Effective 1 July 2020
Our engagement terms include our engagement letter (including any schedule, attachment or annexure) and these business terms and conditions and replace any prior agreement between us in relation to the services being provided as set out in our engagement letter.
The receipt by you of our services will be deemed to be under these engagement terms.
For any existing or future services, the standard business terms for Dry Kirkness will apply, unless agreed otherwise.
We review our business terms from time to time and if we change these terms, we will send you a new version that will apply to you. To the extent of any inconsistency between our terms and the engagement letter, our engagement letter shall prevail.
In these terms and conditions, the term:
‘you’, ‘yours’ and ‘Entity’ refer to the parties listed in the engagement letter.
‘we’, ‘us’ and ‘ours’ refer to the partnership of Dry Kirkness, its partners and employees.
Compliance with professional standards
Where we suspect there may be any non-compliance with laws or regulations, we are required under APES 110 issued by the Accounting Professional & Ethical Standards Board to consider this matter. This may involve making further enquiries, considering the position and taking actions considered to be appropriate, with the objective being to rectify, remediate or mitigate the consequences of the non-compliance. This extends to a public interest duty as defined by APES 110.
Your obligations and rights
The Tax Agents Services Act 2009 requires us to advise you of your rights and obligations where we are acting for you on taxation matters. In relation to the taxation services provided:
- You are subject to the self-assessment system in relation to any of your income tax returns. The Commissioner is entitled to rely on any statements made in your income tax returns. Where those statements are later found to be incorrect, the Commissioner may amend your income tax
- assessments and, in addition to any tax assessed, you may also be liable for penalties and interest charges.
- You have an obligation to keep proper records that will substantiate the taxation returns prepared and which will satisfy the substantiation requirements of the Income Tax Assessment Act. Failure to keep such records could result in claims being disallowed, additional tax being imposed, and the imposition of penalty or general interest charges.
- You are responsible for the accuracy and completeness of the particulars and information required to comply with the various taxation laws. We will use this information supplied in the preparation of your returns.
Your rights as a taxpayer include:
- The right to seek a private ruling;
- The right to object to an assessment by the Commissioner;
- The right to appeal against an adverse decision by the Commissioner.
Certain time limitations may exist for you to exercise these rights. Should you wish to exercise these rights at any time you should contact us so that we can provide you with the relevant time frames and to discuss any additional requirements that may exist.
Privacy and Confidentiality
From time to time, we may be asked to provide copies of the financial statements, income tax returns or other information produced in the course of this engagement for you.
If we are requested to provide this information (including to a third party such as a financial institution), any one person subject to this engagement can provide this authorisation. For example, if your spouse requests information regarding the business or your personal information, then we have authority to provide this information to them without seeking further authorisation.
During the course of this engagement we will collect personal information from the individuals involved. We will treat as confidential and maintain the confidentiality of all information and records that you provide or disclose to us, and those produced in the course of completing an engagement. This information will only be disclosed to a third party where specific authority has been granted for us to provide this information, or where we are subject to a legal duty or professional obligations under APES 110 to disclose the information.
From time to time our files are subject to review by Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand, which monitors quality control and compliance. By agreeing to the terms of this engagement you agree that files relating to this engagement may be made available under this program if required.
Fees and Disbursements
Our fees assume that the source material you provide to us is reliable and useable to complete the engagement. Where there is uncertainty regarding the source material, or the tax or accounting treatments used, then we will raise these issues with you. Rectification of these issues is not included in our fee estimates and will be invoiced in addition to our fee estimates.
General assistance with issues that you may face from time to time outside of this engagement will be billed at an hourly rate.
Where you require additional work to be completed beyond this engagement then this will represent a separate engagement. We will agree the nature and fee for this work with you prior to commencement.
Tax Invoices will be issued progressively as work segments are completed under this engagement. Invoices are payable within 14 days.
We reserve the right to suspend work where these invoices remain unpaid.
In the event that the fees for this engagement and any other additional work requested remain unpaid, we reserve the right to explore a lien over any documents in our possession.
We may ask you to pay us an amount of on account of future costs. You authorise us to draw on this amount in payment of our fees as they become due.
All fees and expenses will be increased by any applicable taxes, such as goods and services tax or similar value added taxes.
In the course of our engagement we will prepare various working papers and notes consistent with our internal quality control system. These working papers remain the property of our firm and will be retained by us to support any future queries on work completed. Original source records provided by you to us to assist in the completion of your work will be returned to you at the completion of each engagement. Where appropriate, we may take copies to retain for our client files.
Conflict and Independence
If we become aware of a conflict of interest during the performance of the engagement, we will discuss this with you. We are required by our professional standards and the Tax Agents Services Act to be independent and in the event that our independence is compromised we reserve the right to withdraw our services from all or any of the clients for whom we act.
Benefit of advice
If our engagement includes the provision of accounting or tax advice, it is provided to the parties named in the engagement letter. It is given solely for the use of those parties and our duty of care does not extend to any other entity or individual.
You must obtain our written consent if you wish to discuss our advice to any other person.
Limitation of Liability
The liability of our firm is limited by a Professional Standards Scheme. You can find more information on the scheme through the Professional Standards Councils: http://www.psc.gov.au/
We utilise third party software systems as part of our service delivery to you. Some of these systems store data on servers domiciled in Australia and outside of Australia. At all times, your data is under our control and we have taken all reasonable measures to protect your privacy.
From time to time our firm uses the services of an outsourced software and accounting technician provider that may have an operating centre outside of Australia. We utilise this service for the basic compilation of income tax returns and financial statements. All work is monitored, reviewed and completed by us. Signing our engagement letter is an acceptance that we may use an outsourcing service for this engagement.
Terms of Engagement
This engagement covers the work specified in the scope of services. If there is a change in the terms or scope of the engagement, a change to your management, ownership or structure, a change in the size and nature or your business, or to the laws and regulations applicable to the scope of works, then a new engagement letter will be required.
Our engagement terms and any obligations arising from the engagement shall be governed by the law of Western Australia.
In the event that any of these terms are deemed invalid, the remaining business terms remain in force.
End of our Engagement
You may end the engagement at any time. If you do this, we will cease work for you immediately and have no further obligations or responsibility to you.
We may end the engagement:
- If any amount is unpaid after the due date for payment and we have sent you a notice that we intend to end the engagement;
- If you do not provide us with adequate instruction or respond to requests for information from us;
- If a conflict arises which despite our best efforts cannot be satisfactorily addressed;
- For any other just cause.
In these circumstances and on request we can assist you in finding alternate accountants and assist to transition the relationship.
You must pay our fees for work done and expenses incurred up to the date the engagement ends.