OTHER TERMS & CONDITIONS - INDIVIDUAL TAX PREPARATION (TAX YEAR 2021)


Confidentiality

If the tax returns prepared in connection with this engagement are filed using the married filing jointly filing status, both spouses are deemed to be clients of the firm under the terms of this Agreement. Both spouses acknowledge that there is no expectation of privacy from the other concerning our services in connection with this Agreement. We are at liberty to share with either of you, without prior consent of the other, documents and other information concerning the preparation of your tax returns.

Potential Impact of COVID-19 on Services

We and you acknowledge that governmental authorities may restrict travel and/or the movement of citizens due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, we and you may restrict personnel from travel and onsite work, whether at a client facility or our facility. Accordingly, to the extent that the services described in this Agreement requires or relies on personnel to travel and/or perform work onsite, we and you acknowledge and agree that the performance of such work may be delayed, significantly or indefinitely, or may require modification. We and you agree to provide the other with prompt written notice in the event any of the services described herein must be rescheduled, suspended, or modified. We and you also both acknowledge and agree that any delays or modifications may increase the cost of the services. We will obtain your prior written approval for any increase in the cost of our services that may result from the impact of COVID-19 on our services.

Client Portals

To enhance our services to you, we will utilize Cloud Cabinet, a collaborative, virtual workspace in a protected, online environment. Cloud Cabinet permits real-time collaboration across geographic boundaries and time zones and allows The CPA Office and/or ACPACO Inc and you to share data, engagement information, knowledge, and deliverables in a protected environment. In order to use Cloud Cabinet, you may be required by the provider of Cloud Cabinet to execute a client portal agreement and agree to be bound by the terms, conditions and limitations of such agreement. You agree that we have no responsibility for the activities of Cloud Cabinet and agree to indemnify and hold us harmless with respect to any and all claims arising from or related to the operation of Cloud Cabinet.

The CPA Office and/or ACPACO Inc are not a host for any of your information. You are responsible for maintaining your own copy of this information. We do not provide back-up services for any of your data or records, including information we provide to you. Portals are utilized solely as a method of transferring data and are not intended for the storage of your information. Information on a portal may be deleted by The CPA Office and/or ACPACO Inc.

If you decide to transmit your confidential information to us in a manner other than a secure portal, you accept responsibility for any and all unauthorized access to your confidential information. If you request that we transmit confidential information to you in a manner other than a secure portal, you agree that we are not responsible for any liability, including but not limited to, (a) any loss or damage of any nature, whether direct or indirect, that may arise as a result of our sending confidential information in a manner other than a secure portal, and (b) any damages arising as a result of any virus being passed on or with, or arising from any alteration of, any email message.

Virtual currency

The IRS considers virtual currency (e.g., Bitcoin) as property for U.S. federal income tax purposes. As such, any transactions in, or transactions that use, virtual currency are subject to the same general tax principles that apply to other property transactions.

If you had virtual currency activity during the tax year, you may be subject to tax consequences associated with such transactions and may have additional reporting obligations. You agree to provide us with complete and accurate information regarding any transactions in, or transactions that have used, virtual currency during the applicable tax year.

Brokerage, Investment Advisory or Cryptocurrency Statements

If you provide our firm with copies of brokerage, investment advisor, or cryptocurrency statements and/or read-only access to your accounts, we will use the information solely for the purpose described in the Engagement Objective and Scope section of this Agreement. We will rely on the accuracy of the information provided in the statements and will not undertake any action to verify this information. We will not monitor transactions, investment activity, provide investment advice, or supervise the actions of the entity or individuals entering into transactions or investment activities on your behalf. We recommend that you receive and carefully review all statements upon receipt, and direct any questions regarding account activity to your banker, broker or investment advisor.

U.S. filing obligations related to foreign investments

Based on the information you provide, you may have additional filing obligations including but not limited to:

You are responsible for informing us of all foreign assets owned directly or indirectly, including but not limited to financial accounts with foreign institutions, other foreign non-account investments, and ownership of any foreign entities, regardless of amount. If upon review of the information you have provided to us, including information that comes to our attention, we believe that you may have additional filing obligations, we will notify you.

