CLIENT ENGAGEMENT LETTER
Thank you for the opportunity to work with you in preparing your income tax returns. To foster a complete understanding of our relationship, take a moment to review the following information.
We will prepare your income tax returns based solely on the information you furnish to us. Upon completion of your tax returns we will return any original tax documents to you. From time to time our office may retain scanned copies of your documents for our records, however you should retain all documents, cancelled checks and other data that form the basis of income and deductions and other tax return forms, schedules, elections and disclosures. Such documents include but are not limited to, proper records to support deductions claimed for meals, entertainment, travel, business gifts, charitable contributions, and vehicle use (if applicable), as well as bank and credit card statements. These records will be necessary to prove the accuracy and completeness of the returns to taxing authorities, should your returns be selected for examination. We recommend keeping all documents and copies of your returns for a minimum of five years after you file your tax returns or after their due date, whichever is later.
Our work in connection with the preparation of your income tax returns cannot be relied upon to disclose errors, irregularities or illegal acts, including, without limitation, fraud that may exist within the documents or figures you provide. We will use our professional judgment in resolving questions where the tax law is unclear or where there may be conflicts between the tax authority’s interpretations of the tax law and other supportable positions. Unless instructed by you, we will take a tax position in your favor whenever reasonable. We cannot provide any assurance that tax positions taken will not be challenged or ensure the ultimate outcome of such a challenge. Moreover, we cannot be responsible for issues arising from any income, expenses or other information not provided to us at the time of tax preparation or prior to the filing of your returns.
Please note that this engagement, and this firm’s services, include but are not limited to general and annual income tax related services. Unless specifically requested by you, and agreed upon in writing we do not provide any services related to payroll tax, sales tax, excise tax, and personal or real property tax. Nor can we be relied upon to determine or report your compliance, or lack thereof, with any Federal, State, or Local business related laws, health care or human resources regulations, retirement plan compliance or any business, property, or professional permitting/licensing.
The charges for our services are on a “per form” basis with references to time spent by our professional staff to perform the work, and costs incurred for related supplies and expenses, including copy charges, long distance phone charges and computer processing charges. Our fee for the preparation of your tax returns will be due and payable upon presentation of your completed income tax filing. It is company policy not to release tax returns or any tax related reports, schedules, information, advice, or notes without payment in full. Should a situation arise where services have been rendered but payment is not received and our firm is forced to or elects to seek legal assistance to collect fees due to us, please note that you may be asked to reimburse our firm for the legal costs to collect any outstanding balance due.
Because we understand that cost is an important issue for many clients, we will do our best to provide you with an estimate of our fees prior to completing your returns but please understand that circumstances arise which may raise or lower the estimated fee. We will contact you if such a situation arises after you receive an estimate.
While it is always our hope and goal to keep out fees the same each year, for calendar year 2017, Finesse Tax Accounting, LLC has instituted a small, across the board, fee increase of $25. This is a one time charge that applies to all clients and has been installed to cover the large increase in federal and state compliance costs our firm is enduring as a result of some major tax legislation and changes to the way the preparer community is governed. This fee applies to clients whose returns remain the same from the prior tax year. If your return is dramatically different whereby a fee increase or decrease would have resulted, this $25 dollar increase will not apply and our firm will assess your fees accordingly with our engagement policy regarding fees. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause but our firm has been absorbing these costs for over a year and this increase, while again not our hope or goal, was simply unavoidable.
Upon completion of your returns and after you have paid your tax preparation fees we will provide you with a copy of your returns as well as the e-file signature authorizations and any applicable payment vouchers to complete your tax filing. You should review the completed returns carefully. If you see anything that requires changing please bring it to our attention immediately and we will either explain the matter to you or correct it without delay and provide you with new, corrected copies. If you are satisfied with the returns and see no issues, please sign and date the e-file signature authorizations and return them to this office immediately. Please note that all taxing authorities prohibit us from transmitting your tax returns without signed authorization from you. Please also note that if your returns can not be e-filed we will provide you with paper copies to sign and mail to the taxing authorities.
