Engagement Terms and Conditions
1. Who May Instruct Us
You confirm that you, and any other person you nominate in writing from time to time (provided we have acknowledged such nomination), are authorised to give us instructions and information on behalf of all persons we are acting for and to receive our advice and documents on their behalf.
If we are acting for a business, and we receive conflicting advice, information or instructions from different persons, we may refer the matter to the board of directors, partners or proprietors (as applicable) and act only as requested by them.
2. You and Your Spouse/Family Group
We will advise you and your Family Group on the basis that you are a family unit with shared interests. We may deal with either of you and may discuss with either of you the affairs of the other. If you wish to change these arrangements, please let us know.
3. Know your Customer
We may be required to verify your identity for the purposes of the anti-money laundering laws. We may request from you such information as we require for these purposes and make searches of appropriate databases.
4. Your Responsibilities
You must provide us with all information necessary for dealing with your affairs, including information which we reasonably request, in sufficient time to enable our services to be completed before any applicable deadline. We will rely on such information as being true, correct and complete and will not audit the information.
We may ask questions of you regarding the information provided. You are responsible for providing accurate and complete responses to our questions within a reasonable time. This should not be taken as meaning that we will verify the accuracy and completeness of the information provided.
The taxation law provides you with "safe harbours" from penalties for incorrect or late tax returns if you provide "all relevant taxation information" to us in a timely manner. Failure to discharge the responsibilities described above may mean that you are not eligible for that "safe harbour" protection.
You authorise us to approach such third parties as may be appropriate for information that we consider necessary to deal with your affairs. You are responsible for keeping us informed on a timely basis of changes in your circumstances that may affect our services.
5. Our responsibilities
Information acquired by us in the course of this engagement is subject to strict confidentiality requirements, and we will not disclose that information to other parties except as required or allowed by law, or with your written consent.
We will advise you of your rights, obligations and options available to you under the relevant laws. We may also provide you with advice on the application of specific laws, including any possible penalties and other consequences to enable you to make an informed decision of the course of action that may be taken. Laws change frequently. All advice will be based on the current law at the time the advice is provided. It is your responsibility to obtain updated advice in relation to actual or proposed transactions entered into at a later time.
We will act in your best interests at all times, subject to the overriding requirement that we must comply with the law. For example, we would be unable to lodge a tax return for you that we knew contained a false or misleading statement.
6. Qualifications of our Service
To the extent our services involve the performance of services established by law, nothing in the engagement letter or these terms reduce our obligations under such law.
You must not act on advice given by us on an earlier occasion without first confirming with us that the advice is still valid.
Our services are limited exclusively to those you have engaged us to perform. Unless otherwise specified in the engagement letter, our services cannot be relied upon to disclose irregularities and errors, including fraud and other illegal acts, in your affairs. Neither an audit nor a review will be conducted and, accordingly, no assurance will be expressed.
Where our engagement is recurring, we may amend our engagement letter and these terms where we consider it is necessary or appropriate to do so. If you do not accept such amendments, you must notify us promptly in which case you may terminate our engagement in accordance with section 18 below and those amendments will not apply prior to such termination.
7. Reliance on Advice
We will endeavour to record all advice on important matters in writing. Advice given verbally is not intended to be relied upon unless confirmed in writing. If we provide verbal advice (for example during a meeting or telephone conversation) that you wish to rely on, you must ask us to confirm the advice in writing.
8. Investment and Financial Advisory Advice
Under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) we are required to hold an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) or be an authorised representative of the holder of an AFSL, in order to provide you with financial advice in relation to your superannuation.
As we do not hold an AFS licence and are not an authorised representative of such a licence holder, we are limited in the advice that we can give to you. We are unable to provide financial advice (for example, providing an investment strategy, advice on whether you should make superannuation contributions or commence a pension). However, we are able to provide you with factual advice, such as how the superannuation rules would apply and what options are available.
Where financial advice is required, we will refer you to, with your consent, our trusted partner we work with on a regular basis.
9. Professional Obligations
We will comply with the professional and ethical standards of the Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards Board, available at apesb.org.au. This includes APES 110 Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (including Independence Standards), which among other things contains provisions that apply if we become aware of any actual or potential 'non-compliance with governing laws or regulations' (NOCLAR). Where any such non-compliance poses substantial harm (such as serious adverse consequences to investors, creditors, employees, auditor, group auditor or the public), we may be required to disclose the matter to an appropriate authority.
10. Conflicts of Interest
We will inform you if we become aware of any conflict of interest in our relationship with you (including between the various persons this engagement letter covers) or in our relationship with you and another client. Where conflicts are identified which cannot be managed in a way that protects your interests, then we will be unable to provide further services to some or all of the persons to whom this engagement applies. If this arises, we will inform you promptly.
