TERMS OF ENGAGEMENT – TAXATION SERVICES

Thank you for engaging NDEdwards & Co to provide taxation services.

This document sets out the terms of our engagement.

Our advice will cover only those taxes that we have been engaged to provide advice on.  It will not cover any other taxes.  Please refer to our agreed engagement letter with you.

The scope of our engagement will be limited to performance of the services listed in our agreed engagement letter with you.  If the scope does not meet your requirements or you would like to discuss it further, please contact us.

We consider that we have the necessary expertise to perform the services covered by our engagement.  However, any changes to the scope of our engagement may require us to reconsider the terms of our engagement and/or make new arrangements with you.

Where relevant, the conduct of our engagement may be governed by Standards issued by the Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards Board including APES 110 Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants, APES 220 Taxation Services, APES 315 Compilation of Financial Information and APES 320 Quality Control for Firms.  In addition, section 30 of the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (Cth) contains an ethical code for registered tax agents dealing with honesty and integrity, independence, confidentiality, competence and other responsibilities.

This is not an audit engagement.  Accordingly, this engagement cannot be relied upon to identify irregularities, fraud or other illegal acts and errors in your business or affairs.

If you wish to change the scope of our engagement, please contact me.

Background

We understand that:

  • you will prepare and provide us with access to the necessary financial records to complete the work outlined in the Scope above;
  • the financial and other information provided by you may be relied upon by us in preparing the income tax returns and BAS; and
  • we are not responsible for the accuracy or completeness of the information provided by you.

Team

The following persons will be engaged on your matter:

  • Nicholas Edwards; and
  • Phoebe Tang.

Please note that other personnel may be used on this engagement as and where appropriate.

Timetable

Our services will be performed according to a timetable agreed with you.

A penalty may be imposed upon you if the return is late for lodgement.  A general interest charge may also apply where payment is late.  We therefore ask that you always provide us with information and documents by the dates we request.

Fees

Name Position Hourly rate excluding GST Hourly rate including GST
Nicholas Edwards Lawyer & Chartered Accountant $273 $300
Phoebe Tang Administrator & Bookkeeper $80 $88

We charge by reference to the time we spend on your matter.  Fees for the work carried out by the team will be as follows:

These rates may change from time to time. The new rates will apply from the date of the change.

The actual fees and rates charged by us reflect the seniority, expertise and experience of the persons involved, as well as factors such as the time frame in which this work is to be carried out, the particular nature of the retainer and the complexity and risks of the matter.

As you may appreciate, it is difficult to predict our costs for this matter given that our estimates depend on the nature and complexity of the matter and any taxation issues that arise.

We note that this estimate is based on our current instructions.  If we become aware that the above estimates will change, or your instructions or other circumstances change, we will contact you as soon as practicable to discuss a new quote.


Payment

Our fees are to be paid to the following bank account:
Bank:   HSBC
Name:  Nicholas David Edwards
BSB:     342-078
A/C No:  62411-412

Your disclosure and record keeping obligations

You are required by law to keep full and accurate records relating to your tax affairs.

It is your obligation to provide us with all information that you reasonably expect will be necessary to allow us to perform work contemplated under this engagement within a timely manner or as requested.  This includes providing accurate and complete responses to questions asked of you by us within a reasonable timeframe.  Inaccurate, incomplete or late information could have a material effect on our services and/or our conclusions and may result in additional fees.  We will not verify the underlying accuracy or completeness of information you provide to us.

You are also required to advise us on a timely basis if there are any changes to your circumstances that may be relevant to the performance of our services.  Specifically, if any subsequent event results in the information you provided to us being inaccurate, incomplete or misleading, then you are obliged to advise us as soon as possible.  We take no responsibility to the extent that our advice is inaccurate, incomplete or misleading because it is based on inaccurate, incomplete or misleading information being provided to us.

By accepting the terms of this letter, you will be taken to have agreed that the performance of our services is dependent on the performance of your obligations relating to disclosure and record keeping.

