Scope of services
The scope of our services is contained in the attached schedule which states your and our responsibilities in relation to the work to be carried out. Only the services listed are included within the scope of our instructions. If we agree to carry out additional services for you, we will provide you with a new or amended engagement letter.
We will provide the agreed professional services which will be conducted in accordance with the relevant professional and ethical standards issued by the Accounting Professional & Ethical Standards Board Limited (APESB). The extent of our procedures and services will be limited exclusively for this purpose only. As a result, no audit or review will be performed and, accordingly, no assurance will be expressed. Our engagement cannot be relied upon to irregularities in disclosure including fraud, other illegal acts and errors that may exist. However, we will inform you of any such matters that come to our attention.
Commissions and other benefits
Under certain circumstances we may receive commissions or other benefits for introductions to other professionals or in respect of transactions which we arrange for you. Where this happens we will notify you in writing of the amount and terms of payment and receipt of any such commissions or benefits. The same will apply where the payment is made to or the transactions are arranged by a person or business connected with ours. The fees you would otherwise pay will not be reduced by the amount of the commissions or benefits.
Communication between us is confidential and we shall take all reasonable steps to keep confidential your information except where we are required to disclose it by law, by regulatory bodies, by our insurers or as part of an external peer review. Unless we are authorised by you to disclose information on your behalf this undertaking will apply during and after this engagement.
We may, on occasions, subcontract work on your affairs to other tax or accounting professionals. The subcontractors will be bound by our client confidentiality terms. We reserve the right, for the purpose of promotional activity, training or for similar business purposes, to mention that you are a client.
We wish to draw your attention to our firm’s system of quality control which has been established and maintained in accordance with the relevant APESB standard. As a result, our files may be subject to review as part of the quality control review program of CPA Australia which monitors compliance with professional standards by its members. We advise you that by accepting our engagement you acknowledge that, if requested, our files relating to this engagement will be made available under this program. Should this occur, we will contact you.
Conflicts of interest
We will inform you if we become aware of any conflict of interest in our relationship with you or in our relationship with you and another client. We have safeguards that can be implemented to protect the interests of different clients if conflict arises.
Where conflicts identified are cannot be managed in a way that protects your interests, we will be unable to provide further services. If there is a conflict of interest that is capable of being addressed successfully by the adoption of suitable safeguards to protect your interests then we will adopt those safeguards. Where possible, this will be done on the basis of your informed consent. We reserve the right to act for other clients whose interests are not the same as or are adverse to yours subject of course to the obligations of confidentiality referred to above.
Electronic and other communication
Unless you instruct us otherwise we may, where appropriate, communicate with you and with third parties via email or by other electronic means. The recipient is responsible for virus checking emails and any attachments.
With electronic communication there is a risk of non-receipt, delayed receipt, inadvertent misdirection or interception by third parties. Virus-scanning software are used to reduce the risk of viruses and similar damaging items being transmitted through emails, cloud storage and other electronic devices. However electronic communication and storage mentioned above are not completely secure and we cannot be held responsible for damage or loss caused by viruses and unauthorized access, nor for communications which are corrupted or altered after dispatch. Nor can we accept any liability for problems or accidental errors relating to this means of communication especially in relation to commercially sensitive material. These are risks you must agree to bear in return for greater efficiency and lower costs.
Fees and payment terms
Our fees for the services provided to you will be the estimate based on the time and degree of skill, importance of decisions and advice made, level of skill and responsibility, as well as the level of risk to complete the tasks required.
Unless explicitly stated, there will be no contractual binding on estimate fee of specific work that we provide. Where requested we may indicate a fixed fee for the provision of specific services or an indicative range of fees for a particular assignment. It is not our practice to identify fixed fees for more than a year ahead, such fee quotes will require reviews.
If it becomes apparent to us that, due to unforeseen circumstances, that a fee quote is inadequate, we reserve the right to notify you of a revised figure or range and to seek your agreement thereto.
Fees are exclusive of GST which will be added where it is chargeable. Any disbursements we incur on your behalf and expenses incurred during the time frame of your work will be added to our invoices where appropriate. Unless otherwise stated, our fees do not include the costs of any third party, counsel or other professional fees.
