We look forward to providing you with tax return preparation services this year! The purpose of this letter and attached “Additional Engagement Terms” is to specify the terms of our engagement and clarify the nature and extent of the services we will provide. This way, you know what to expect from us, and we can endeavor to delight you with high-quality, seamless services.
Returns Covered under the Engagement
With this letter, you are engaging us to:
- Prepare your 2021 U.S. and state income tax returns with all required accompanying forms, statements, and schedules
- Perform the necessary bookkeeping for preparation of the income tax returns
We will provide these services based on the information you furnish to us as described below. If you have taxable income or loss in a state or locality other than your resident state, please let us know, and we would be pleased to prepare the required nonresident state tax return(s). In addition, you may have a filing requirement or tax liability in a foreign country. Generally, you are responsible to determine whether you must file and pay taxes in a foreign country; however, upon request, we would be pleased to assist you in making these determinations. We will not prepare any tax returns other than those identified above, without your written request, and our written consent to do so.
We will prepare the above-referenced tax returns solely for filing with the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) and applicable state and local tax authorities. Our work is not intended to benefit or influence any third party, either to obtain credit or for any other purpose.
You agree to indemnify and hold us harmless with respect to any and all claims arising from the use of the tax returns for any purpose other than filing with the IRS, state and local tax authorities, regardless of the nature of the claim, including the negligence of any party.
This engagement is limited to the professional services outlined above.
Information Gathering and Submittal Process
You are responsible for fully and accurately disclosing to us all relevant facts affecting your returns. To help you assemble the information needed for your returns, we will provide you with a questionnaire, organizer, and/or other documents requesting specific information. Once your information is assembled and organizers/questionnaires are complete, you will submit your complete information to us. Please know that failure to provide information via completed questionnaires and organizers may require an extraordinary effort on our part, which may be reflected in our fee for service.
We will not audit or otherwise verify the information you provide us; however, we may ask for additional clarification of some information. You should maintain the documentation necessary to support the data used in the preparation of your tax returns should you be required to produce them upon examination by the taxing authorities.
Client Due Diligence
We will provide you with guidance on the timeline for submitting your tax information to us. It is your responsibility to provide your complete tax information to us in a timely manner so that we can prepare your tax returns in time for you to file them by the due dates. You also have the final responsibility for the tax returns, and therefore, once you receive them, you should carefully review the returns (to determine that there are no omissions or misstatements) before signing them and submitting them to the tax authorities, or authorizing e-filing of the returns.
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.
Any advice we may provide is based upon tax reference materials, facts, assumptions, and representations that are subject to change. We will not update our advice after the conclusion of the engagement for subsequent legislative or administrative changes or future judicial interpretations. To the extent we provide written advice concerning federal tax matters, we will follow the guidance contained in Circular 230, §10.37, Requirements for Written Advice.
We will use our 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.
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:
- Ownership with respect to certain foreign corporations (Form 5471);
- Foreign-owned U.S. corporation or domestic disregarded entity (Form 5472);
- Foreign corporation engaged in a U.S. trade or business (Form 5472);
- U.S. transferor of property to a foreign corporation (Form 926);
- Ownership or signature authority for foreign bank or financial accounts (FBAR, FinCen Form 114).
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.
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.
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.
Support for Examinations by Tax Authorities
Not every interpretation of promulgated tax rules is straightforward and/or without uncertainty. Accordingly, we will use our professional judgment in preparing your returns. If a tax authority should later contest a position taken, or otherwise impose penalties and/or interest for non-compliance with tax laws and regulations, there may be an assessment of additional tax plus interest and/or penalties. We assume no liability for any such additional assessments. Any items resolved against you by the examining agent are subject to certain rights of appeal. In the event of an examination, we may be available to represent you. Since the selection of your return for review or examination is beyond our control, our fee to prepare your returns does not include responding to inquiries or examination by tax authorities.
In the event we are required by law, government regulation, subpoena, or other legal process, to produce documents or testimony with respect to this engagement, so long as 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 counsel incurred in responding to such demands.
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.
You are responsible for obtaining Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, from each new employee at the time of employment. In addition, Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, and the applicable state equivalent should be retained for all employees. Failure to obtain these forms may subject an employer to penalties. Additional state requirements related to employment records may exist.