Based upon the information you provide, we will use this data to inform you of any additional filing requirements, which may include FinCEN Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (“FBAR”). The FBAR is not a tax return and its preparation is not within the scope of this engagement. If you ask us to prepare the FBAR, and we agree to prepare the FBAR, we will confirm this engagement in a separate agreement.

Failure to timely file the required forms may result in substantial civil and/or criminal penalties. By your signature below, you agree to provide us with complete and accurate information regarding any foreign investments in which you have a direct or indirect interest, or over which you have signature authority, during the above referenced tax year.

The foreign reporting requirements are very complex. If you have any questions regarding the application of the reporting requirements for your foreign interests or activities, please ask us and we will respond in writing. Only advice that is in writing may be relied upon. We assume no liability for penalties associated with the failure to file or untimely filing of any of these forms.

Foreign filing obligations

You are responsible for complying with the tax filing requirements of any other country. You acknowledge and agree that we have no responsibility to raise these issues with you and that foreign filing obligations are not within the scope of this engagement.

Gift tax returns

The IRS considers a gift to be any transfer to an individual, either directly or indirectly, where full consideration (measured in money or money’s worth) is not received in return. Under federal tax law, certain gifts are taxable and subject to an annual gift tax exclusion amount, which for 2021, is $15,000 per taxpayer. You are responsible for informing us if gift tax returns are required to be filed. If you ask us to prepare these returns, and we agree to prepare these returns, we will confirm this representation in a separate agreement.

Gifts received from foreign persons

If you received a gift or bequest from a foreign person or trust, you may be required to file a separate IRS Form 3520, Annual Return To Report Transactions With Foreign Trusts and Receipt of Certain Foreign Gifts or Form 3520-A, Annual Information Return of Foreign Trust with a U.S. Owner. If you ask us to prepare this return, and we agree to prepare it, we will confirm this engagement in a separate agreement.

Estimated tax payments

You may be required to make quarterly estimated tax payments. We will calculate these payments for the 2022 tax year based upon the information you provide to prepare your 2021 tax returns (the “safe harbor” rule). Updating recommended payments to more closely reflect your actual current year’s income is not within the scope of this engagement. If you would like us to provide this service, and we agree to do so, we will confirm this update in a separate agreement.

Documentation

You are responsible for maintaining adequate documentation to substantiate the accuracy and completeness of your tax returns. You should retain all documents that provide evidence and support for reported income, credits, deductions, and other information on your returns, as required under applicable tax laws and regulations. You represent that you have such documentation and can produce it, if necessary, to respond to any audit or inquiry by tax authorities. You agree to hold our firm harmless from any liability including but not limited to, additional tax, penalties, interest and professional fees resulting from the disallowance of tax deductions due to inadequate documentation.

Ultimate responsibility

You have final responsibility for the accuracy of your tax returns. We will provide you with a copy of your electronic tax returns and accompanying schedules and statements for review prior to filing with the IRS, state and local tax authorities, as applicable. You agree to review and examine them carefully for accuracy and completeness.

You will be required to verify and sign a completed Form 8879, IRS e-file Signature Authorization, and any similar state and local equivalent authorization form before your returns can be filed electronically.

In the event that you do not wish to have your tax returns filed electronically, please contact our firm. Additional procedures will apply. You will be responsible for reviewing the paper returns for accuracy, signing them, and filing them timely with the tax authorities.

Billing and Payment Terms

Our firm’s practice requires payment of the retainer upon execution of this Agreement. You agree that the retainer will be earned as our professional time to complete the engagement is incurred. The retainer will be applied to the final billing, and any unused balance will be refunded at the end of the engagement.

We will bill you for our professional fees and out-of-pocket costs. Payment is due within fifteen (15) days of the date on the billing statement. If payment is not received by the due date, you will be assessed interest charges of 1.5% per month on the unpaid balance. You have fifteen (15) days from the invoice date to review the invoice and to communicate to us in writing any disagreement with the charges, after which you waive the right to contest the invoice.

All outstanding invoices must be paid prior to the release of the deliverable(s) specified in the Agreement. We do not release incomplete deliverables.

We reserve the right to suspend or terminate our work for non-payment of fees. In the event that work is discontinued, either temporarily or permanently, as a result of delinquent payment, we shall not be liable for any damages you may incur as a result of the work stoppage.

