To: Our Tax and Business Clients
Re: Engagement for Services for 2016 tax return prepared in 2017
The purpose of this engagement letter is to outline your rights and responsibilities that you as a client must follow as well as Lake Stevens Tax Services involvement and commitment to you, our valued client. After signing this engagement letter, you are acknowledging and agreeing to the following statements and are agreeing to the following procedures with our firm to the best of your knowledge and understanding.
- That you understand that it is your responsibility to provide our firm with all of the information required to complete your tax return.
- That you have provided true, correct and complete information regarding your income as listed on the attached forms W-2, 1099's and/or attached written summaries. It is your responsibility to provide your expenses in a clear manner. LSTS will not be auditing these receipts. We will be reviewing them for their reasonableness. You will retain for 4 years, all documents, receipts, cancelled checks and other records required to substantiate the items of income and expenses.
- That you have maintained written documentation supporting all amounts, including logbooks and receipts. That you understand that if a question arises regarding the interpretation of tax law, and a conflict exists between the authorities' interpretation of the law, and other supportable positions, that LS Tax Service will use our professional judgment in resolving these issues.
- As a client, it is your responsibility to contact us immediately if you discover additional information that will lead to a change in your return.
- It is your responsibility to contact us immediately if you receive any notice from the IRS. Please send us the notice immediately, and be sure NOT TO WRITE ON THE OFFICIAL IRS CORRESPONDENCE. LSTS reserves the right to charge a reasonable fee for assisting in handling and responding to any and all IRS letters and notices. Responding to an IRS notice may be subject to additional fees from LSTS.
The climate within the IRS and the state taxing agencies is changing when it comes to audits. In our general area, the number of IRS audits has increased dramatically. Due to this rise, as always you need to exercise extreme caution and care in assembling and preparing your records for your tax appointment. The following are procedures that you are agreeing to and policies that Lake Stevens Tax Service will follow:
- You understand that all tax agencies have the right to examine your returns, and that you are ultimately responsible for retaining all the documentation and records which were used to compile your returns. This is especially important in the area of business travel, entertainment deductions, business use percentage of autos and home use, other depreciable assets, bartering & trading activities.
- If there is a direct error on the part of Lake Stevens Tax Service, we will pay that portion of the penalty that you are assessed by the IRS. We will not be responsible for compensating you for the interest that you might be charged. This is with the understanding that you let LSTS respond to all audits, letters and correspondence with the IRS. Any reimbursement for penalties will be made only after all appeals and requested for abatement of penalties have been executed.
- That you understand that if your tax return is called for an audit, that you will be charged an audit fee. This fee is to assemble your completed records in the manner which is acceptable for an audit. You will be charged a reasonable hourly fee to prepare and represent you in your audit. The audit fee also includes the audit interview, assembling the organized data into our audit format and the actual audit which usually takes hours or perhaps days. If your records are not presented in an organized manner, LSTS reserves the right to bill out at $75 per hour to organize your records. If the audit results in our need to take your case to appeals, there will be a separate engagement letter and a negotiated fee. Upon receipt of the audit notice, we will do our audit review and then determine the audit fee.
The tax preparation fee that we will charge covers the following services:
- Tax preparation appointment and preparation of your 2016 personal / business return.
- Electronic filing of the federal return.
- A PDF copy for your files and if you file manually, copy for the IRS.
- Year round service to answer your questions by phone, mail and/or e-mail. In depth analysis and/or office visit, might result in an additional fee.
Due to the ever increasing demands on our special services by client's and third party agencies, there are additional fees for extra services. As a client of Lake Stevens Tax Service, you are agreeing to the following fees and payment procedures:
- Your tax preparation fee is to be paid at the time of service only.
- ANY fee that is not paid within a 60 DAY period is subject to being turned over to our collection agency and then additional fees and legal expenses will be added to your original invoice.
- If you do not call within 24 HOURS of any scheduled tax and/or business appointment to cancel or reschedule, we will be billing you our standard cancellation fee of $75.
- If you request an additional copy of your tax return, we will bill you at a rate of $25 per year per copy. The cost to E-mail a copy of the return to you will be $15 per year. We cannot fax or e-mail to a third party due to disclosure rules set by the IRS. The IRS charges $56 and takes 4-6 weeks if you want them to provide a copy.
- If you need a letter written to a financial institution verifying your business tax return, there is a minimum fee of $ 50. An in-depth analysis of your tax return will be billed at a minimum fee of $ 125 per year per request.
- If your tax situation changes and you need a consultation or review of your upcoming tax return, LSTS reserves the right to charge a minimum fee of $75.
- If your records need to be organized and totaled, it is up to the discretion of your preparer whether LSTS or you will be organizing this data due to time constraints. There will be a $75 per hour fee for organizing your receipts to prepare your return.
- Audit fee will be determined on a case by case basis.
- Additional fees may be assessed for other extra services:
- College financial aide forms
- Senior citizen property tax exemption form
- IRS negotiation of payments on past tax debts
- Offer in compromises - to settle past IRS tax debts
- Sales tax reports
- Setting up a new business with license application is $25 and consultation will be $75
A signed agreement of this engagement letter is on the next page. We do not this returned to us UNLESS you are not going to have a tax appointment and will only be mailing in your tax information.
If you are submitting your appointment request on line at www.lstax.com you must check the box that you agree to this engagement letter prior to submitting your request.
If you submit on line you DO NOT need to send in a signed engagement letter copy. If you have any questions, please contact the office.
This form ONLY needs to be returned if you are NOT scheduling an appointment and will be mailing in your return for processing.
PRINT YOUR NAME _____________________________________________
This engagement letter, after signing, is an acknowledgement that you have engaged LSTS to prepare your 2016 business and/or personal tax return. We will not be able to prepare your 2016 tax return until your engagement letter has been received by this office. If you requested your tax appointment on line, we do not need this form returns to us.
We greatly appreciate your giving Lake Stevens Tax Service the privilege to participate in your business and/or personal tax filing. We look forward to continued years of service to you, and by signing this engagement letter, you have decided to retain Lake Stevens Tax Service for the business and/or personal tax filing for the year of 2016.
TAXPAYERS SIGNATURE _____________________________________________ DATE ___________
SPOUSE SIGNATURE _____________________________________________ DATE ___________