Terms of Engagement
Welcome to DriveTax. Thankyou for selecting us to attend to your accounting and taxation requirements. This document sets out our understanding of the terms of our engagement, the scope of work to be performed, and the nature and limitations of the services that we provide.
Purpose, Scope and Output of the Engagement
This firm will provide taxation and accounting services for yourself, your family and your associated business entities. These services will be conducted in accordance with the relevant professional and ethical standards issued by the Accounting Professional & Ethical Standards Board Limited (APESB), including the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (the Code). The extent of our procedures and services will be limited exclusively for this purpose only. As a result, no audit or review will be performed and, accordingly, no assurance will be expressed.
Our engagement cannot be relied upon to disclose irregularities including fraud, other illegal acts and errors that may exist. However, we may, as part of our responsibilities as a Member in Public Practice, take steps and actions as set out in Section 225 of the Code, “Responding to Non-Compliance with Laws and Regulations”. These include but are not limited to the following. During the course of our engagement, if we identify or suspect that non-compliance with laws or regulations has occurred or may occur, which may have a direct effect on material amounts or disclosures in the financial statements or compliance with which may be fundamental to the operating aspects of your business, to your ability to continue its business or to avoid material penalty, we will discuss the matter with the appropriate level of management, those charged with governance or the internal auditor, as appropriate, to enable you to rectify, remediate or mitigate the consequences of the identified or suspected non-compliance or deter the commission of the non-compliance where it has not yet occurred. We will consider whether to communicate the non-compliance or suspected noncompliance with your external auditor, unless prohibited by law or regulation. We will also consider, based on materiality and/or significance of the matter, whether further action is needed in the public interest. Further action may include disclosing the matter to an appropriate authority even when there is no legal or regulatory requirement to do so or withdrawing from the engagement and the professional relationship where permitted by law or regulation. Where appropriate we will inform you of our intention to disclose the matter to an appropriate authority before disclosing the matter. However, if we have reason to believe that the actual or intended conduct would constitute an imminent breach of a law or regulation that would cause substantial harm to investors, creditors, employees or the general public, we may immediately disclose the matter to an appropriate authority in order to prevent or mitigate the consequences of such imminent breach of law or regulation.
Our professional services are conducted, and Income Tax returns and Financial Statements will be prepared for distribution to the Australian Taxation Office and other relevant relevant specific organisation or party for the purpose specified in the report or as agreed. We disclaim any assumption of responsibility for any reliance on our professional services to any party other than as specified or agreed, and for the purpose which it was prepared. Where appropriate, our report will contain a disclaimer to this effect.
We do not provide audit or assurance services, and therefore we will not be expressing an opinion as to the truth and fairness of these statements. However we will inform you of any such matters that come to our attention.
In conducting this engagement, information acquired by us in the course of the engagement, including any information relating to your affairs whether it belongs to you or not or is provided by you or not, is subject to strict confidentiality requirements. That information will not be disclosed by us to other parties except as required or allowed for by law or regulations, or with your express consent unless, we determine that disclosure of the non-compliance or suspected non-compliance to an appropriate authority is an appropriate course of action in the circumstances.
We wish to advise that our firm’s system of quality control has been established and maintained in accordance with the relevant APESB standard. As a result, our files may be subject to review as part of the quality control review program of CPA Australia which monitors compliance with professional standards by its members. We advise you that by accepting our engagement you acknowledge that, if requested, our files relating to this engagement will be made available under this program.
We may collect Personal Information about you, your representatives, your clients and others when we provide services to you. If we do, you agree to work with us to ensure that we both meet the obligations that we each may have under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (as amended) (Privacy Act). The obligations may include notifying the relevant person to whom the personal information relates who we are and how we propose to use their personal information. Where you have collected personal information, you confirm that you have collected the personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act, that you are entitled to provide this personal information to us and that we may use and disclose the personal information for the purpose/s we provide our services to you. We will handle personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act.
You are responsible for the reliability, accuracy and completeness of the accounting records, particulars and information provided and disclosure of all material and relevant information. You are required to arrange for reasonable access by us to relevant individuals and documents, and shall be responsible for both the completeness and accuracy of the information supplied to us. Any advice given to you is only an opinion based on our knowledge of your particular circumstances. You or your staff are responsible for maintaining and regularly balancing all books or accounts, and the maintenance of an adequate accounting and internal control system. You have obligations under self assessment to keep full and proper records in order to facilitate the preparation of accurate returns. It is your responsibility to keep those records for five (5) years.