You acknowledge and confirm that you, in consultation with other professional advisors, as needed, are responsible for determining the correctness of any worker classification. Payroll tax withholding and related employer payroll tax implications result from this determination. We cannot advise you with respect to worker classification and will rely upon your determination of same.
We recommend obtaining a signed contract and signed Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification, or Form W-8BEN, Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding and Reporting (Individuals), from all independent contractors. You should provide all independent contractors with both forms and let them determine the form (W-9 or W-8BEN) that reflects their status.
You should also issue a Form 1099-NEC, Nonemployee Compensation, to all unincorporated domestic independent contractors to whom you pay $600 or more for services. For those who provided a completed Form W-8BEN, a Form 1042-S must be issued to individuals if any payment is made from U.S. sources that would be deemed to be fixed or determinable annual or periodical income or other types of income included in the instructions, even if these payments are subject to a reduced income tax withholding rate or are exempt from income tax withholding due to an income tax treaty. In addition, state rules should also be reviewed to determine if state taxes are required to be withheld and separate returns completed for any independent contractor. At your written request, we are available to provide written answers to your questions on required documentation and only written responses from us may be relied upon.
Some of these filings are due as early as January 31, 2022, and significant penalties are assessed for late filing, non-filing and filing of incorrect information. Preparation of these forms is not within the scope of this engagement. If you ask us to prepare these forms, and we agree to prepare them, we will confirm this engagement in a separate agreement. If you fail to adhere to the filing deadlines, you will be responsible for any penalties, interest, and related professional fees for the improper filing.
Your transactions with related parties are subject to the transfer pricing rules of IRC §482, Allocation of Income and Deductions Among Taxpayers, which require that such transactions are conducted in an arm’s length manner. Taxpayers who do not have the required documentation may be subject to significant penalties if transfer pricing adjustments are sustained upon examination by the IRS. You acknowledge and confirm that you are able to document your transfer pricing policies in accordance with IRC §482 and §6662, Imposition of Accuracy-Related Penalty on Underpayments, and the regulations thereunder in order to reduce this risk. If you ask us to conduct a transfer pricing study, and we agree to conduct the study, we will confirm this engagement in a separate agreement.
Method of Communication
Our firm may utilize electronic communications (e.g., fax and e-mail) during this engagement. You consent to our firm’s use of electronic communications and recognize and accept the inherent risks related to these forms of communication (including the security risks of interception of or unauthorized access to such communications, the risks of corruption of such communications, and the risks of viruses or other harmful intrusions).
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.
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.
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.
Brokerage, Investment Advisory or Cryptocurrency Statements
If you provide our firm with copies of brokerage, investment advisor, or cryptocurrency statements, 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.
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.
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 and bill you for the required services. You agree to pay for those required services.
Comfort Letter 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.
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.
IRS Form 8275 and 8275-R
The IRS and many states impose penalties for substantial understatement of tax. To avoid the substantial understatement penalty, you must have substantial authority to support the tax treatment of the item challenged by the IRS or have an adequate disclosure of the item. To fulfill the adequate disclosure requirement, you may be required to attach to your tax return a completed Form 8275, Disclosure Statement, or Form 8275-R, Regulation Disclosure Statement, which discloses all relevant facts.
You agree to advise us if you wish to disclose a tax treatment on your return. If you request our assistance in identifying or performing further research to ascertain if there is substantial authority for the proposed position to be taken on the tax item(s) in your returns, and we agree to perform the research, we will confirm this engagement in a separate agreement. It is your responsibility to contact us if additional assistance is required.
If we conclude as a result of our research that you are required to disclose a transaction on your tax return, you consent to attach Form 8275 or Form 8275-R to your tax return for filing after we discuss the matter with you. If the IRS, state or local tax authorities later contest the position taken, additional tax, penalties, and interest may be assessed. We assume no liability, and you hereby release us from any liability arising from such contest, including but not limited to, additional tax, penalties, interest, and related professional fees for the position taken.
