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I'm 7 months into my first Software contract and setup a limited company before hand. I chose a local accountant based on recommedation and am now regretting doing so as communication is very poor (for example changes email without notifying).

The accountant failed to provide P30s for the last few months resulting in a debt with HMRC which I was unaware of and has been accumulating interest, not much but still worrying. I Tried to call the accountant but he's on holiday (yet again).

I've called HMRC directly and had to sort everything out myself and paid off the debt as soon as I was made aware.

I checked the contract I signed to see how much notice I would need to give to end services as naturally I want to leave this accountant and noticed the contract is for 2 years and thereafter 3 months notice is required.

Is there a way out of this contract? I'm quite clueless, the whole point of paying an accountant was so I didn't have to worry about this sort of thing.

Thanks.

  • You're looking for what is known as a "repudiatory breach" of the contract. That means a serious non-compliance with the contract, which deprives you of "substantially the whole benefit of the contract". Why am I am not saying one way or the other that what has happened to you is a repudiatory breach? Because it depends on the terms of the contract, the background to the contract, and other matters. Sorry, that's the way the law works! – lellis Feb 3 at 7:15
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A distinction has to be made between incompetent and unsatisfactory. Beware defamation laws, when you accuse someone of being professionally incompetent. Poor communication is not grounds for breaching a contract. It is not entirely obvious that your P30s problem is a breach of contract on the accountant's part – it might be, depends on what the contract says. You should hire an attorney to scrutinize the contract, as well as looking into the question of the accountant's duty to you as a customer. It might turn out that the accountant has been negligent, or you may have higher expectations than you contracted for. But you might have grounds to sue the accountant in which case terminating the contract would be preferable (from the accountant's perspective).

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    In addition to this, the OP is at liberty to just inform the accountant that he is terminating the contract early due to unacceptably poor performance. It would then be for the accountant to sue for the rest of the money. If the accountant has any sense they will drop the matter and the OP's goals are accomplished. – Paul Johnson Feb 2 at 10:56

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