You are responsible for ensuring that your business activities are conducted in accordance with laws and regulations. You are also responsible for identifying and addressing any non-compliance by you, by an individual charged with governance of the entity, by a member of management, or by other individuals working for or under your direction.
A taxpayer is responsible under self assessment to keep full and proper records in order to facilitate the preparation of a correct return. Whilst the Commissioner of Taxation will accept claims made by a taxpayer in an income tax return and issue a notice of assessment, usually without adjustment, the return may be subject to later review. Under the taxation law such a review may take place within a period of up to four (4) years after tax becomes due and payable under the assessment. Furthermore, where there is fraud or evasion there is no time limit on amending the assessment. Accordingly, you should check the return before it is signed to ensure that the information in the return is accurate.
Where the application of a taxation law to your particular circumstances is uncertain you also have the right to request a private ruling which will set out the Commissioner’s opinion about the way a taxation law applies, or would apply, to you in those circumstances. You must provide a description of all of the facts (with supporting documentation) that are relevant to your scheme or circumstances in your private ruling application. If there is any material difference between the facts set out in the ruling and what you actually do the private ruling is ineffective.
If you rely on a private ruling you have received, the Commissioner must administer the law in the way set out in the ruling, unless it is found to be incorrect and applying the law correctly would lead to a better outcome for you. Where you disagree with the decision in the private ruling you can lodge an objection against the ruling if it relates to income tax, fuel tax credit or fringe benefits tax. Your time limits in lodging an objection will depend on whether you are issued an assessment for the matter (or period) covered by the private ruling.
Involvement of Others
Where, as part of our engagement, the services of an external consultant or expert are required, an estimated cost and timeframe and involvement will be provided to you for your approval.
We may utilise outsourced service providers located in Europe and Asia in providing some non-professional aspects of our service to you, as well as for general administrative support to our firm. We do not use outsourced service providers for technical or professional aspects of any engagements.
Acceptance of our services in conjunction with this engagement document indicates your acceptance of the use of outsourced services as described. Where the outsourced service requires the disclosure of personal information to an overseas recipient a consequence of your consent is that we will be required to take reasonable steps to ensure that the Australian Privacy Principles are complied with by the overseas recipients of the Personal Information.
Storage of Personal Information
By signing this letter and accepting these services you acknowledge and agree that your personal information may be stored overseas (for example, files sent via Dropbox, where Dropbox’s servers are located overseas). We will only use services where we have assurance that your data is stored securely, and under Privacy laws that are similar to those in Australia.
Period of Engagement
This engagement will start upon your acceptance of these terms. The first period for which we will be responsible is financial year ended 30 June 2018, unless you have specifically requested our services in relation to previous financial years and we have agreed. This engagement document will be effective for future years unless we issue an amended one to you.
Fees for our services will be charged on the basis of the time and degree of skill and acumen required to complete the services as agreed, including any direct out of pocket expenses. Fees for standardised services are advised on our website, but we reserve the right to charge additional fees on a time basis for added complexities and additional work required. Should you choose to terminate our engagement at any time or to not proceed with lodging any tax returns or documents we have prepared, our fees for time spent providing these services or preparing these documents will remain payable. Please note that our terms are 14 days from the issuance of the invoice. In the event that an invoice is not paid within the required term we reserve the right to employ a third party to collect this debt. All collection fees associated with the collection of this debt are your responsibility.
Limitation of Liability
Our liability is limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation. Further information on the scheme is available from the Professional Standards Councils’ website: www.psc.gov.au.
Ownership of Documents
All original documents obtained from you arising from the engagement shall remain your property. However, we reserve the right to make a reasonable number of copies of the original documents for our records.
Our engagement may result in the production of printed and digital Income Tax returns, Business Activity Statements, ATO forms, Financial Statements and other related documents. Ownership of these documents will vest in you. All other documents produced by us in respect of this engagement will remain the property of this firm, subject to any statutory obligations.
This firm has a policy of exploring a legal right of lien over any client documents in our possession in the event of a dispute. This firm has also established dispute resolution processes.
Confirmation of Terms
Acceptance of our services in conjunction with the information on this webpage indicates that you understand and accept the arrangements. This information will be effective for future engagements unless we advise you of any change.
If you have any queries regarding any of the above terms please do not hesitate to contact us via our online contact form.