Individual Income Tax Services Engagement
Thank you for engaging us to assist you with your tax preparation. We are pleased to provide you with the professional services described below. This letter (the ‘Agreement’) confirms the terms of our engagement with you and the nature and extent and/or limitations of services we will provide. In order to ensure an understanding of our mutual responsibilities, we ask all clients, for whom returns are prepared, to confirm the following arrangements by affirmative signature.
This engagement pertains only to the 2019 tax year, and our responsibilities do not include preparation of any other tax returns that may be due to any taxing authority. The engagement between you and our firm will be governed by the terms of this Agreement. Our engagement will be complete upon the delivery of the returns to you.
Our engagement does not include tax planning services. During the course of preparing the tax returns identified above, we may bring to your attention potential tax savings strategies for you to consider as a possible means of reducing your taxes in subsequent tax years. However, we have no responsibility to do so, and will take no action with respect to such recommendations, as the responsibility for implementation remains with you, the taxpayer. If you ask us to provide tax planning services, we will confirm this representation in a separate engagement letter.
Under the rules of professional responsibility governing our practice, we may be required to provide additional accounting or research services which are incidental to preparing your returns. Incidental services of this nature will be included with the billing of your tax returns.
Our services are not intended to determine whether you have filing requirements in other taxing jurisdictions than the one(s) you have informed us of. You are responsible for determining your tax filing obligations with any state or local authorities, including, but not limited to income, franchise, sales, use or property taxes. We will not research these obligations; however, if upon review of the information you have provided to us, along with information that comes to our attention, we believe you may have additional filing obligations, we will notify you of this responsibility and ask you to contact us. If you ask us to prepare these returns, we will confirm this representation in a separate engagement letter.
We will not prepare any tax returns except those identified above, without your written request, and our written consent to do so. We will prepare your tax returns solely for filing with the Internal Revenue Service and the state tax authorities as identified above.
We will prepare your 2019 federal and Wisconsin income tax returns (collectively the ‘tax returns’) using, and relying upon, information and documents you provide to us, including prior year returns. We will prepare your tax returns based on your filing status (single, married filing jointly, married filing separately, head of household, or qualifying widow(er) with dependent child) as reflected in your prior year tax returns. If your filing status has changed, please contact us immediately.
Unless otherwise noted, we will perform our services in accordance with the Statements on Standards for Tax Services (“SSTS”) issued by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (“AICPA”) and U.S. Treasury Department Circular 230.
You are responsible for maintaining adequate documentation to substantiate the accuracy and completeness of your tax returns. You should retain all documents that provide evidence and support for reported income, credits and deductions on your returns, as required under applicable tax laws and regulations. You are responsible for the adequacy of all information provided in such documents. You represent that you have such documentation and can produce it, if needed, to respond to any audit or inquiry by tax authorities.
It is your responsibility to provide all the information required to prepare your returns. Although we may ask for clarification of some items, information or documentation, we will not audit or otherwise verify the data you submit. Our work will not include any procedures to discover defalcations or other irregularities. The only accounting or analysis work we will do is that which is necessary for preparation of your tax returns. If, during the course of performing this engagement, we discover information or documents that affect any prior-year return, we will bring this issue to your attention. We will not, however, be responsible for identifying all matters that might affect returns for prior years. Should you become aware of any such matter, please contact us to consider the best way to resolve the situation. You have the final responsibility for the income tax returns and, therefore, you should review them carefully before you sign and file them.
By affirmative signature, you represent and consent that it is your responsibility to:
provide all of the information required to for the preparation of complete and accurate tax returns and to retain any documents, canceled checks or other data that support your reported income and deductions, as they may be necessary to prove accuracy and completeness of the returns to a taxing authority, and
ensure the proper recording of financial activities, maintain substantial accuracy of your financial records as well as to safeguard your assets, and
evaluate the adequacy and results of the services we provide.
Taxpayers are required to maintain all the documents that form the basis of income, deductions, credits and payments shown on the return. In addition, some items have specific substantiation requirements set forth by the IRS (e.g., auto, meals & entertainment, and charitable contributions over $250, etc.). If you have any questions as to the type of records required, please ask us for advice in that regard. Your signature on this letter confirms that we have advised you of the record keeping requirements.
