to master the art of expressing your grievances constructively.

Follow Up With The Company Or Agency

It’s important to follow up with the company or agency, but don’t wait too long. You can send them an email or make a phone call, depending on the situation and your preference. Don’t assume that they will automatically follow up with you after receiving your complaint. 

It may take more than one contact from you before they respond. If this happens, don’t be afraid to ask for help from someone who works for their company (such as an administrative assistant).

If Your Problem Isn’t Resolved, File A Claim Or Lawsuit

If you’re still not satisfied with the accountant’s response, and you don’t want to file a lawsuit or claim with the IRS, there may be a state board of accountancy that can help. For example, if your accountant has a Texas license, you could file a complaint with the State Board of Public Accountancy in Austin (or visit their website).

Write A Letter Of Complaint To Your Accountant’s State Board Of Accountancy

If you’ve decided to write a letter of complaint to your accountant, you have a few things to keep in mind. First and foremost, make sure that the board has jurisdiction over your case. If it does not, they won’t be able to help you. 

Next, make sure that the accountant is licensed by their state board of accountancy or another regulatory body with authority over their conduct as an accountant or CPA (Certified Public Accountant).

Finally, find out how long it takes for them to process complaints from consumers like yourself so that you know whether or not there’s any way for them to rectify the situation before filing formal charges against your accountant with government agencies like the IRS or FBI.

A well-structured complaint begins with a thorough drafting process. Our comprehensive checklist for drafting a complaint provides a step-by-step guide to ensure you cover all essential aspects when filing your grievances.

Check To See If Your State Has An Ombudsman Program For Tax Matters

If you live in a state that has an ombudsman program for tax matters, you can file a complaint with them. An ombudsman is an independent representative who provides assistance to taxpayers and helps resolve problems when they arise. Ombudsmen are not associated with the IRS and do not have any authority over tax matters.

An ombudsman program may be available through your state’s department of revenue or another government agency depending on where you live. Each state’s program is different and offers different services, so check with your state tax agency to learn more about how it works in your area.


If you have a complaint, the first step is to talk with your accountant. Hopefully, he or she will be able to resolve your problem by resolving the issues with their agency or company. But if this doesn’t work for you, it might be time to take action.

Further Reading

Explore these additional resources for more information on how to file a complaint against your accountant:

FRC: Making Complaints or Referrals to the FRC Short Description: Learn about the process of lodging complaints or referrals with the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) regarding accountants and actuaries.

ICAEW: Complaints Process Short Description: Gain insights into the complaints process provided by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

AICPA: Ethics Enforcement Short Description: Discover resources from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) on ethics enforcement, including guidance on how to navigate the process.


How can I file a complaint against my accountant?

To file a complaint against your accountant, you can follow the procedures outlined by the relevant regulatory bodies, such as the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) or the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). Each organization provides specific guidelines for lodging complaints.

What should I include in my complaint?

When filing a complaint against your accountant, it’s essential to provide clear and specific details about the issue. Include relevant documents, communications, and any evidence that supports your claim. This will help the regulatory body assess your complaint effectively.

How long does the complaint process usually take?

The duration of the complaint process can vary depending on the regulatory body and the complexity of the case. Generally, regulatory bodies aim to resolve complaints in a reasonable time frame while ensuring a thorough investigation.

Will my complaint remain confidential?

Regulatory bodies typically treat complaints with confidentiality, aiming to protect both the complainant and the accused accountant. However, certain information may need to be shared during the investigative process to ensure a fair evaluation.

What outcomes can I expect from filing a complaint?

Possible outcomes of filing a complaint include investigations, disciplinary actions, or recommendations for resolution. The regulatory body will assess the merits of the complaint and take appropriate steps based on their findings.