What we do. When you engage us to prepare your federal, state and or local income tax returns we will do so from information that you provide to us. We will not audit or otherwise verify the data you submit to us, although we may ask you to clarify some of the information. You will provide us with the documents and information necessary to prepare the tax return(s) you require. The preparation of your return will begin when we have received the requested documents and information.
You are responsible for the completeness and accuracy of your income tax returns. Although we exercise great care in the preparation of our clients’ returns, mistakes might occur. Please review each return carefully and thoroughly before it is filed. It is crucial that you provide us with all items required for a complete and accurate return. Failure to provide all necessary documents and information could result in an incorrect or incomplete tax return which could result in a significant delay in the processing of your refund request as well as receiving a notice from a taxing authority resulting in additional taxes owed, plus interest and penalties.
Payment is due before filing. We will send you a draft copy of your tax return(s) for you to look over prior to filing. If the draft copy of the return is acceptable, payment is due prior to filing your return. We cannot electronically file a tax return (or send you a paper copy) unless your invoice is paid in full. Unfortunately, we cannot make any exceptions. You may pay for your professional services using any major debit or credit card, cash, money order or check. Payment is considered made when it is received by us in good order.
We prepare local tax returns if... If there is a local income tax return due in your particular community then you must let us know. If you don’t tell us about it, we take no responsibility for not filing it or for any consequences for not preparing it. YOU MUST TELL US ABOUT ANY LOCAL RETURNS THAT ARE DUE OR WE WILL NOT PREPARE THEM. Remember, it is always the taxpayer’s responsibility to file any tax returns that are due. Hiring a professional does not shift that responsibility.
.Keeping copies of things. You should retain all documents that provide evidence and support for your reported income and deductions on your returns. You are responsible for the adequacy of all such documents. You may need to provide these documents to a taxing authority to substantiate the accuracy and completeness of the returns. Normally, the IRS can audit the last three years. You should keep, perhaps, the current year and the prior two years as a minimum.
Due dates and extensions. The due date for filing your income tax returns is generally April 15 of the year (March 15 for certain business returns) following the tax year being filed. If such date falls on a weekend or Federal holiday, the due date is extended to the next business day. It may become necessary to apply for an extension of time to file your tax returns if there are unresolved tax issues, delays in processing, or if we do not receive all of the necessary information from you on a timely basis. If you are unable to provide us with the required documentation/information by four (4) business days prior to a given filing deadline, to allow for the timely preparation of your tax returns, you must contact us and request that we apply for an extension of the filing deadline on your behalf. Applying for an extension of time to file may extend the time available for a government agency to undertake an audit of your return or may extend the statute of limitations. Additionally, extensions may affect your liability for penalties and interest or compliance with government or other deadlines. We are available to discuss this matter with you at your request at our regular hourly fee should the need arise. You have final responsibility for the income tax returns. Check them carefully for accuracy before you sign them.
Some important considerations for preparing your returns. We will prepare your Individual returns based on your filing status (single, married filing jointly, married filing separately, head of household or qualifying widow[er] with dependent child) as reflected in your income tax returns for last year. If your marital status has changed, if you want to change your filing status, or if you have questions about your filing status, please contact us.
Individual Business (Schedule C), Rental (Schedule E) and Unreimbursed Employee Business Expenses (Form 2106): Unless otherwise advised, you confirm that expenses such as meals, travel, entertainment, vehicle use, gifts, and related expenses for your business are supported by necessary records required by the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”). At your request, we are available to answer your questions and advise you on the types of records required.
We will use our judgment to resolve questions in your favor where a tax law is unclear if there is reasonable justification for doing so. Whenever we are aware that a possibly applicable tax law is unclear or that there are conflicting interpretations of the law by authorities (e.g., IRS and courts), we will explain the possible positions that may be taken on your return. We will follow whatever position you request, so long as it is consistent with the current codes and regulations and their interpretations. If the IRS, state or local tax authorities should later contest the position taken, there may be an assessment of additional tax, interest, and penalties. We assume no liability for any such additional tax, interest, and penalties or other fees and assessments.
Things that are not part of preparing your return. Our work in connection with your income tax returns does not include any procedures designed to discover fraud, theft, or other irregularities, should any exist.
Our engagement does not include tax planning services, which are available as a separate engagement. During the course of preparing the tax returns identified above, we may bring to your attention certain available tax saving strategies for you to consider as possible means of reducing your income taxes in subsequent tax years. However, we have no responsibility to do so, and will take no action with respect to any such recommendations, as the responsibility for implementation remains with you, the taxpayer.
Tax notices and audits are something else. This engagement does not include responding to inquiries by any governmental agency or tax authority. If your tax return is selected for examination or audit, you may request that we assist you in responding to such inquiry. In that event, we would be pleased to discuss providing assistance to you under the terms of a separate engagement letter for that specific purpose.
Several other points we would like to make. Our professional fees for the services outlined above are based on rates which we publish from time to time on our web site (www.OTPrep.com ) and are subject to change without notice. You agree that you will deliver all records requested by our staff to complete this engagement on a timely basis. In the event your records are not submitted in a timely manner or they are incomplete or unusable, we reserve the right to withdraw from this engagement with no further responsibility to provide you with services.
If, for any reason, it is determined that we have made an error in the preparation or filing of your tax returns, you will grant us the opportunity to correct such error. If our error results in you being assessed additional taxes, penalties or interest, we will reimburse you such additional cost up to the amount of the fee which we have received from you or on your behalf. If you do not grant us such opportunity (to correct such error), we will not reimburse you for any portion of the additional taxes, penalties, interest or other charges resulting from such mistake.
If, for any reason, it is determined that our error (including oversight or gross negligence) has resulted in you being assessed additional taxes, penalties, interest, or any other charges, our maximum reimbursement or liability for such additional assessment shall be the professional fee we received from you or on your behalf for the given tax returns.
We reserve the right to withdraw from this engagement without completing the returns if you fail to comply with these Terms and Conditions. In such case, neither Online Tax Prep, nor its owners or employees will be responsible for any tax, interest or penalties that the taxing authorities may levy against you for failure to file or for failure to file your returns on a timely basis. If any portion of this agreement is deemed invalid or unenforceable, said finding shall not operate to invalidate the remainder of the terms & conditions set forth in this engagement letter.
We appreciate the opportunity to be of service to you.