Hale & Company, CPA, P.C. is committed to the highest quality of accounting, tax and consulting services. We are members the Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysis (Business Valuation). Our policies and procedures are design to provide quality tax and accounting services and to inform you of how we accomplish our work product.
We will prepare your Federal, Oklahoma, and other requested income tax returns from information that you will furnish to us. We prefer the original source documents for all the W-2s, 1099s, K-1s and other documents you receive from companies or other third parties.
We enter the date from the original source documents and all W-2s, 1099s and K-1s are reviewed by another staff member. We will not audit or otherwise verify (as defined by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) the data you submit, although it may be necessary to ask you for clarification of some of the information to avoid improper reporting and possible Internal Revenue Service (IRS) penalties.
We electronically scan all W-2s, 1099s and K-1s, along with other relevant documents, into our electronic file cabinet. All original source documents and other documents are returned to you. We do not keep any documents you send to us. All original documents are your property. In addition, we do not keep the originals documents because of space limitations.
We may furnish you with tax organizers, questionnaires, and worksheets to guide you in gathering the necessary information. Your use of such forms will assist in keeping pertinent information from being overlooked. We may use outside services to assist us in the preparation of your returns.
We will prepare your returns in accordance with the tax laws as set forth in the current Internal Revenue Code and various state laws, statutes, and regulations. In analyzing your tax information, we may discover conflicting authorities as to how you should report (or not report) an item or transaction on your tax returns. Statutes, court cases, public information releases, regulations, and so forth are constantly changing. As your advocate, we will use professional judgment in resolving questions where the tax law is unclear, or where there may be conflicts between the taxing authorities' interpretations of the law and other supportable positions. Unless otherwise instructed by you, we will resolve such questions in your favor whenever there is reasonable justification to do so and we will discuss with you any significant unusual risks involved.
Our work in connection with the preparation of your income tax returns does not include any procedures designed to discover defalcations or other irregularities, should any exist. We will render such accounting and bookkeeping assistance as determined to be necessary for preparation of the income tax returns. All work is performed on a best efforts basis, with no guarantee of outcome. We accept no responsibility for any inability or failure to spot any given problem before its occurrence, nor do we assume any financial obligation to you because of any future outcome arising from this engagement.
If, during our work, we discover information affecting your prior year tax returns, we will make you aware of the facts. However, we cannot be responsible for identifying all items that may affect prior year returns. If you become aware of such information during the year, please contact us to discuss the best resolution of the issue.
Your returns may be selected for review by the taxing authorities. Any proposed adjustments by the examining agent are subject to certain rights of appeal. In the event of such government tax examination, we will be available upon request to represent you and will render additional invoices for the time and expenses incurred. As a responsible client, you agree to contact us immediately if you discover additional information that may lead to a change in your returns, or if you receive any letters from the IRS or state taxing authorities.
It is your responsibility to provide all the information required for the preparation of complete and accurate returns. You agree to provide us with complete and adequate information as required by law on a timely basis and you represent that the information you are supplying to us is accurate and complete to the best of your knowledge. We will rely on your source documents, W-2's, 1099's, computer disks, and other third party source documents in determining the tax, character, and treatment of a given transaction.
You represent there is adequate substantiation to support deductions for any expenses claimed on the returns. You have the final responsibility for the income tax returns and, therefore, you should review them carefully before you sign any document authorizing us to electronically file the returns for you (or before you sign them for filing and mailing, if they are not electronically filed). In addition, it is your responsibility to make quarterly estimated tax payments if you are required to do so.
The IRS and other taxing authorities have the right to examine the tax returns you file. You should be aware of certain record keeping requirements. The law requires you to maintain information substantiating all income and deductions on your tax returns. Specific written records are required for deductions of certain charitable contributions, business travel, meals, entertainment, most business auto mileage, and some home computer use. There is a specific question on your tax return about whether you keep such written records – and we assume you do have these written records unless you let us know otherwise. Let us know if you have questions about the kinds of documentation that will satisfy these IRS requirements. All of your original records will be returned to you at the end of each engagement. Our working papers and files are not a substitute for the original records that you should maintain. You should retain all the documents, canceled checks, and other data that form the basis of income and deductions for a minimum of 5 years. These may be necessary to prove the accuracy and completeness of the returns to a taxing authority if you are audited.
The initial filing deadline for the tax returns is April 15th for individuals and partnerships and March 15th for corporations. In order to meet the filing deadlines, we should generally, receive the information needed to complete the returns at least 21 days prior to the due date.
If an extension of time to file the returns are required (extension is until October 15th), any tax that may be due with the returns should be paid with the extensions. We will file extensions as we judge necessary to avoid any reasonable chance of failing to comply with filing deadlines should information needed to complete a return not be received by us with adequate time (in our sole judgment) for careful preparation. Any amounts not paid by the filing deadline are subject to interest and late payment penalties when those amounts are actually paid.
