AccuVisors 2023 Tax Return Engagement Letter
Terms and Conditions
January 15, 2024
We are happy to provide you with services for the 2023 Tax Season!
Please read ALL sections carefully as important tax information
and answers to common questions have been provided.
CLIENT SUMBMISSION OF DOCUMENTS: MARCH 1, 2024
ACCUVISORS FINAL DEADLINE – to Prepare your Returns: MARCH 25, 2024
IRS TAXES DUE- Filed: APRIL 15, 2024
WHAT’S INCLUDED ACTION REQUIRED
• Tax Preparation Policies
• Tax Engagement Letter (requires signature)
• Extension Checklist
• Disclosure Consent
Provide initials and signatures (where prompted)
Return forms (can be returned electronically)
Tax Preparation Policies
To ensure the highest level of service possible and at a reasonable cost, please see our policies without limitations below. Please keep a copy as they include instructions on accessing your client portal.
TIMING / WHEN WILL MY RETURN BE COMPLETED???
Our policy is to prepare tax returns in the order of receipt.
Note: “In the order” is defined as the time at which we receive ALL OF THE DOCUMENTS NECESSARY TO PREPARE THE RETURN.
BUSINESS VEHICLE EXPENSES/MILEAGE
This ONLY APPLIES TO individuals who own their business and/or are paid as independent contractors (i.e. via 1099-NEC) and use their car for business. This no longer applies to individuals paid as employees (i.e. via W-2) based on changes in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017
The IRS and the State of California assume that taxpayers claim business auto expenses without adequate documentation. Based on audits involving automobile expenses, they are usually right which equated to millions of dollars in deductions being disallowed. If you are unaware of what information is required to report auto mileage, we will provide our Business Auto Deduction worksheet upon request which ensures you include the information necessary to claim auto expenses (business mileage) on your return.
PLEASE NOTE THAT IF YOU HAVE OWNERSHIP IN AN ENTITY (i.e. LLC, S-Corporation, C-Corporation, etc.) and you pay all your automobile expenses through the company, the method in which automobile expenses is reported is different.
CLIENT PORTAL INSTRUCTIONS
Based on increased security protocols, we do not accept tax documents as email attachments. To facilitate this process, we have created an easy-to-use client portal. Our Secure Client Portal provides a secure method (utilizing 256‐bit encryption) in which to transfer and exchange documents. The portal is FINRA and HIPPA compliant.
ALL tax related documents should be uploaded to the client portal. You may access the portal at any time through our web site which is currently located at www.accuvisors.com (note that the website address will be updated shortly).
PLEASE NOTE WE CANNOT ACCEPT .JPG FILES. PLEASE CONVERT ALL DOCUMENTS TO PDF.
To access the portal, you can use the link in the upper right-hand corner of the website homepage or you may access the portal using the instructions provided below.
To access the Client Portal:
Go to: https://accuvisors.firmportal.com/login Your username is the email address we have as the main contact (typically the husband if you are married, yours if you are not).
If you have forgotten your password: (OUR STAFF IS NOT ABLE TO RESET IT FOR YOU)
1. Enter your email address – This MUST be the same email address as the one the email is addressed to
2. Click on the Forgot Password link in the bottom left corner of the log-in box.
3. Follow the instructions to set or reset your password.
4. Please make note of your password. If you forget your password, you will have to go through the Forgot Password process to reset it.
First time users will receive an email with a temporary password. You will be prompted to change your password when you first login.
If we do not receive ALL the information necessary to prepare your return by MARCH 1, 2024, your tax return will be extended and subject to extension filing fees. At times, due to factors beyond our control, once all tax information is provided to us by the information deadline, we may still end up needing to extend returns that were expected to be filed on or before April 15th.
Important Note: We work hard to minimize the chance of this happening. An extension of time to file will NOT prompt a tax audit. (These days more returns are extended than not.) If we have your information and you indicate that it is okay to extend your return, we will still try to prepare the return prior to the original filing deadline.
Filing an extension with the IRS/FTB is only an extension of time to file. It is NOT an extension to PAY the tax due on or before the original filing date, which is typically April 15th for individual tax returns.
When an extension is necessary, we estimate what liability will be due (upon request) and suggest a safe harbor amount to be paid by the original filing date to mitigate the chances of the liability being subject to penalties and related interest.
Please note that we bill for the time necessary to calculate the amount to be paid with extension. This could be as much as an additional 75% of your regular tax preparation fees.
