Ask Amy: Accountant Makes Mistake on Tax Return and Doesn’t Admit the Error

Dear Amy: My brother asked me to be part of their wedding party.

I was positively shocked.

I’ve never been asked to be part of a wedding party before. I love and respect my brother enormously, even though we are not very close.

Although I want to support them on their special day, I’m getting scared to stand in front of people, and the wedding won’t even happen until the end of next year.

All the presentations I had to give during my studies until my master’s degree caused my face/body to turn so red that I was asked if I had a severe sunburn.

A beta blocker sometimes helped, but it wasn’t guaranteed.

I also suffer from hyperhidrosis, where I can easily sweat through an entire outfit in minutes and end up with soaked clothes for people to see.

How can I tell my brother that I want to do it, but I don’t think I can handle it?

My anxiety about not being the center of attention led me and my fiancé to plan a private wedding with only our young children and parents.

My brother doesn’t even know it yet (the wedding date hasn’t been set), so should I announce this news at the same time?

How can I say this so that no feelings are hurt?

– Too shy

Dear Too Shy: It was nice of your brother to include you in their wedding party.

You’ve probably been to weddings, so you know that when you’re at the wedding party, you’re up there with others – and the focus is mostly on the couple getting married.

All the same, the assistants are definitely on stage, and the thought of that causes you a lot of anxiety. You must be honest in your response.

I guess your brother might expect it to be difficult for you. So respond (as soon as possible): “I’m so honored that you asked me to support you!” But I’m really worried about doing this, so I hope it’s okay if I cheer you on from behind the scenes. I think that’s the most I can do.

Ask if there are other ways to help during the planning process.

When it comes to your own marriage, you shouldn’t combine these two conversations. You have every right to design and enjoy your own wedding however you choose, but you should do your best to separate the two events.

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Dear Amy: For decades I did my own taxes, until a few years ago when we were audited.

After that, I found a local company to handle our personal income taxes.

Recently, the state revenue office informed us that our accountant had made a very basic mistake – she entered federal income instead of state income on one of our state tax returns.

I sent our accountant the letter from the state and asked if it was true that we owed nothing. She replied, “That’s right. Thanks for sharing!”

It definitely undermines my confidence in her and I feel helpless without the expertise to detect further errors.

And frankly, it pisses me off that she didn’t admit she made a mistake.

Since our expensive audit, all things tax have been intimidating to me, and I don’t know what to do – ask for another accountant, change firms?

Or should I just hope she learned from the mistake?

– Stress and Taxes

Dear Stress: This is a business relationship. Yes, people make mistakes, but when someone you hire makes a mistake, they need to admit it, correct it, and then work to restore your trust.

Since this is a new arrangement and your accountant has not done any of this, you should contact the firm and ask to be matched with another accountant.

Interview this new person and make sure they are good communicators.

Dear Amy: Thank you for encouraging people to tip generously.

These days, tips are spread across a range of employees and can include the busser, runner, dishwasher, maintenance staff, and cook.

So when you’re tipping, look across the dining room floor and think about how the tip goes to a lot of them – and reconsider that it’s a scoring system for the waiter.

Until the tipping system is fixed, workers live on those tips.

– Also Generous

Dear Generous: Thank you for offering this very good advice.

(You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy Where Facebook.)

©2022 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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