2020 Tax Preparation Engagement Letter
We are pleased to be able to serve you in preparing your 2020 federal and requested state income tax returns. This letter is to specify and confirm the terms of our engagement with you and to clarify the nature and extent of the services we will provide. Our fees will be based upon our current rate schedule. Ethical guidelines and our professional liability insurance requires this form to be completed – this is to your advantage.
Safe Tax will prepare your 2020 federal and requested state corporate income tax returns from information you will furnish us. We will not audit or otherwise verify the data you submit, although it may be necessary to ask you for clarification of the information provided through our required due diligence. We may furnish you an organizer to guide you in gathering the necessary information. Your use of an organizer will assist in keeping pertinent information from being overlooked. The filing deadline is Wednesday, April 15, 2020. We will need all information at the earliest possible time, but no later than Wednesday, March 24, 2020 in order to meet the filing deadline.
It is your responsibility to provide all the information required for the preparation of complete, comprehensive and accurate tax returns. You should retain all the documents, cancelled checks, and other data that form the basis of income and deductions. These may be necessary to support the accuracy of the tax returns to a taxing authority. Current tax laws state that you have the final responsibility for the income tax returns. You therefore should review them carefully before signing them.
Our engagement cannot be relied upon to disclose errors, irregularities, or illegal acts, including fraud and defalcations, which might exist. We will perform accounting and bookkeeping assistance only as determined to be necessary for preparation of the income tax returns. In addition, we will use professional judgment in resolving questions where the tax law is unclear, or where there may be conflicts between the taxing authorities’ interpretation of the law and other supportable positions. Unless otherwise instructed by you, we will resolve such issues with you and in your favor whenever possible.
If an extension of time to file your tax return(s) is required, any tax that may be due with the tax return(s) must be paid with the extension. Any amounts not paid by the filing deadline are subject to interest and late payment penalties. All costs in this regard are your responsibility but we will assist in verifying the accuracy. This includes any additional fees for the extension as well as any penalties and/or interest that may be due because of the late payment.
Tax law provides for various penalties that may be imposed when taxpayers understate their tax liability. If you would like information on the amount or the circumstances of these penalties, please contact us.
It is your responsibility to provide sufficient amounts of money to pay your taxes so that we can submit them in a timely manner on your behalf. You understand and acknowledge that you are solely responsible for defending any and all claims and paying any and all damages that may arise out of your failure to sufficiently fund your tax obligations in a timely manner; and/or your request that we delay submission of your taxes beyond the due date for any reason whatsoever. Moreover, you agree to defend and indemnify Safe Tax against any and all claims arising out of or related to any such circumstances.
Your tax returns may be selected for review by the taxing authorities. Any proposed adjustments resulting from that review are subject to certain rights of appeal. In the event of such government review or tax examination, we will be available upon request to represent you and we might issue additional invoices for the time and expenses incurred.
As additional consideration for us to provide you these services, you agree that the extent of our liability for damages to you for any actions taken will not exceed the total amount actually paid by you for our services. You agree that this will be your only remedy and you hereby waive any other claims you have now or in the future for actual, incidental, and consequential damages, including, but not limited to, lost profits and third-party claims.
On occasion there may be an opportunity to refer you to another organization for services or products that we believe could be beneficial to you. We may, or may not, receive some form of compensation for such referral. Your signed consent to this arrangement is appreciated.
Regardless of the location of your residence or business, the Fulton County District Court, the State of Georgia, or the appropriate federal district court having venue, will have jurisdiction over all controversies that might arise regarding this agreement.
It is agreed by us that there are no other agreements or understandings between us relating to the subject matter of this engagement agreement and that it supersedes all prior income tax return engagement agreements and the like, either written or oral, that exist or may have existed for the 2020 tax year. Neither this engagement agreement nor its execution have been induced by any reliance, representation, stipulation, warranty, agreement, or understanding of any kind other than those expressed in this agreement. No change or modification of this engagement agreement shall be valid unless made in writing and signed by the parties.
Either of you or Safe Tax may cancel this engagement at any time by any form of written or electronic notice. If you cancel and we have performed any work prior to our receiving your cancellation notice, you agree to pay us for such work performed based upon our current rate schedule. We may use any deposits or payments already received and apply them to your account.