Even though the IRS issues most electronic refunds in less than 21 days, it’s possible a particular refund may take longer. Some tax returns require additional review and take longer to process than others.
You can go to Where’s My Refund?, or get the free IRS2Go App to check the status of your refund within 24 hours after the IRS has received your electronically filed tax return.
Our policy is…
“We expect to be paid when your tax returns are complete and ready to file.”
Nothing upsets a client more than a misunderstanding. It can leave everyone feeling hurt and/or offended. As a client, you know that we are very honest, up-front and run our office in a manner that reflects the same. We prefer to address things (even difficult things) up-front so there is little to no chance of a misunderstanding. As such, the purpose of this agreement is to clearly set forth expectations. We have no hidden motives, have no intention to be harsh, and have no desire to secretly “take a jab” at anyone. This is just a simple reminder.
Payment Options. ACH payments are processed at no additional cost through our office. Electronic payments other than ACH are subject to a 3% processing fee. Call (858) 345-5720 to make payments arrangements. If paying by check, make it payable to Accuvisors. Accounts past due will be charged interest and administrative costs at 1.5% per month.
If we do not hear from you ahead of time, we assume that you will pay for your tax return upon completion and prior to filing. If you have not paid for any prior year’s work and no arrangement has been made, we require payment in advance of commencing work on your current year’s taxes.
Dear Client (Client, you),
This letter confirms the terms of our engagement and the services AccuVisors provides. We will prepare your 2023 federal and state personal income tax returns from the information you supply.
We will not audit or otherwise verify the data you submit, although it may be necessary to request clarification and/or additional documentation. Generally, we rely on your representation that you have maintained the documentation required by law to support the information you provide, including expenses for meals, entertainment, travel, gifts, vehicle use, charitable contributions, etc. By signing this letter, you confirm that the information you supply AccuVisors is accurate and complete to the best of your knowledge, and that you have disclosed to us all relevant facts affecting the return.
You should retain all documents, cancelled checks, and the data that form the basis of your income and deductions, as well as copies of your tax returns. These documents may be necessary to prove the accuracy and completeness if the returns are examined by a taxing authority. We will furnish you with questionnaires and/or worksheets to guide you in gathering the necessary information. You have final responsibility for your income tax returns; therefore, you should carefully review them before they are signed by you.
Please Note: It Is Our Policy Not To Start Work
Until All Information Necessary To Prepare The Return Is Received
To complete your tax returns and file by the original filing deadline (April 15), we must receive ALL preparation information by March 1st 2024, including without limitation:
• Executed Engagement Letter Package
• Extension Checklist Response (preview copy). The fillable/executable form will be sent in separate email once we receive your signed engagement package.
• Completed Questionnaire
• All Supporting Documents
• Completed Organizer (if applicable)
If we do not have all the information by the dates indicated below, upon your request we will file (electronically whenever possible) a request for extension on your behalf.
***To meet this extension deadline, we must receive ALL documentation no later than SEPT 1, 2024**
If we receive your tax information within 45 days of the extended tax deadline, we will attempt to prepare your return before the deadline, subject the following surcharges but make no promises it will be done timely.
• 20% Rush Fee if ALL tax information received between 31 and 45 days before the extended tax deadline.
• 40% Rush Fee if ALL tax information received between 16 and 30 days before the extended tax deadline.
• Tax information received within 15 days of the tax deadline will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and will be subject to a minimum 50% Rush Fee if the return is able to be completed timely.
If an extension is required, we will use the information available at that time to prepare the extension. Sometimes, preparing and filing an extension requires almost as much work as preparing the final return. In such cases, you should expect as much as an additional 75% of the fee to prepare your final return. While we prefer to receive your express approval to file the extension on your behalf, there are times when we may do so at your option if you are not reachable. While an extension provides you an extension of TIME to file, it does NOT provide an extension of time to pay statutory liability amounts. Taxes due on April 15th that are not paid in a timely manner will result in penalties and interest.
If a joint return is prepared, tax returns and copies of all supporting documentation will be made available to either spouse without the consent or notification of the other spouse.
The fees paid for your tax return preparation do not include (1) our representing you should your tax return be selected for examination by the taxing authority/s; (2) tax planning for any future years; or 3) handling of notices from tax agencies. These additional services will be provided upon mutual consent by you and us and at our standard hourly rates.