Tax planning services

Tax planning services are not within the scope of this engagement. During the course of preparing the tax returns identified above, we may bring to your attention potential tax savings strategies for you to consider as a possible means of reducing your taxes in subsequent tax years. However, we have no responsibility to do so, and will take no action with respect to such recommendations, as the responsibility for implementation remains with you, the taxpayer. If you ask us to provide tax planning services, and we agree to provide them to you, we will confirm this engagement in a separate agreement.

Government inquiries

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 our assistance in responding to such an inquiry. If you ask us to represent you, and we agree to represent you, we will confirm this engagement in a separate agreement.

Third-party requests

We will not respond to any request from banks, mortgage brokers or others for verification of any information reported on these tax returns. We do not communicate with third parties or provide them with copies of tax returns.

Arguable positions

We will use our professional judgment to resolve questions in your favor where a tax law is unclear, provided that we have a reasonable belief that there is substantial authority for doing so. If there are conflicting interpretations of the law, we will explain the possible positions that may be taken on your return. We will follow the position you request, provided it is consistent with our understanding of tax reference materials. Tax reference materials include, but are not limited to, the Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”), tax regulations, Revenue Rulings, Revenue Procedures, Private Letter Rulings, court cases, and similar state and local guidance. If the IRS, state or local tax authorities later contest the position you select, additional tax, penalties, and interest may be assessed. We assume no liability, and you hereby release us from any liability, including but not limited to, additional tax, penalties, interest, and related professional fees you may incur.

Bookkeeping assistance

We may deem it necessary to provide you with accounting and bookkeeping assistance solely for the purpose of preparing the tax returns. These services will be performed solely in accordance with the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct. In the event we conclude that such services are necessary to prepare your tax returns, we will advise you in writing before services are performed and bill you for the required services. You agree to pay for those required services.

Personal expenses

You are responsible for ensuring that personal expenses, if any, are segregated from business expenses and that expenses such as meals, travel, vehicle use, gifts, and related expenses are supported by documentation and records required by the IRS and other tax authorities. At your written request, we are available to provide you with written answers to your questions on the types of supporting records required.

State and local filing obligations

On June 21, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the long-standing physical presence nexus standard in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. et. al. This decision significantly changed the landscape of sales and use tax compliance, especially for online sellers. If you wish to understand the impact of the decision on your business, please so advise and we will confirm this in a separate agreement.

You are responsible for determining your tax filing obligations with any state or local tax authorities, including, but not limited to income, franchise, sales, use, property or unclaimed property taxes. If upon review of the information you have provided to us, including information that comes to our attention, we believe that you may have additional filing obligations, we will notify you. You acknowledge that the scope of our services under this Agreement does not include any services related to your compliance with tax obligations other than those identified in the Engagement Objective and Scope section of this Agreement. If you ask us to prepare any other returns, and we agree to do so, we will confirm this engagement in a separate agreement.

Electronic Data Communication and Storage

In the interest of facilitating our services to you, we may send data over the Internet, temporarily store electronic data via computer software applications hosted remotely on the Internet, or utilize cloud-based storage. Your confidential electronic data may be transmitted or stored using these methods. In using these data communication and storage methods, our firm employs measures designed to maintain data security. We use reasonable efforts to keep such communications and electronic data secure in accordance with our obligations under applicable laws, regulations, and professional standards.

You recognize and accept that we have no control over the unauthorized interception or breach of any communications or electronic data once it has been transmitted or if it has been subject to unauthorized access while stored, notwithstanding all reasonable security measures employed by us. You consent to our use of these electronic devices and applications during this engagement.

Independent Contractor

When providing services to your company, we will be functioning as an independent contractor and in no event will we or any of our employees be an officer of you, nor will our relationship be that of joint venturers, partners, employer and employee, principal and agent, or any similar relationship giving rise to a fiduciary duty to you.

Our obligations under this Agreement are solely obligations of The CPA Office and/or ACPACO Inc, and no partner, principal, employee or agent of The CPA Office and/or ACPACO Inc shall be subjected to any personal liability whatsoever to you or any person or entity.