We may encounter instances where the tax law is unclear, or where there may be conflicts between the taxing authorities’ interpretations of the law and other supportable positions. In those instances, we must use our professional judgement and we will explain the possible positions that may be taken on your return including the risks and consequences of each such alternative. Ultimately, unless you instruct us otherwise, we will adopt, on your behalf, the alternative which is in your favor where possible, so long as it is consistent with the codes, regulations, and interpretations that have been presented. As tax professionals, we are subject to penalties and assessments and we will not engage in fraudulent actions.
Without disclosure in the return itself of the specific position taken on a given issue, we must have a reasonable belief that the position(s) satisfies the substantial-authority standard and that the position(s) will be held to be the correct position(s) upon examination by taxing authorities. If we do not have that reasonable belief, we must be satisfied that there is at least a reasonable basis for the position, and in such a case, the position must be formally disclosed on Form 8275 or 8275-R, which form would be filed as part of the return. If we do not believe there is a reasonable basis for the position, either the position cannot be taken, or we cannot sign the return. In order for us to make these determinations, we must rely on the accuracy and completeness of the relevant information you provide to us, and, in the event we and/or you are assessed penalties due to our reliance on inaccurate, incomplete, or misleading information you supplied to us (with or without your knowledge or intent), you will indemnify us, defend us, and hold us harmless as to those penalties.
Penalties of as much as $100,000 can be imposed on you for failing to disclose participation in “reportable transactions,” that is, certain arrangement the IRS has identified as potentially abusive. We will insist that all such transactions be properly disclosed. The law also imposes a penalty when a taxpayer has a “substantial understatement” of tax liability. For individuals, a substantial understatement exists when the understatement for a year exceeds the greater of 10 percent of the tax required to be shown on the return, or $5,000. The penalty is 20 percent of the tax underpayment.
Taxpayers may avoid all or part of the penalty by showing that (1) they acted in good faith and there was reasonable cause for the understatement, (2) the understatement was based on substantial authority, or (3) the relevant facts affecting the item’s tax treatment were adequately disclosed on Form 8275 or 8275-R attached to the return and there was reasonable basis for the position. You agree to advise us if you wish disclosure to be made in your returns or if you desire us to identify or perform further research with respect to any material tax issues for the purpose of ascertaining whether, in our opinion, there is “substantial authority” for the position proposed to be taken on such issue in your returns.
If you wish to take a tax position based upon the advice of another tax advisor, you agree to obtain a written statement from the advisor confirming that the position should meet the “substantial authority,” or “more likely than not” standard, as applicable. In preparing your federal tax return, we are subject to a diligence as to accuracy regarding reliance on others standard, as defined in revisions to Circular 230, §10.22(b). To the extent a position is based upon the advice of another tax advisor, prior to preparing or signing the tax return, the AICPA SSTS No. 1 also requires our firm to have a good faith belief that the position has, at a minimum, a realistic possibility of being sustained administratively or judicially on its merits, if challenged. Additional charges will apply to such research.
If we feel a taxpayer is attempting to file a fraudulent return, we will explain our position, and immediately terminate any client relationship and not proceed with the return. You will be responsible for all time and expenses incurred up to the termination.
Your returns may be selected for review by more than one taxing authority. Any proposed adjustments are subject to appeal, and any tax, penalties and interest deficiencies are entirely your obligation. In the event of a tax examination, we can arrange to be available to represent you. Such representation will be governed by a separate engagement for which an engagement letter will be provided to you and invoiced separately based on our standard hourly rate as well as any out of pocket expenses incurred.
We will retain copies of records you supplied to us along with our work papers for your engagement for a period of not to exceed four years or the standard statute of limitations if shorter. After such time, we will commence the process of destroying our work papers and engagement files. All of your original records will be returned to you at the end of this engagement when the services rendered are initially complete. You should keep the original records in secure storage for future reference. The balance of our engagement file, other than a copy of your tax returns, which we will provide to you at the conclusion of the engagement, is our property, and we will provide copies of such documents at our discretion, unless required by law, and only if compensated for any time and costs associated with the effort.