The Taxation Administration Act 1953 contains specific provisions that may provide you with “safe harbours” from administrative penalties for incorrect or late lodgement of returns if, amongst other things, you give us “all relevant taxation information” in a timely manner.  Accordingly, it is to your advantage that all relevant information is disclosed to us as any failure by you to provide this information may affect your ability to rely on the “safe harbour” provisions and will be taken into account in determining the extent to which we have discharged our obligations to you.

You are also required to advise us if you become aware of any conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest.  Generally, a conflict of interest is any event which may result in us becoming unable to remain objective in the performance of our services to you. Some examples of events which could create a conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest during this engagement are changes to your business circumstances, events affecting your family (eg. death and/or marriage breakdown) or a legal action commencing against you.

Your rights and obligations under the taxation laws

You have certain rights under the taxation laws, including the right to seek a private ruling from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) or to appeal or object against a decision made by the Commissioner. As relevant, we will provide further information to you concerning your rights under the Australian taxation laws during the conduct of the engagement contemplated by this letter.

Your obligations under Australian taxation laws include keeping proper records and lodging returns by the due date.

Our obligation to comply with the law

We have a duty to act in your best interests. However, the duty to act in your best interests is subject to an overriding obligation to comply with the law even if that may require us to act in a manner that may be contrary to your interests.  For example, we could not lodge an income tax return for you that we knew to be false in a material respect.

We also have an obligation to ensure that we manage conflicts of interest as they arise. In this regard, we have arrangements in place to ensure that we manage potential or actual conflicts of interest. The effective operation of these arrangements depend, in part, on you complying with your obligation to disclose any potential conflicts of interest to us.

Our advice and/or services will be based on Australian taxation law in force at the date of the provision of the advice and/or services.  It is your responsibility to seek updated advice if you intend to rely on our advice at a later stage.  We note that Australian taxation laws are often subject to frequent change and our advice will not be updated unless specifically requested by you at the time of the change in law or announced change in law.

Confidentiality

We will not disclose any information relating to your affairs to any third party without your consent, unless required by law.  You may provide us with permission to disclose your confidential information in certain circumstances, or place conditions on the disclosure of certain confidential information.  If you do so, we will have permission to disclose the relevant information accordingly, in the performance of our services, unless you instruct us otherwise in writing.

Ownership of documents

All original documents obtained from you arising from this engagement will remain your property. However, we reserve the right to make a reasonable number of copies of the original documents for our records.

Our engagement will result in the production of electronic documents or files such as income tax returns or financial reports.  Ownership of these documents will vest in you. All other documents produced by us in respect of this engagement will remain our property.

We have a policy of exploring a legal right of lien over any of your documents in our possession if there is a dispute between us.
We are entitled to destroy your files and any original documents you do not collect from us seven (7) years after the date of the last account we send you.

Other rights of NDEdwards & Co

Our rights as set out in this agreement are in addition to any other rights we may have.

Insolvency

You give us your undertaking that you are solvent.
You must immediately notify us should there be any question as to your ability to meet your debts as and when they fall due.

Ending our arrangement

You may end this arrangement at any time.

We may end it and, where applicable, stop acting as your accountants in any of the following cases:

  • you do not pay a tax invoice we send you;
  • you fail to give proper instructions when we ask you to; and
  • we decide that the necessary mutual trust and confidence required for a workable accountant / client relationship no longer exists. We are not responsible for the accuracy or completeness of the information provided by you.

Miscellaneous

This agreement can only be amended by mutual consent.
Directors of corporate clients are jointly and severally liable with the company client for all our accounts.
You acknowledge that you are aware that you are entitled to receive independent legal advice on the effect and consequences of this agreement.
Your acceptance of these terms
These terms set out the basis on which we will act for you.
If you have any queries, please contact me on 0412 889 888.

I look forward to working with you.

Yours sincerely

NICHOLAS D EDWARDS B.Bus(Acc) CA MLaw CTA MAICD