We may act for other clients whose interests are not the same as or are adverse to yours, subject to the obligations of conflicts of interest and confidentiality referred to above.
11. Fees and Payment
Our fees will be charged on the basis set out in the engagement letter and have been set based on the level of skill, responsibility, importance and value of the advice, as well as the level of risk.
If we have provided you with an estimate of our fees for any specific work, this is an estimate only, and our actual fees may vary.
In some cases, you may be entitled to assistance with your professional fees, particularly in relation to any investigation into your tax affairs by the ATO. Assistance may be provided through insurance policies you hold or via membership of a professional or trade body. Other than where such insurance was arranged through us, you will need to advise us of any such insurance cover that you have. You will remain liable for our fees regardless of whether all or part are to be paid by someone else.
Our fees set out in our engagement letter are exclusive of GST, which will be added to our invoice where it is chargeable. Any disbursements and expenses we incur in the course of performing our services will be added to our invoices where appropriate. Unless otherwise agreed to the contrary, our fees do not include the costs of any counsel, or other professionals or third parties engaged with your approval.
We may charge interest on late paid invoices at the rate of 3% above the RBA cash rate from the due date until the outstanding amount is paid in full. We may also recover from you any amount incurred by TaxDigital utilising any third party debt agency due to your failure to pay any charges due. We may also suspend our services or to cease to act for you on giving written notice if payment of any fees is unduly delayed. We intend to exercise these rights only where it is fair and reasonable to do so.
We may provide a fixed fee arrangement for the provision of specific services as outlined below. In other circumstances, an engagement may be difficult to predict how much time will be required, and our intention to charge on an hourly basis as outlined below.
Fixed Fee Arrangement
We may provide a fixed fee for the provision of specific services outlined in your engagement letter. If it becomes apparent to us, due to unforeseen circumstances, that a fixed fee is inadequate, we may notify you of a revised figure and seek your agreement to it. Likewise, if new work is required outside of the scope of our existing agreement, we will issue a written proposal for you to accept (or discuss) before we commence new services.
All of our fixed price agreements include support and regularly scheduled review sessions. In fact, we encourage constant communication between you and TaxDigital. Becoming your trusted advisor is our mission, and open communication is the key.
Our fixed fee arrangements for our service are payable monthly in arrears by you and will be direct debit from your account on the last business day of the month. It is a requirement that all our fixed fee clients agree to have a direct debit set up for payment of monthly subscription fees.
You will incur a payment handling administrative fee of 1% of the monthly fee rate, this will be added to your invoice automatically and, if it applies, will be disclosed in your engagement letter & your schedule of fees.
The monthly fee continues to be payable independently of your circumstances and is not suspended through periods where income is not received by you or your business entity(s).
If you commence your fixed fee arrangement part way through the year for a 'yearly service' (i.e. accounting & taxation serviced bundled with monthly bookkeeping), you will be liable for a catch-up payment in the last month of the financial year the arrangement commenced in. The catch-up payment will be calculated at the full monthly rate of the 'yearly service' for the months from the start of the year until the first monthly payment was received.
At TaxDigital we think you deserve to know in advance how much the job will cost and what it entails. We will always provide a schedule of payment with your engagement letter outlining your future fixed fee arrangement payment obligations for the remainder of the financial year. Each year TaxDigital will provide you with an updated schedule of payments for the subsequent financial year. You will always know how much you will pay for services in advance, and will always have the opportunity to discuss the agreement before we get started on any work.
Hourly Billing for Services with an Undefined Scope
While TaxDigital will always try to provide a fixed price arrangement, particularly in the instance where services are ongoing, there are some services that we offer where an estimate based on an hourly rate is the only method of billing that applies. We'll quote an hourly rate, outlined in the engagement letter, in instances of project work where it is difficult to define the scope of the service required. In the case where you have been quoted an estimate based on an hourly rate, TaxDigital will inform you of the amount of time used before we issue the final bill and collect payment.
If possible, TaxDigital will convert any hourly services into a fixed price agreement, if or when the scope of the service becomes more apparent.
We will invoice you on a monthly basis for the amount of work completed, and our invoices are due for payment within seven days of issue.