Our fees for this engagement are not contingent on the results of our services, but rather, will be billed at our standard hourly rates which are based upon several factors including, but not limited to, time and skill level required to prepare the tax returns properly as well as any out-of-pocket costs incurred in connection with the performance of our services.
Our fees and costs will be billed as work progresses and are payable PRIOR to receiving a copy and/or the electronic filing of your return. We reserve the right, and will suspend our services, in the event that any of our invoices are deemed delinquent. Services will not be reinstated until all open invoices are paid in full and an applicable retainer fee (deposit) has been paid by your financial institution. We reserve the right to retain such deposit until consistent, timely payments have been made on the account, but not to exceed one year.
If either party elects to terminate our services for nonpayment, the guidance of our professional standards or for any other reason provided for in this letter, our engagement will be deemed to have been completed upon written notification of termination, even if we have not completed the specified engagement. You will still be obligated to compensate us for all time expended, and to reimburse us for all of our out-of-pocket costs, through the date of termination. We will notify you in advance of any decision by us to withdraw and will take all reasonable steps to assist in the orderly transfer of your tax services. Additionally, the client further acknowledges and agrees that in the even we stop work or withdraw from this engagement as a result of the client’s failure to pay on a timely basis for services rendered as required by this engagement letter, we shall not be liable for any damages (including, but not limited to, filing penalties and interest) that occur as a result of ceasing to render services.
In connection with this engagement, we may communicate with you or others via email transmission. As emails can be intercepted and read, disclosed, or otherwise used or communicated by an unintended third party, or may not be delivered to each of the parties to whom they are directed and only to such parties, we cannot guarantee or warrant that emails from us will be properly delivered and read only by the addressee. Therefore, we specifically disclaim and waive any liability or responsibility whatsoever for interception or unintentional disclosure of emails transmitted by us in connection with the performance of this engagement. In that regard, you agree that we shall have no liability for any loss or damage to any person or entity resulting from the use of email transmissions, including any consequential, incidental, direct, indirect, or special damages, such as loss of revenues or anticipated profits, or disclosure or communication of confidential or proprietary information.
If the tax returns prepared in connection with this engagement are filed using the married filing jointly filing status, both spouses are deemed to be clients of the firm under the terms of this Agreement. Both individuals acknowledge that there is no expectation of privacy from the other concerning our services in connection with this Agreement. We are at liberty to share with either of you, without prior consent of the other, documents and other information concerning the preparation of your tax returns.
Lastly, please note that your 2019 tax returns are due no later than July 15, 2020. Please submit your information by June 1, 2020 to help ensure your returns can be completed by the deadline. An additional extension of time to file may be requested before the due date, allowing you to extend your tax return due date until October 15, 2020. If an extension is filed, please submit your information by August 1, 2020 to ensure your tax returns can be completed by the extended deadline. If we receive your information after this date, we will make every effort to complete your returns without an extension but will give priority service to clients who submitted information on time.
It may become necessary to apply for an extension of the filing deadline if there are unresolved tax issues or delays in processing, or if we do not receive all of the necessary information from you on a timely basis. Applying for an extension of time to file may extend the time available for a government agency to undertake an audit of your return or may extend the statute of limitations to file a legal action.
The extension is an extension of time to file your tax return and not an extension to pay any tax liability due. If any tax is due or you think it may be due, you must pay that amount to the IRS and any applicable state taxing agency by July 15, 2020. If payment for estimated taxes is not made timely, any amounts not paid by the filing deadline may be subject to interest and late payment penalties.
Federal, state and local tax authorities impose various penalties and interest charges for noncompliance with tax laws and regulations, including failure to file or late filing of returns as well as underpayment of taxes. You, as the taxpayer, remain responsible for the payment of all tax, penalties and interest imposed by tax authorities.