By signing this engagement you are agreeing to compensate Finesse Tax Accounting, LLC for services you have requested. In the event you terminate the engagement prior to the completion of your tax accounting work, Finesse Tax Accounting, LLC reserves the right to invoice you for any out of pocket expenses, time at our hourly rate, or other expenses that were incurred during this engagement. If you sought in person consultation services, received advisory services by phone or email, sought representation work or received any tax accounting services, by signing this engagement letter you are agreeing to compensate Finesse Tax Accounting, LLC for these services, even if you terminated the engagement prior to our firm completing the work requested or required.
Please be advised that if you receive any correspondence from a taxing authority that pertains to a tax return prepared by this firm we will be happy to address this matter on your behalf. Included in the cost of your tax preparation is 30 minutes of correspondence work per tax year at no additional charge. During that 30 minutes we will assess your situation and apprise you of the course of action we believe is best to take. If we can also compose and send off a reply to the appropriate taxing authority then we will certainly do so. If the matter or issue will involve more than 30 minutes of work, each additional hour (or fraction thereof) will be billed at a standard hourly rate of two hundred and fifty dollars ($250) per 60 minute hour. When possible, we will do our best to inform you if we believe your issue will require more than 30 minutes to handle, however there may be a situation when we are unable to inform you in advance. Even if we are unable to inform you, the standard hourly rate listed above will apply and is payable upon completion of this work. At any time in the process you may choose to have us cease our work in connection with your correspondence but we will require said request in writing with your name and signature included. If, during the course of this work, it becomes apparent the correspondence received was due to an error or omission by this office there will be no charge for handling the correspondence regardless of the time involved. Please note that except in cases where our office is deemed at fault, a flat $50 dollar handling charge will be assessed for all matters where our assistance is requested in handling any such correspondence from any taxing authority. This charge is not included in your annual tax preparation fees and is payable upon completion of our work in connection with said correspondence.
Please also note that audit/examination representation work is not included in the tax preparation fee and is considered a different engagement with a separate fee structure. If you have any questions regarding the specifics of audit/examination representation please feel free to ask any time before, during or after your appointment. Again if your returns are audited or examined by any taxing authority, for any reason, the fee you paid for their preparation does not include the costs to represent you with regard to any audit or examination.
Finesse Tax Accounting, LLC takes your privacy and personal information very seriously. We will take whatever steps are necessary to safe guard that information and will never sell or disclose said information to anyone outside the firm for any reason. Please note that while we will protect your confidential information, our firm, from time to time, will need to utilize some of your information for internal purposes not related directly to your current year tax preparation. An example of this usage would be mailing you a newsletter or holiday card to your confidential home address or perhaps a personal phone call to wish you or a member of your family greetings or a happy birthday. By signing this letter you agree to allow our staff limited access to your information for such informal, non-tax preparation related situations.
Please also note that in an effort to help combat the increasing threat of identity theft and to ensure the returns filed by our firm are accurate, true, and pertain to the proper client or taxpayer, Finesse Tax Accounting, LLC reserves the right to request, as condition of our providing services, certain documents to verify your identity and the identity of others you may be listing on your tax returns. This is for your protection and for the protection of your spouse and/or dependents and these documents will be safeguarded to the best of our ability and in accordance with our document protection procedures. Such documents requested by our firm may include but are not limited to; government issued photo identification, Social Security Cards, birth certificates, or visa and immigration related documents.
If you agree with the terms of our engagement as described in this letter please sign below. Please be aware that by signing below and giving us your income tax information, you expressly agree to the terms of this engagement letter. We want to thank you for putting your trust in Finesse Tax Accounting, LLC and look forward to a long and mutually satisfying relationship.
Michael L. Fine, CSA
Finesse Tax Accounting, LLC