Record Retention and Ownership

We will return any original records and documents you provide to us on or before the conclusion of the engagement. Our copies of your records and documents are solely for our documentation purposes and are not a substitute for your own records and do not mitigate your record retention obligations under any applicable laws or regulations. You are responsible for maintaining complete and accurate books and records, which may include financial statements, schedules, tax returns and other deliverables provided to you by us. If we provide deliverables or other records to you via an information portal, you must download this information within ninety (90) days. Professional standards preclude us from being the sole repository of your original data, records, or information.

Work-papers and other documents created by us are our property and will remain in our control. Copies are not to be distributed without your written request and our prior written consent. Our work-papers will be maintained by us in accordance with our firm’s record retention policy and any applicable legal and regulatory requirements. A copy of our record retention policy is [attached for your reference or available upon request].

Our firm may destroy work-paper files after a period of five (5) years. Catastrophic events or physical deterioration may result in damage to or destruction of our firm’s records, causing the records to be unavailable before the expiration of the retention period, as stated in our record retention policy.

Working Paper Access Requests by Regulators and Others

State, federal and foreign regulators may request access to or copies of certain work-papers pursuant to applicable legal or regulatory requirements. Requests also may arise with respect to peer review, an ethics investigation, the sale of your organization, or the sale of our accounting practice. If requested, access to such work-papers will be provided under the supervision of firm personnel. Regulators may request copies of selected work-papers to distribute the copies or information contained therein to others, including other governmental agencies.

If we receive a request for copies of selected work-papers, provided that we are not prohibited from doing so by applicable laws or regulations, we agree to inform you of such request as soon as practicable. You may, within the time permitted for our firm to respond to any request, initiate such legal action as you deem appropriate, at your sole expense, to attempt to limit the disclosure of information. If you take no action within the time permitted for us to respond, or if your action does not result in a judicial order protecting us from supplying requested information, we may construe your inaction or failure as consent to comply with the request.

If we are not a party to the proceeding in which the information is sought, you agree to reimburse us for our professional time and expenses, as well as the fees and expenses of our legal counsel, incurred in responding to such requests.

Summons or Subpoenas

All information you provide to us in connection with this engagement will be maintained by us on a strictly confidential basis.

If we receive a summons or subpoena which our legal counsel determines requires us to produce documents from this engagement or testify about this engagement, provided that we are not prohibited from doing so by applicable laws or regulations, we agree to inform you of such summons or subpoena as soon as practicable. You may, within the time permitted for our firm to respond to any request, initiate such legal action as you deem appropriate, at your sole expense, to attempt to limit discovery. If you take no action within the time permitted for us to respond, or if your action does not result in a judicial order protecting us from supplying requested information, we may construe your inaction or failure as consent to comply with the request.

If we are not a party to the proceeding in which the information is sought, you agree to reimburse us for our professional time and expenses, as well as the fees and expenses of our legal counsel, incurred in responding to such requests.

Newsletters and Similar Communications

We may send newsletters, emails, explanations of technical developments or similar communications to you. These communications are of a general nature and should not be construed as professional advice. We may not send all such communications to you. These communications do not constitute a client relationship with you, nor do they constitute advice or an undertaking on our part to monitor issues for you.

Disclaimer of Legal and Investment Advice

Our services under this Agreement do not constitute legal or investment advice unless specifically engaged to provide investment advice in the Engagement Objective and Scope section of this Agreement. We recommend that you retain legal counsel and investment advisors to provide such advice.

Referrals

In the course of providing services to you, you may request referrals to products or professionals such as attorneys, brokers, or investment advisors. We may identify professional(s) or product(s) for your consideration. However, you are responsible for evaluating, selecting, and retaining any professional or product and determining if the professional or product meets your needs. You agree that we will not oversee the activities of and have no responsibility for the work product of any professional or the suitability of any product we refer to you or that you separately retain. Further, we are not responsible for any services we perform that fail to meet the intended outcomes as a result of relying on the services of other professionals or products you may retain.

Federally Authorized Practitioner – Client Privilege

Internal Revenue Code §7525, Confidentiality Privileges Related to Taxpayer Communication, provides a limited confidentiality privilege applying to tax advice embodied in taxpayer communications with federally authorized tax practitioners in certain limited situations.

This privilege is limited in several important respects. For example, the privilege may not apply to your records, state tax issues, state tax proceedings, private civil litigation proceedings, or criminal proceedings.