The Client hereby agrees that any liability of Strive Tax & Accounting, LLC under this agreement, regardless of form of action, shall be limited to the most recent monthly amount billed for services agreed to hereunder as its exclusive remedy. Client agrees that it shall not make any claim against Strive Tax & Accounting, LLC beyond such amount of monthly account, and Strive Tax & Accounting, LLC may rely on this paragraph as a complete bar to any such claim.
More specifically the Client agrees Strive Tax & Accounting, LLC is not, and shall not be deemed to be liable for any losses resulting from advice provided by them or either of them, or from work done by them, or for loss of profits of the Client or of any other party which may flow there from, whether it be direct or incidental, whether or not they have been advised of the possibility of such damages, and the Client acknowledges and agrees to same hereto.
Neither party may bring any action arising out of the services under this agreement, regardless of form, more than one year after the date of the last services provided under this agreement.
IN NO EVENT SHALL EITHER PARTY BE LIABLE TO THE OTHER PARTY FOR ANY INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, SPECIAL OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, BUSINESS INTERRUPTION, LOSS OF OR UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS TO INFORMATION, DAMAGES FOR LOSS OF PROFITS, INCURRED BY THE OTHER PARTY ARISING OUT OF THE SERVICES PROVIDED UNDER THIS AGREEMENT, EVEN IF SUCH PARTY HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. IN NO EVENT WILL NEITHER PARTY’S LIABILITY ON ANY CLAIM, LOSS OR LIABILITY ARISING OUT OF OR CONNECTED WITH THIS AGREEMENT SHALL EXCEED THE AMOUNTS PAID TO BOOKKEEPER DURING THE 60 DAYS PERIOD IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING THE EVENT GIVING RISE TO SUCH CLAIM OR ACTION BY CLIENT.
This engagement letter is contractual in nature and includes all of the relevant terms that will govern the engagement for which it has been prepared. The terms of this letter supersede any prior oral or written representations or commitments by or between the parties. Any material changes or additions to the terms set forth in this letter will only become effective if evidenced by a written amendment to this letter, signed by all of the parties.
We expect to begin our services upon receipt of all documents requested by our office.
If your federal return is electronically filed, our services will conclude upon the earlier of:
the filing and acceptance of your 2019 tax returns by the appropriate tax authorities and mailing or delivery of non-electronically filed tax returns (if any) for your review and filing with the appropriate tax authorities,
written notification by either party that the engagement is terminated, or
one year from the execution date of this Agreement
If you file a paper return, our services will conclude upon the earlier of:
mailing or delivery of your 2019 tax returns for your review and filing with the appropriate tax authorities,
written notification by either party that the engagement is terminated, or
one year from the execution date of this Agreement
You may terminate this engagement at any time. Should you do so, however, you remain liable for all unpaid fees as discussed above. Otherwise, this engagement will be considered complete upon filing your returns with the respective tax authorities. Should you decide to terminate our relationship or become an inactive customer, we will adhere to the privacy policies and practices as described in this notice as well as the Firm's Record Retention and Destruction Policy.
Thank you for allowing us to serve your accounting, tax, and consulting needs. We value your business and are committed to protecting your privacy. We hope you view us as your most trusted advisor, and we will work to continue earning your trust and respect.
If, after full consideration and consultation with counsel if so desired, you agree to authorize us to prepare your tax returns pursuant to the terms set forth above, please execute this letter on the line below designated for your signature and return to our office. If we are unable to attain signature, then we will not proceed to provide you with any professional services and will not prepare your tax returns.
This engagement letter is contractual in nature and includes all relevant terms that will govern the engagement for which it has been prepared. The terms of this letter supersede any prior oral or written representations or commitments by or between the parties. Any material changes or additions to the terms set forth in this letter will only become effective if evidenced by a written amendment to this letter, signed by all parties.
If, after full consideration and consultation with counsel if so desired, you agree to authorize us to complete the above undertakings pursuant to the terms set forth above, please execute this letter on the line below designated for your signature and return the original of this executed letter to this office.
Thank you for permitting us to be of service. We value our relationship with you and hope you view us as your most trusted advisor. We will work to continue earning that trust. Please contact us with any questions that you may have.
Strive Tax & Accounting, LLC