Extensions of Time to File Tax Returns
The original filing due dates for your tax returns are listed in the tax questionnaire we sent you. Due to the high volume of tax returns prepared by our firm, you must provide the information needed to prepare the tax returns no later than the dates specified in the questionnaire. Failure to do so may result in the inability to complete your returns by the original filing due dates.
It may become necessary to apply for an extension of the filing deadline if there are unresolved issues or delays in processing, or if we do not receive all of the necessary information from you on a timely basis. Applying for an extension of time to file may extend the time available for a government agency to undertake an audit of your return or may extend the statute of limitations to file a legal action. All taxes owed are due by the original filing due date. Additionally, extensions may affect your liability for penalties and interest or compliance with governmental or other deadlines.
To the extent you wish to engage our firm to apply for extensions of time to file tax returns on your behalf, you must notify us of this request in writing. In some cases, your signature may be required on such applications prior to filing. Failure to timely request an extension of time to file can result in penalties for failure to file tax returns, which accrue from the original due date of the returns, and can be substantial.
Our fees are based on the complexity of your returns, the tax forms prepared, and the amount of time required at our standard hourly billing rates. Please note that the manner in which the data is presented to us and any necessary tax research on a particular subject can affect the final fee. Our services will conclude upon delivery of the completed tax returns or upon our withdrawal from the engagement, if earlier. Fees are considered earned when payment is received, or services concluded, whichever is earlier. Invoices are due and payable on presentation. Past due balances may be subject to finance and collection charges.
We require a retainer to get started. In addition, we require a credit card to be placed on file with our office. Once your returns are completed, we will send them to you, along with a copy of your invoice for services rendered. If your returns qualify for e-filing (and we receive your signed e-file authorizations within 2 weeks of delivery), we will charge the balance of your invoice to your credit card upon receipt of your signed e-file authorization forms. If your returns must be paper filed or e-filed later, we will charge the balance of your invoice to your card upon delivery of your returns to you.
Please complete the form on the following payment page to authorize us to charge your retainer and tax preparation fees to your credit card, according to these terms.
If you authorize The Wolf Group, PC to prepare your 2021 income tax returns pursuant to the terms set forth above, please sign below and return the signed letter to our office. Retain a copy of this letter for your records. If we do not receive a signed original of this letter but receive a completed copy of the Tax Organizer and/or supporting documentation, then such receipt shall be deemed to evidence your acceptance of the terms set forth herein.
We want to express our appreciation for this opportunity to serve you.
Very truly yours,
The Wolf Group, PC
Additional Engagement Terms
Responsibilities of the Client
A fundamental term of this Agreement is that the Client will provide us with all information relevant to the services to be performed and to provide us with any reasonable assistance as may be required to properly perform the engagement. The Client agrees to bring to our attention any matters that may reasonably be expected to require further consideration to determine the proper treatment of any relevant item. The Client also agrees to bring to our attention any changes in the information as originally presented as soon as such information becomes available. Unless otherwise indicated, any deliverables are solely for Client’s internal use and benefit.
Responsibilities of The Wolf Group, PC (“The Wolf Group”)
We will perform our services on the basis of the information you have provided and in consideration of the applicable federal, state or local laws, regulations and associated interpretations relative to the appropriate jurisdiction as of the date the services are provided. Tax laws and regulations and/or their interpretation are subject to change at any time, and such changes may be retroactive in effect and may be applicable to advice given or other services rendered before their enactment dates. We do not assume responsibility (and will have no liability) for such changes occurring after the date we have completed our services.
The services performed under this Agreement do not include the provision of legal advice and we make no representations regarding questions of legal interpretation. Client should consult with its attorneys with respect to any legal matters or items that require legal interpretation, under federal, state or other type of law or regulation.
As you may be aware, tax returns and other filings are subject to examination by taxing authorities. We will be available to assist the Client in the event of an audit or any issue for which we have provided services under this Agreement. However, unless otherwise indicated, our fees for these additional services are not included in our fee for the services covered by this Agreement.
Disassociation or Termination of Engagement
Either party may terminate this Agreement at any time upon written notice of termination to the other party. In the event of termination, Client will be responsible for fees earned and expenses incurred through the actual date of termination.
