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Shabbat Parashat Vayeitzei 5777

Vayeitzei | 10 Kislev 5777 | 10/12/2016

P'ninat Mishpat: Switching Accountants Due to Slow Results

The plaintiff (=pl) provides tax refund services, and the defendant (=def) used him originally to his satisfaction. For tax year 2009, he requested a major refund, due to receiving severance pay from three sources and becoming self-employed. The tax authorities (=mas hach) ruling was greatly delayed. Finally, the refund was rejected, mas hach demanded payment, and they froze defs bank accounts when he did not pay. Def turned to his new accountant for his business, and several months later received a refund of 18,000 shekels. According to pl, the new accountant complicated his ability to expedite the request because pl no longer was able to communicate with mas hach as the legal representative and receive needed materials. That, along with the requests complexity, explained mas hachs delay. Pl claims that based on their old signed contract, def owes him 25% of the discount (4,410 shekels) plus penalties for late payment as stipulated in the contract), even if def asked someone else to continue the work. The fee is justified because pl receives nothing if there is no refund. Def claims that he is not contractually obligated because he did not sign on a contract for 2009, and his accountant could have done it for much less money. He had asked to end pls work, and he agreed to continue only because of pls pleas and promises until he could wait no more. Defs accountant explained that pl acted ineffectively, including that he did not physically visit mas hach.


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A weekly divrei Torah leaflet: A Glimpse at the Parasha, Ask the Rabbi, From the writings of Harav Avraham Yitzchak Hakohen Kook, ztl, Pninat Mishpat (Jewish Monetary Law).

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