Lawrence Maloney of Abington Bad Accountant

Looks like one of my favorite posts didn’t make it over from the textpad/wordpress switch. I repost it here in full, just in time for tax season:

So Kin-Girl had an accountant. Running her own business, it is a smart idea to have a professional do her taxes. So this accountant Larry does them. He advises her she will never be audited in the first three years of being in business. He advises she does not have to pay quarterly estimated taxes. He figures her home/business space/time usage percentage to be 90%. (Having put together a shared expenses excel sheet previously, we followed the guidelines and figured it for around 38%.)

When Kin-Girl went to pick up her taxes, Larry made her sign a waiver for liability, trying very hard for her to sign it and not read it. She did sign it, but felt very weird about the whole thing. After we talked, she looked at her return a little more. It just did not seem right. She decided to stop payment on her check until she had it checked out. She left a voicemail for Larry stating as much. If another accountant thought it was ok, she would remit payment to Larry.

The other accountant choked when he saw the return. He proceeded to do her taxes using the correct formulas, and wound up getting her a bigger return. Larry sent her a letter threatening to sue her if she did not pay, and demanding the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any persons in disagreement with his work (read – the other accountant.) Our response:

Tiny Treasures
Family Child Care

April 8, 2004

Lawrence Maloney
68 Chestnut St
Abington, MA 02351
781-871-0793
781-871-7519

Dear Lawrence:

In response to your letter dated 3/25/2004, I feel I am completely justified in the canceling of payment. The manner in which you presented the form disavowing you of any liability for mistakes, and hurried fashion in which you wanted me to sign it caused me much concern. I did not feel this was a normal practice, and was uncomfortable in that you did not want me to read it closely.

Your previous advice that I would not be audited, and did not need to file quarterly taxes compounded this concern. It clearly states on the Internal Revenue Services web page that :

Federal income tax is a pay-as-you-go tax. You must pay the tax as you earn or receive income during the year. There are two ways to pay as you go: withholding and estimated taxes. If you are a self-employed individual and do not have income tax withheld, you must make estimated tax payments.

If I am exempt from this, you never properly explained why, nor made me comfortable with it.

I was also made very uncomfortable by the pressure I felt by your solicitations for refinancing my mortgage.

I looked closely at the paperwork you gave to me. Your figure of 90% deductibles for split business/household expenses did not seem correct. I had previously figured the percentage to be under 50. I checked the math myself, and can not comprehend how you arrived to the conclusion there are only 5,088 hours in a year. Simple multiplication shows 24×365 = 8760. In fact, the IRS Form 8829 – Expenses for Business Use of Your Home specifically states this:

Knowing from this one look that you miscalculated all of my shared deductions, leaving me liable for audit and penalties (not you as you forced me to sign a release,) I knew I could not turn your work in as my tax return. I found it very unfair that I would have to pay for another accountant to redo all of my taxes, after paying you and getting extremely poor results. As such, I cancelled payment on my check for your services.

You ask me to furnish a list of people who are discrediting your work so you may contact them. Your work alone is what discredits you. I have spent entirely too much time on my taxes for 2003. Time I do not have to waste. I have not yet contacted any licensing boards or professional groups, such as the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Public Accountancy, to report your practices. Continue to waste my time and attempt to sue me, and I will spend the time to make sure they review the performance you have done for me. I will also counter-sue for treble damages, for the time you have cost me and the emotional upset and worry caused by your behavior and performance.

Sincerely,
Rachel Canto
Owner/Provider

Fair warning to anyone looking for an accountant south of Boston, avoid Larry Maloney like the plague. Oh yeah, you might not want to fuck with Kin-Girl either.

COMMENTS:

1.
Why fuck around? I’d take a copy of his letter and your rebuttal to the appropriate professional association and send this fool to the heezy.
— Da Kine Apr 8, 11:07am #
2.
I wasn’t going to publish it online here, but then I thought, when I searched on him, only his phonebook listing came up. I am pretty sure a couple of days from now any prospective client who Googles him will know exactly what kind of job he does. That’s good enough for now. If he does waste any more of our time though …

I think he sent it as a bluff. Send a scary letter, maybe get paid. Yeah, Like Kin-Girl would cower to the mean words he said. I am hoping he goes forward. I love writing nasty-grams. Hell, BMAN taught me how to do it, He’s hoping I get a response tonight and let him reply at 4:30am. As Edo and I have seen, that’s when he does his best work.
— Kin-Shay Apr 8, 4:17pm #
3.
It’s so nice to have the Corcorans on your side. The thing that made me most uncomfortable about signing his release was I had to practically beg for a copy of it. There are so many unethical things this man advised me to do. I am now starting to think that it would be kinda fun to see him in court, however there has been no response as of yet to the nasty-gram.
— Kin-Girl Apr 8, 4:36pm #
4.
Are you using his real name? Because he’s not listed anywhere in the Mass. License Search (http://license.reg.state.ma.us/pubLic/licque.asp?color=red&Board=PA). Maybe he’s not licensed? Yikes.
— Jenn Apr 8, 7:12pm #
5.
Hmmm…I looked at all of the Maloneys and everyone in Abington, and I didn’t see him there. I’m guessing he isn’t licensed.
— Da Kine Apr 8, 8:45pm #
6.
Guess what comes up first when you type “Lawrence Maloney” accountant into Google?

On a side note, Mozilla doesn’t like MT. I went to author some stuff through Firefox and the font buttons (B i u URL) don’t show up. WTF?
— Da Kine Apr 8, 8:53pm #
7.
Those buttons probably IE-specific widjets, maybe?
Sac up and type your own markup, son.
— Jake Apr 8, 9:30pm #
8.
Or you can lobby the boss to get this action working.
— Jake Apr 9, 10:55am #
9.
Any update yet? What the frig is gonna happen to this schmuck?
— Da Kine Apr 10, 1:39pm #
10.
OK, seems that Larry is not a CPA, he is a Certified Practioner of Taxation. Kin-Girl’s bad for not checking out his background first. A CPA would know that 24 x 365 = 8760. I guess a certified practioner of taxation would not be expected to know such highly involved mathematics and tax laws. Not that anyone who can use a calculator and recognize numbers can figure that one out.

I have not seen the criteria for becoming certified, but apparently 5th grade math is not one of them. Again, Rachel’s bad for not knowing who she was dealing with. But come on …
— Kin-Shay Apr 12, 12:04pm #
11.
Some more-

Being the curious fellow that I am, I called the National Association of Tax Practitioners for some help. They verified they are a professional organization, and that Laryy there is a member. When I asked about the CPTx, they could not give me much help. They did seem interested in the fact that this fellow could not multiply. The customer service rep was willing to transfer me to another department to discuss my issues, but I decided to wait on that, for now.

So I google the old CPTx and here’shere’s what I found.
— Kin-Shay Apr 12, 12:16pm #

~ by kinshay on 2006-02-02.

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