Email has become a very efficient means of communication. We endeavor to keep emails as confidential as possible, however, email is not to be considered as legally confidential and it is our policy to hold harmless each other for any breaches of confidentiality arising from the use of email in any way pertaining to this engagement.
In our CPA firm, electronic filing of tax returns has shown to be the most efficient, accurate, and timely method to get tax returns to the government. If you are due a refund, the refund check will be in your hands much quicker than if the returns are mailed (and even another week earlier if you elect to have the refund directly deposited into your bank account). All tax returns that qualify for electronic filing are electronically filed at no additional charge to the client. Returns that qualify for electronic filing, but are requested to be manually filed (i.e., mailed) by the client are subject to an additional charge to cover the inefficiency we will incur for the additional time, labor, and materials involved.
Our fee for these services, for the initial engagement (fees are generally subject to annual periodic changes), will be based upon the complexity of the tax returns, taking into account interview and tax research time, skill needed to prepare the return, number of forms and items per form, tax return processing charges, and clerical costs, plus any applicable out-of-pocket costs such as long distance phone calls, postage, and transportation expenses. A non-refundable deposit may be required once the engagement has been accepted. Payment is due and payable upon the completion of your tax returns and before the returns are electronically filed (or prior to when the returns are delivered to you, if the returns are not to be filed electronically). In the event that our statements for fees remain unpaid after 20 days, we reserve the right to charge a re-billing administration fee for each subsequent statement issued, plus interest at the rate of 1.75% per month, to help defray a portion of the additional costs of carrying and administering delinquent accounts. A minimum fee of $85 may be charged for each rerun or recalculation due to the submission of additional data by the client after the returns have been completed. Tax return preparation fees referred to above are based on the assumption that the client supplies schedules and expense category totals necessary to enable us to prepare the return. Additional accounting work we need to perform to supply necessary totals or schedules not supplied by the client will be subject to additional charges at our hourly rate in effect at that time.
The tax law provides various penalties that may be imposed when taxpayers understate their tax liability. It is important that you know the law imposes a penalty if a taxpayer makes a substantial understatement of tax liability. For individual taxpayers, a substantial understatement occurs when the understatement for the year exceeds the greater of 10% of the tax required to be shown on the return or $5,000. The penalty is 20% of the tax underpayment. IRS audit procedures will usually include questions on bartering transactions and on deductions that require strict documentation such as travel and entertainment expenses and expenses for business usage of autos and computers. In preparing your returns, we rely on your representations that we have been informed of all bartering transactions and that you understand and have complied with the documentation requirements for your expenses and deductions. If you have questions about these issues, please let us know.
Application of the ever-changing tax laws is an uncertain area. While we will provide our best efforts to help you retain the most advantageous possible tax position within the laws, our liability for breach of contract or negligence shall be limited to the fees that we have billed for our services. Interest on deficiencies is the price for the use of money and not our responsibility. Penalties covering items that pertain to the tax returns are the responsibility of the taxpayer(s). In the event of preparer error, our firm will pay any penalty that the IRS or state department of revenue assesses due to our error.
Any controversy, dispute, or questions arising out of, or in connection with this agreement or our engagement shall be determined by arbitration conducted in accordance with the rules of the American Arbitration Association, and any decision rendered by the American Arbitration Association shall be binding on both parties to this agreement. The costs of any arbitration shall be borne equally by the parties.
We are available to provide you with tax planning advice, although we are not obligated to do so unless you specifically request it. Our policy is to put all tax planning advice in writing; therefore, you should not rely on any unwritten advice because it may be tentative, incomplete, and not yet fully reviewed. In addition, certain communications involving tax advice between you and our firm may be privileged and not subject to disclosure to the IRS. By disclosing the content of those communications to anyone or by turning over information about those communications to the government, you may be waiving this privilege. To protect your right to privileged communication between yourself and our firm, please contact your attorney or us prior to disclosing any information about our tax advice to anyone.
Like all providers of personal financial services, tax professionals are required by law to inform clients of their policies regarding privacy of client information. Our firm continues to adhere to professional standards of confidentiality that are even more stringent than those required by law. We have always protected the security and privacy of your personal and financial information.
Types of Nonpublic Personal Information We Collect
The only nonpublic personal information we collect is provided to us by you or obtained with your authorization.
Parties to Whom We Disclose Information
We do not disclose any nonpublic personal information obtained in the course of our practice except as required or permitted by law. Permitted disclosures may include providing information to our employees, or, in limited situations, to unrelated third parties who need that information to assist us in serving you. In all situations, we stress the confidential nature of the information being shared.
Protecting the Confidentiality and Security of Clients' Information
We retain records relating to our professional services to better serve your professional needs and, in some cases, to comply with professional guidelines. In order to protect your nonpublic personal information, we maintain physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards that comply with our professional standards.
IRS CIRCULAR 230 DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENT: IRS Circular 230 requires us to notify you that any tax advice contained in this communication (including attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by any person for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed by law.