While we will cooperate with you with respect to the privilege, asserting the privilege is your responsibility. Inadvertent disclosure of otherwise privileged information may result in a waiver of the privilege. Please contact us immediately if you have any questions or need further information about this federally authorized practitioner-client privilege.

Limitations on Oral and Email Communications

We may discuss with you our views regarding the treatment of certain items or decisions you may encounter. We may also provide you with information in an email. Any advice or information delivered orally or in an email (rather than through a memorandum delivered as an email attachment) will be based upon limited research and a limited discussion and analysis of the underlying facts. Additional research or a more complete review of the facts may affect our analysis and conclusions.

Due to these limitations and the related risks, it may or may not be appropriate to proceed with a decision solely on the basis of any oral or email communication from us. You accept all responsibility, except to the extent caused by our gross negligence or willful misconduct, for any liability, including but not limited to additional tax, penalties or interest resulting from your decision (i) not to have us perform the research and analysis necessary to reach a more definitive conclusion and (ii) to instead rely on an oral or email communication. The limitation in this paragraph will not apply to an item of written advice that is a deliverable of a separate engagement. If you wish to engage us to provide formal advice on a matter on which we have communicated orally or by email, we will confirm this service in a separate agreement.

Electronic Signatures and Counterparts

Each party hereto agrees that any electronic signature is intended to authenticate a written signature, shall be valid, and shall have the same force and effect as a manual signature. For purposes hereof, “electronic signature” includes, but is not limited to, a scanned copy of a manual signature, an electronic copy of a manual signature affixed to a document, a signature incorporated into a document utilizing touchscreen capabilities, or a digital signature. Documents may be executed in one or more counterparts, each of which shall be considered an original instrument, but all of which shall be considered one and the same agreement.

Proprietary Information

You acknowledge that proprietary information, documents, materials, management techniques and other intellectual property are a material source of the services we perform and were developed prior to our association with you. Any new forms, software, documents or intellectual property we develop during this engagement for your use shall belong to us, and you shall have the limited right to use them solely within your business. All reports, templates, manuals, forms, checklists, questionnaires, letters, agreements and other documents which we make available to you are confidential and proprietary to us. Neither you, nor any of your agents, will copy, electronically store, reproduce or make available to anyone other than your personnel, any such documents. This provision will apply to all materials whether in digital, “hard copy” format or other medium.

Statute of Limitations

You agree that any claim arising out of this Agreement shall be commenced within three (3) years of the delivery of the work product to you, regardless of any longer period of time for commencing such claim as may be set by law. A claim is understood to be a demand for money or services, the service of a suit, or the institution of arbitration proceedings against The CPA Office and/or ACPACO Inc.

Termination and Withdrawal

We reserve the right to withdraw from the engagement without completing services for any reason, including, but not limited to, non-payment of fees, your failure to comply with the terms of this Agreement, or as we determine professional standards require. If our work is suspended or terminated, you agree that we will not be responsible for your failure to meet governmental and other deadlines, or for any liability, including but not limited to, penalties or interest that may be assessed against you resulting from your failure to meet such deadlines.

If this Agreement is terminated before services are completed, you agree to compensate us for the services performed and expenses incurred through the effective date of termination.

Force Majeure

Neither party shall be held liable for any delays resulting from circumstances or causes beyond our reasonable control, including, without limitation, fire or other casualty, act of God, strike or labor dispute, war or other violence, epidemics or pandemics as defined by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or any law, order or requirement of any governmental agency or authority. However, no Force Majeure event shall excuse you of any obligation to pay any outstanding invoice or fee or from any indemnification obligation under this Agreement.

Assignment

All parties acknowledge and agree that the terms and conditions of this Agreement shall be binding upon and inure to the parties’ successors and assigns, subject to applicable laws and regulations.

Severability

If any portion of this Agreement is deemed invalid or unenforceable, said finding shall not operate to invalidate the remainder of the terms set forth in this Agreement.

Entire Agreement

This Agreement, including this Terms and Conditions Addendum and any other attachments, encompass the entire agreement of the parties and supersedes all previous understandings and agreements between the parties, whether oral or written. Any modification to the terms of this Agreement must be made in writing and signed by both parties. This Agreement has been entered into solely between you and The CPA Office and/or ACPACO Inc, and no third-party beneficiaries are created hereby.