Tax Planning

Sample tax planning engagement email

This sample engagement email for 2015 is posted at the request of a colleague. This is outdated and no longer used.

Dear :
Thank you for choosing me to discuss tax planning. I will work on your behalf to maintain the confidence that you have placed in me. Four sections of this communication are included below to help us get started quickly and easily:
1) PRIVACY POLICY – A copy of my privacy policy is provided for your consideration.
2) CONFIDENTIALITY PRIVILEGE ENGAGEMENT LETTER – This allows us the option to assert that our communications are private privileged advice. I will assert confidentiality under the terms described unless you instruct me to do otherwise.
3) TAX SERVICES ENGAGEMENT – This email communication describes the work that we anticipate, the fees and responsibilities related to that work. The purpose of this email is to enhance our verbal communications and confirm our mutual understanding of the work assignment.
4) SUMMARY OF SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES – This describes how our work differs from a standard tax preparation service agreement.
Should you have any questions or concerns regarding your account or my services, please contact me.

IF AFTER READING THIS YOU AGREE TO ALL THE TERMS, RESPOND TO THIS EMAIL AND TYPE “AGREED /YOURNAME/”.

***PRIVACY POLICY***
CPAs, like all providers of financial services, are now required by law to inform their clients of their policies regarding privacy of client information. CPAs have been and continue to be bound by professional standards of confidentiality that are even more stringent than those required by law. Therefore, we have always protected your right to privacy.
Types of Nonpublic Personal Information We Collect:
We collect nonpublic personal information about you that is either provided to us by you or obtained by us with your authorization.
Parties to Whom We Disclose Information:
For current and former clients, we do not disclose any nonpublic personal information obtained in the course of our practice except as required or permitted by law. Permitted disclosures include, for instance, providing information to our employees and, in limited situations, to unrelated third parties who need to know that information to assist us in providing services to you. In all such situations, we stress the confidential nature of information being shared.
Protecting the Confidentiality and Security of Current and Former Clients’ Information:
We retain records relating to professional services that we provide so that we are better able to assist you with your professional needs and, in some cases, to comply with professional guidelines. In order to guard your nonpublic personal information, we maintain physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards that comply with our professional standards.
Work with Third Party Entities:
We frequently share work with third party entities. If the work will be performed by an employee, partners or a contractor under my supervision then I will not discuss this with you in advance and the responsibility for maintaining privacy remains with me. If I propose working with other independent parties we will discuss it first and confirm our understanding and agreement to do this in writing.
Please call if you have any questions, because your privacy, our professional ethics, and the ability to provide you with quality financial services are very important to us.

***CONFIDENTIALITY PRIVILEGE ENGAGEMENT LETTER***
The Internal Revenue Code, as amended by the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, extends a CPA–client confidentiality privilege to qualified tax advice that we provide to you. In order to ensure that all communications resulting from tax advice is covered under the privilege umbrella of the Act, I am asking you to confirm the following arrangements:
I will provide tax advice as needed or requested to meet specific objectives or generally to meet long-term tax related goals and objectives. You have the right to review and/or be supplied with copies of any and all tax planning or research memos and work papers prepared by our firm related to such tax advice. Tax advice includes, but is not limited to, the following:
– Researching the income tax reporting of a particular transaction. We will review these situations with you and resolve issues in your favor whenever possible.
– Providing business tax and consulting to you for consideration in making tax-related decisions.
– Providing services related to the expected outcome of future tax decisions.
Privileged tax advice does not include communications associated with the preparation of tax returns, tax accrual work papers associated with a financial audit or other financial statement engagement, or in providing general business or accounting recommendations or other non-tax engagements.
You may assert the confidentiality privilege in any noncriminal tax matter before the Internal Revenue Service or any proceeding in Federal Court brought by or against the United States.
I will not disclose any advice provided under the scope of this engagement letter to the Internal Revenue Service or third parties unless you provide us written consent to do so. Any disclosure of confidential information by you or us to the IRS or third parties may cause the Confidentiality Privilege to be waived. Caution must be taken by both parties to not inadvertently waive the privilege.
You should notify us of any requests by the Internal Revenue Service for information about any tax advice or tax advice documents provided by us to you.
If you advise me to assert the Confidentiality Privilege on your behalf you agree to hold Tony Novak Certified Public Accountant harmless and indemnify us for any attorney fees and any other costs and expenses (including penalties) incurred by us in defending your confidential communication.

***TAX SERVICE ENGAGEMENT***
This communication is to confirm and specify the terms of my engagement with you for tax planning services the year ending December 31, 2015 to clarify the nature and extent of the services I will provide.
WORK TO BE PERFORMED: My tax service engagement will be designed to perform the following services:
1. Provide a written tax organizer or a checklist as a basis for structuring our discussion in advance of the planned session.
2. Provide a secure private portal for submission of your private documents.
3. Read last year’s tax return, but only if you provide a copy.
4. Discuss the issues that may have the most impact on your taxes. There is no intention to discuss every issue affecting your taxes or every topic on the tax planning checklist.
5. Prepare your income tax return(s) listed in conformity with applicable standards.
6. Electronically file the return where possible and submit electronic payment. Otherwise provide a paper copy for filing and provide a method of electronic refund if applicable.
7. Deliver an electronic copy of the tax return and a written summary of other work performed.
LIMITATIONS OF WORK: My work does not include any procedures or tax return filing not listed above. My work is not designed to discover defalcations or other irregularities, should any exist. I will use my judgment in resolving questions where the tax law is unclear, or where there may be conflicts between the taxing authorities’ interpretations of the law and other supportable positions. Unless otherwise instructed by you, I will resolve such questions in your favor whenever possible.
PENALTIES: The law provides various penalties on the taxpayer and the tax return preparer that may be imposed when taxpayers understate their tax liability. If you would like information on the amount or circumstances of these penalties, please contact me. You are responsible for the proper recording of transactions in some books or records of accounts, for the safeguarding of assets, and for the substantial accuracy of the financial records. You have the final responsibility for the income tax returns and, therefore, you should review them carefully before you sign and file them.
END OF ENGAGEMENT: This engagement ends when I complete the work listed above and return any original documents to you. This agreement does not offer to extend services extend beyond the end of the engagement. For example, there is no assurance or agreement that I will provide the same services under the same agreement next year.
IN THE EVENT OF AUDIT: Your returns may be selected for review by the taxing authorities. Any proposed adjustments by the examining agent are subject to certain rights of appeal. In the event of such government tax examination, I will be available upon request to represent you and will render additional invoices for the time and expenses incurred. The procedures and fees for representing you in an audit are not included in this agreement.
OTHER ADVICE: During the work of accounting I am likely to find other financial and accounting topics that we should discuss. The results of these possible additional discussion and any resulting work stemming from those discussions are not covered in this letter.
FEE: My fee for these services will be $   based on the amount of time and work anticipated.

Other accounting or advisory work that we may agree to My general rate schedule for tax preparation services and a summary report of the rates of other tax preparers are published at http://www.tonynovak.com/taxes.html. All invoices are due and payable in advance upon presentation of an electronic invoice. The anticipation of advance payment is an important part in permitting me to offer the service at this price.

***SUMMARY OF SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES***
This agreement is made with recognition of the following special circumstances that differ from a standard tax service agreement:
1) link to secure portal for sharing of documents will be provided upon request

If the foregoing fairly sets forth your understanding, PLEASE RESPOND TO THIS EMAIL BY TYPING THE WORD “AGREED” and return it to me. If there is additional accounting work or there are any additional tax returns you expect me to prepare, please inform me by noting so along with your response.

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