Except to the extent finally determined to have resulted from the gross negligence or other intentional misconduct of The Wolf Group, The Wolf Group’s liability to pay damages for any losses incurred by the client as a result of breach of conduct, negligence or other tort committed by The Wolf Group, is limited to the total amount of fees charged by The Wolf Group for the particular service provided under this Agreement to which such claim relates.
For Entities Classified as Partnerships:
- Allocation of partnership income and expenses
You are responsible for verifying the accuracy of both the allocation of partnership income in accordance with the terms of the partnership agreement and the partnership income calculations used in the preparation of the tax returns.
The Treasury Department has proposed regulations under IRC §752, Treatment of Certain Liabilities, concerning transactions between partners and the partnership, on the allocation among partners of partnership level debt and disguised sales under IRC §707, Transactions Between Partner and Partnership. If you ask us to evaluate compliance with IRC §707 and/or §752, and we agree to do so, we will confirm this evaluation in a separate agreement.
- Partner salaries
A partner or LLC member receiving a guaranteed salary payment is not regarded as an employee of the entity for the purpose of withholding or Social Security taxes. Any additional fringe benefits a partner or LLC member receives are not subject to withholding. These fringe benefits may, however, be included in the income of the partner or LLC member. You are responsible for informing us of the total guaranteed payments, including fringe benefits, received by each partner or LLC member.
- Schedule K-1, K-2, and K-3 distribution
You are responsible for distributing a copy of the partnership or LLC’s Schedule K-1, K-2, and K-3s to each partner or member.
For Entities Classified as S Corporations:
- S Corporation Election
You are responsible for retaining a copy of your S corporation election and/or the IRS’s acceptance of it.
- S corporation shareholder agreements
You should review your corporate buy-sell agreement and other stock agreements with your attorney to ensure these documents meet your goals for the transfer of corporate stock.
- Salaries and wages for S corporation shareholders
You are responsible for determining the appropriate salary or wage to pay shareholders. If the IRS determines that the S corporation made distributions in lieu of an appropriate shareholder salary or wage, the IRS may reclassify the payments. As a result of the reclassification, the shareholder and S corporation may be responsible for employment taxes on the reclassified amounts in addition to penalties and interest. You agree to hold our firm harmless with respect to any liability, including but not limited to, additional tax, penalties, interest and professional fees resulting from changes to S corporation shareholder salaries and wages.
- S corporation distributions
Distributions should be made to shareholders on a per share, per day basis. If distributions were not made proportionately, the IRS may take corrective action, including potentially revoking the entity’s S corporation election, which may result in unfavorable tax consequences. As such, it is your responsibility to ensure that shareholder distributions are made on a pro-rata basis.
- Schedule K-1, K-2, and K-3 distribution
You are responsible for distributing a copy of the S corporation’s Schedule K-1, K-2, and K-3s to each shareholder.
For Entities Classified as C Corporations:
- Reasonable compensation
You are responsible for determining the appropriate salary or wage to pay shareholder-employees. If the IRS determines that the C corporation paid salaries or wages in lieu of an appropriate taxable dividend, the IRS may reclassify the payments. As a result of the reclassification, the shareholder may be responsible for tax, penalties and interest on the taxable dividend in addition to potential employment taxes on the reclassified amounts. You agree to hold our firm harmless with respect to any liability, including but not limited to, additional tax, penalties, interest and professional fees resulting from any reclassification.
- Changes in ownership
You are responsible for advising us of any changes in ownership so that it may be properly reflected on the tax returns.
Neither party shall be liable to the other for any delay or failure to perform any of the services or obligations set forth in this Agreement due to causes beyond its reasonable control.
This Agreement shall be governed by and construed, interpreted and enforced in accordance with the laws of the State of Virginia, without giving effect to the provisions relating to conflict of laws.
The Wolf Group, PC is a member of Nexia International, an international network of independent accounting and consulting firms. Nexia International does not accept any responsibility for the commission of any act, or omission to act by, or the liabilities of, any of its members. Membership of Nexia International, or associated umbrella organizations, does not constitute any partnership between members, and members do not accept any responsibility for the commission of any act, or omission to act by, or the liabilities of, other members.