Client Disclosure Statement
I(We) verify that the information provided in this digital form is accurate and complete. I(We) understand it is my(our) responsibility to include any and all information concerning income, tax deductions and other information necessary for the preparation of my (our) tax returns.
Security and Privacy Procedures
Your security and privacy are very important to everyone at Safe Tax. We want to outline the various policies and procedures which are implemented to protect your confidential information.
Our office building is a single tenant structure and is locked after hours. All guests and clients who arrive at our office must check in with one of our administrative assistants. During tax season, it is common to have 5-6 employees throughout our 1,100 square feet of office space. All employees are continuously aware of the surroundings, and challenge anyone who is not escorted or recognized.
We require all employees to be aware of security and privacy and sign a non-disclosure agreement. All new employees are screened with a background check with and we also conduct credit and financial screening bi-annually for all employees.
We have one printer/copier for all sensitive and tax document printing located in the tax admin areas. Printers are routinely monitored by the tax admins, and all employees are required to retrieve printouts immediately after printing. On our Closing Checklist, the last tax admin for the day must file any printouts or shred them.
Safe Tax is generally a paperless work environment. Workflow management and document interaction is primarily electronic. Each workstation is equipped with several monitors to allow for efficient use of electronic documents. It is very uncommon for tax documents to be printed which adds to our security and privacy initiatives.
A shredder is located in the tax admin area which is used to shred any and all tax documents after use. Shredded documents are promptly discarded each day.
Our data is securely stored on cloud-based servers Microsoft One Drive and Box.com.
Emailed Tax Returns
We will upload your tax returns and other confidential docs to our secure portal on Box.com. You will be prompted to create a login for an individual folder assigned to you once we receive your documents. All docs will be shared through your individual folder via our secure portal. Your folder cannot be accessed by anyone else other than you or those you have shared that folder with.
We will never send personal information such as social security numbers, dates of birth, or passwords through email.
We use Box.com and Microsoft OneDrive to securely allow you to upload files to us, and for us to upload files to you. They use 256-bit encryption and market themselves to firms specifically in the financial and accounting industries. Your Client Portal acts like cloud storage with one exceptionall files are synchronized with our local file servers. This allows us to efficiently process your uploaded files and to back up your data locally.
Online Digital Forms
Safe Tax has selected Typeform and Captainform as our third-party providers of secure digital forms. All sensitive information is encrypted and is never emailed. All Safe Tax employees must enter a unique password to retrieve forms with sensitive information (such as SSN, driver’s license and banking information).
Credit Card Payments
Credit card numbers and associated information is encouraged to be entered directly into our Xero credit card processing web portal. If there is a technological reason to record this information on paper, it is immediately shredded after being entered into our payment processing system. Please contact us with additional questions or concerns. We wanted to briefly explain the several policies and procedures to protect your security and privacy. Thanks!
Record Retention Policy
In accordance with Safe Tax current record retention policy, we will retain our work papers and copies of your financial reports and other records for the engagement for seven years. We will provide you copies of all reports prepared that should be a part of your books and records. If you should need replacements, we will provide additional copies which might incur additional costs to you. All of your original records will be returned to you upon request only. After seven years, our records pertaining to this engagement will no longer be available. Physical deterioration or catastrophic events may shorten the term during which our records will be available. The work papers and files of our firm are not a substitute for your original records. It is agreed and understood that in connection with the performance of our engagement, the work papers prepared by us will remain property of Safe Tax.
This is being furnished to you as required by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley act of 1999, which addresses in part the protection of individuals’ privacy. This is the annual notice required by law.
Safe Tax treats any information concerning our clients and former clients with strict confidentiality. Consistent with that policy, we restrict access to non public personal information concerning you to staff members who must have it in order to provide you the products and services for which you have retained us. We do not disclose any personal or confidential information to anyone else without your express permission to do so, except as permitted or required by law. In addition, we maintain physical, electronic and procedural safeguards that comply with federal regulations to guard your nonpublic personal information. We may disclose any of your nonpublic personal information that we collect about our customers, former customers to our affiliates or to non-affiliated third parties as permitted by law. This policy will continue.
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.