Advisers Beware: The Cost of Being Sued Is Going Up

Document Type



Published by The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants in The Tax Adviser, volume 38 issue 12, 2007.

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American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

Publication Source

The Tax Adviser


The number of malpractice cases brought against tax advisers for negligent tax advice has increased greatly in recent years. In most of these cases, the plaintiffs attempt to recover interest charged by the IRS on the tax liability that is a result of the adviser's negligence. There is no national rule regarding the recovery of interest, and the issue has been decided in the courts on a state-by-state basis, with some states yet to address the issue. Traditionally, recovery of interest is not allowed as a matter of law; however, in an increasing number of states, courts have held that the issue is a matter of fact and allow recovery if a plaintiff can prove damages. Courts in South Dakota and Pennsylvania held in 2006 that the recovery of interest is possible and is a matter of fact to be decided on a case-by-case basis.