Lobb & Plewe Attorneys At Law

Accountants: There are times to refer your client to an attorney

The duties and responsibilities of accountants and business law attorneys often overlap. Sometimes, the lines become so blurred that it’s difficult to see when professional legal help may be necessary. If there is ever any question concerning whether to involve legal counsel, accountants should always err on the side of caution.

Be aware of confidentiality issues

It’s always best to have a lawyer prepare any business-related legal documents. Purchase agreements, business contracts and articles of incorporation are better left to legal practitioners. Conversely, tax and certain other financial matters are usually best left to accountants.

While some lawyers are capable of preparing tax returns for their business clients, doing so can waive attorney-client privilege regarding the information contained in the tax return. Waiver issues can also arise when preparing profit-loss statements and other documents.

Take note of potential red flags

Accountants should pay particular attention anytime they run into a potential legal problem. For example, if you find that your client has failed to report a substantial amount of income or has claimed deductions where they shouldn’t, you should refer them to a qualified attorney. If you attempt to quickly amend a tax return on your own, you’re effectively admitting your client misstated their tax information.

A skilled business attorney can help navigate this potential minefield. Doing so can help ensure your client’s interests remain protected throughout this process.

You should also turn to a legal professional if you believe your position on a tax issue is likely to run into friction from the IRS. By seeking legal counsel, you can help insulate yourself and your client from the potential risks of IRS pushback.

Both accountants and attorneys are invaluable to their business clients. You should view your respective services as complementary, and always turn to legal practitioners if there is ever any doubt.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For a Response

Find Out More About Us

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Corona Office
4160 Temescal Canyon Rd.
Suite 202
Corona, CA 92883

Phone: 951-335-0465
Phone: 951-788-9410
Fax: 951-788-0766
Corona Law Office Map

Murrieta Office
25240 Hancock Ave.
Suite 315
Murrieta, CA 92562

Phone: 951-600-1007
Fax: 951-600-1116
Murrieta Law Office Map

Las Vegas Office
9205 W. Russell Rd.
Suite 240
Las Vegas, NV 89148

Phone: 702-622-8451
Fax: 702-441-0231
Las Vegas Law Office Map

office image office image office image