David S. Talesnick served as the accountant for Kenneth Ronson and his wife as well as for Ronson’s company, performing accounting and tax services for all. From 1980 to 1983, Ronson, his wife, and his company invested in the White Rim Oil & Gas, Pine Coal, and Winchester Coal limited partnerships. During those years, the Ronsons and his company were able to report losses on their income tax returns because of these investments. However, the IRS determined that the limited partnerships were not qualified investments under the tax code and disallowed the loss deductions. The Ronsons and his company all owed back taxes, interest, and penalties as a result. The Ronsons disputed the finding and asked Talesnick how they might appeal the ruling and not have the interest clock ticking on what they owed. Talesnick wrote a letter and advised them to post a bond of $91,300, the amount then due. Talesnick was incorrect in his advice on payment and accrual of interest, and by the time the final determination was made against the Ronsons and Ronson’s company, they owed $235,063 with interest. The Ronsons sued Talesnick for malpractice. Could they recover? How much? [Ronson v. David S. Talesnick, CPA, 33 F. Supp. 2d 347 (D.N.J.)]
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