We will take all reasonable steps to keep your information confidential, except where:
- we need to disclose your information to our service providers (including auditors of client monies if applicable) or regulatory bodies in performing the services, our professional advisers or insurers or as part of an external peer review from time to time. Our firm's quality control procedures have been established and maintained in accordance with APES 320 – Quality Control for Firms and, as a result, our files may be subject to review as part of the quality review program of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and the Tax Practitioners Board. By accepting this engagement, you acknowledge that, if requested, our files relating to this engagement will be made available under this program. We will take reasonable steps to ensure any such recipient (other than a regulatory body) keeps such information confidential on the same basis;
- we are required by law, regulation, a court of competent authority, or those professional obligations referred to in section 8 above, to disclose the information; or
- you give us permission to disclose the information.
We may retain your information during and after our engagement to comply with our legal requirements or as part of our regular IT back-up and archiving practices. We will continue to hold such information confidentially. We may mention that you are a client for promotional purposes.
If permitted by law or professional guidelines, we may exercise a lien over all materials or records in our possession relating to all engagements for you until all outstanding fees and disbursements are paid in full.
15. Cloud-hosted Software and Data Storage
We use cloud-based practice management, accounting and data storage software that contains your personal and financial information. The database containing this information is located in Australia, but it may be replicated to other locations. The suppliers of this software have privacy policies that are consistent with the Australian Privacy Principles.
Accepting our services as part of this engagement agreement indicates your acceptance of the use of outsourced services, external IT services, cloud-hosted software and outsourced data storage under the conditions outlined above.
We do not use any outsourced services when conducting client assignments.
17. Ownership of Materials
We own the copyright and all other intellectual property rights in everything we create in connection with this engagement. Unless we agree otherwise, anything we create in connection with this agreement may be used by you only for the purpose for which you have engaged us.
All working papers prepared by us (in any form whatsoever, including physical and electronic) remain our property. We will retain these papers in accordance with our normal record-keeping practices in accordance with our professional and legal obligations.
You agree, we can use your logos and trademarks for the sole purpose of providing advice to you in connection with the engagement unless you tell us otherwise.
18. Limitation of Third Party Rights
Our advice and information is for your sole use, and we accept no responsibility to any third party unless we have expressly agreed in the engagement letter that a specified third party may rely on our work.
19. 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 Council's website http://www.psc.gov.au|.
You agree not to bring any claim against any of our principle or employees in their personal capacity. To the maximum extent permitted by law, we are not liable to you for:
- indirect, special or consequential losses or damages of any kind; or
- liability arising due to the acts or omissions of any other person or circumstances outside our reasonable control, or your breach of these terms.
20. Applicable Law
Our engagement is governed by Queensland law. The courts sitting in that state will have non-exclusive jurisdiction in relation to any dispute between us.
Either of us (the agreed parties) may terminate this agreement by giving not less than 21 days' notice in writing to the other party except where a conflict of interest has arisen, you fail to cooperate with us, or we have reason to believe that you have provided us or any other person with misleading or factually inaccurate information, in which case we may terminate this agreement immediately. Termination will not affect any accrued rights.
Where any termination occurs during a monthly fixed price engagement, TaxDigital will not be liable to refund any monthly fee's to the agreed party, unless specifically agreed upon.
You must advise of any changes to your contact details. We may send any communications to the last contact details you have provided. Unless you instruct us otherwise, we may, where appropriate, communicate with you and with third parties via email or by other electronic means. The recipient is responsible for virus checking emails and any attachments. There is a risk of non-receipt, delayed receipt, inadvertent misdirection or interception by third parties in any form of communication, whether electronic, postal or otherwise. We are not responsible for any such matters beyond our control.
23. Services and Price Guarantee
TaxDigital will always stand behind the quality and professional nature of the services that we offer. If at any point you are not completely satisfied with the services we have performed, we encourage you to bring this to our attention immediately. We'd love the opportunity to address your concerns correctly and allow us a chance to win your trust back and prevent similar problems from happening in the future.
If you are still not satisfied with the outcome of our services, we have policies and procedures in place to deal appropriately with complaints and will use best endeavours to resolve a complaint or dispute to the mutual agreement regarding the payment for services completed. As an example, we may agree to either forgive the related payment or accept a portion of the originally agreed price that reflects your level of satisfaction.
We may require you to detail your complaint in writing to allow us to investigate any concerns that you raise fully.
Should you wish to lodge a complaint please contact our Complaints Officer whose details are as follows:
If any provision of the engagement letter or these terms is void, that provision will be severed, and the remainder will continue to apply. If there is any conflict between the engagement letter and these terms, these terms prevail.
|Service||Monthly Fee Arrangement|
|Accounts & Tax Basic Package||$200.00|
|Starter Bookkeeping Package||$250.00|
|Less Package Discount||-$60.00|
|Less Package Discount||$390.00|
|Total Estimated Monthly Fee||$429.00|