Our tax return preparation services do not include any procedures designed to discover defalcations or irregularities, should any exist. At our discretion, we may render accounting and bookkeeping assistance as determined to be necessary for the preparation of the income tax returns. This work will be performed at our normal hourly rates. We will use our professional judgment to resolve issues in your favor, whenever possible, when tax law is unclear, or conflicts exist in supportable tax positions and taxing authorities’ interpretations of the law.
Client understands and agrees to sole responsibility for all payments to workers including, without limitation, wages paid to employees, related penalties, and interest regarding the same, penalties and related interest and penalties assessed under the California Labor Code, Internal Revenue Code, and assessments stemming from any other legislation.
AccuVisors makes no representations as to the legal classification of independent contractors and employees. This is outside the scope of our practice and Client must not rely on any statement or representation of AccuVisors in this regard. AccuVisors recommends that Client seek professional legal advice regarding the proper legal classification of independent contractors and employees. Client hereby acknowledges and accepts that any legal implications attributable to the legal classification of independent contractors and employees shall be the sole responsibility of Client.
Certain communications (but not all) involving tax advice may be privileged and not subject to disclosure to the IRS. By disclosing the contents of those communications to anyone, or by turning over information about those communications to the government, you may be waiving that privilege. To protect your right to privileged communication, please consult with us or your attorney prior to disclosing any information about tax advice.
We prepare tax returns for the sole purpose of filing with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and State and local taxing authorities. They are not intended to benefit or influence any third party, to obtain credit or for any other purpose. Thus, you agree to indemnify and hold our firm and any of its partners, principals, shareholders, officers, directors, members, employees, agents, or assignees harmless from all claims arising from the use of the tax returns for any purpose other than filing with the IRS and state and local tax authorities, regardless of the nature of the claim, including the negligence of any party.
Your tax returns may be selected for review by the taxing authorities. If the government selects your return for examination, we will be available to assist you. This work will be done at our standard hourly rates. At such time, a separate retainer will be collected from you allowing us to commence work. Your tax preparation invoice must be paid in full prior to commencement of additional services including without limitation audit representation.
As part of our standard operating practices and procedures, we retain our workpapers and any copies of client records obtained under this engagement for a 5-year period. Unless you request otherwise in writing, we may at our discretion destroy the workpapers and records after the period stated above. If you do not make such a request in a timely fashion, you agree that you shall not thereafter assert any claim, the resolution of which would have been materially aided with those workpapers or records. If you request workpapers be retained beyond the period stated above, we will attempt to do so but make no promise that we will.
Invoices we issue are due upon receipt or completion of the preparation of your
return (prior to filing); whichever is sooner.
Our tax return preparation fees are based on a variety of factors, only one of which is the time involved in preparing your returns. Other factors include without limitation complexity, risk, organization and availability of documentation and expertise required. We will sometimes estimate a fixed fee or range. It is our policy to try and notify you if our efforts increase by more than 20% of the estimated amount/s we provided. Any non‐preparation time (such as tax planning, review, consulting, etc.) is billed at our standard billing rates per the attached Schedule 1, unless services are included under as separate agreement. Processing and other fees will be levied as outlined in schedule 2. Out‐of‐pocket expenses including without limitation, postage, messenger fees and filing fees will be assessed as applicable.
If you are a returning client and your tax circumstances have not changed, you can anticipate your fee may be within 10% of your prior year fee. If tax law changes, or your circumstances have changed, the fees charged for our services may exceed our 10% estimate.
If this is our first year preparing your returns, you will likely receive an estimated range of preparation fees. If upon receiving your documentation, we believe the fees will vary significantly (more than 20%) from our estimates, it is our policy to attempt to contact you to discuss the projected increase. If fees for prior work remain unpaid, we require full payment in advance prior to commencement of preparing your current year return.
If you expect us to prepare other return or perform other services not covered under this agreement, please contact us to discuss your needs. We are happy to issue a separate engagement agreement covering other services. If the foregoing fairly sets forth your understanding, please sign the enclosed copy of this letter and return it to our office. It is our policy that work will not commence until a signed copy of this document is returned.
We look forward to working with you.
Joanne M. Barsa
Certified Public Accountant
I have read this engagement letter in its entirety. I agree to the terms of this letter and to all of the sections where my initials are requested as acknowledgement.
Upon completion of your tax returns and payment of all fees due, we provide a digital (.PDF) client copy of your returns before filing for your review. Should you require a paper copy we will provide you with a copy subject to a processing $50.00 fee. If more than one copy is needed this fee may be higher.