Our fees are payable in advance and the completed work (ie tax return etc) will only be sent out to you when full payment is received.
We reserve the right to charge interest on late paid invoices at the rate of 5% above bank base rates under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998. We also reserve the right to suspend our services or to cease to act for you on giving written notice if payment of any fees is unduly delayed. We intend to exercise these rights only where it is fair and reasonable to do so. If you do not accept that an invoiced fee is fair and reasonable you must notify us within 14 days of receipt, failing which you will be deemed to have accepted that payment is due.
Under certain circumstances, you may be entitled for assistance with your professional fees, particularly in relation to any investigation into your tax affairs by ATO. Assistance may be provided through insurance policies you hold or via membership of a professional or trade body. You will remain liable for our fees regardless of whether all or part are liable to be paid by your insurers.
Intellectual property rights
We will retain all copyright in any document prepared by us during the course of carrying out the engagement save where the law specifically provides otherwise.
If any provision of this engagement agreement or enclosed schedules is held to be void, then that provision will be deemed not to form part of this contract and the remainder of this agreement shall be interpreted as if such provision had never been inserted.
Internal disputes within a client
If we become aware of a dispute between the parties who own or involved in the ownership and management of the business, it should be noted that our client is the business and we would not provide information or services to one party without the express knowledge and permission of all parties. Unless otherwise agreed by all parties we will continue to supply information to the registered office for the attention of the directors/proprietors. If conflicting advice, information or instructions are received from different directors/principals in the business we will refer the matter back to the board of directors/the partnership and take no further action until the board/partnership has agreed the action to be taken.
At all times during the term of this Agreement, the Parties shall comply with all laws, rules, regulations, and codes of all governmental authorities having jurisdiction over the businesses which are now applicable, or will be applicable, including without limitation, all special laws, policies, ordinances, or regulations now in force, as amended or enacted from now on.
Even if it may be contrary to your interests, certain statutory notices or decisions from ATO are must be complied, should the tax claim is invalid/ in-question due to lack of documentation. This will prompt us to require you to provide further information and documentation, and/or revise the validity of your claim.
Insofar as we are permitted to do so by law or professional guidelines, we reserve the right to exercise a lien over all documents and records in our possession relating to all engagements for you until all outstanding fees and disbursements are paid in full.
Limitation of Third Party rights
The advice and information we provide to you as part of our service is for your sole use and not for any third party to whom you may communicate it unless we have expressly agreed in the engagement letter that a specified third party may rely on our work. We accept no responsibility to third parties for any advice, information or material produced as part of our work for you which you make available to them. For the purpose of eliminating any doubt, we will not be held responsible should a financial institution (or any other party) rely on financial statements we have provided to you.
Ownership of Documents
All original documents obtained from the client arising from the engagement shall remain the property of the client. However, we reserve the right to make a reasonable number of copies of the original documents for our records. All other documents produced by us in respect of this engagement will remain the property of the firm.
Period of engagement and termination
Our work will begin when we receive your acceptance of this engagement agreement. With exception for work prior to period of the date we receive your acceptance. This agreement will be effective for all future years unless either party advises of any change in our arrangement.
When a taxpayer or entity is removed from our tax agent role with the ATO by the taxpayer or entity themselves, or by registering with another tax or ASIC agent, this engagement is immediately discontinued at that time, and all responsibility for any services covered under this engagement is revoked.
Each of us may terminate this agreement by giving not less than 21 day notice in writing to the other party except where you fail to cooperate with us or we have reason to believe that you have provided us or ATO with misleading information, in which case we may terminate this agreement immediately. Termination will be without prejudice to any rights that may have accrued to either of us prior to termination. In the event of termination of this contract, we will endeavour to agree with you the arrangements for the completion of work in progress at that time, unless we are required for legal or regulatory reasons to cease work immediately. In that event, we shall not be required to carry out further work and not be responsible or liable for any consequences arising from termination.
Further to our general right to disengage services to any entity, on the 1st June of every year, any client who has not provided information for their prior financial year tax return, or is not in an lodgement extension arrangement will be removed from our client list due to Tax Agent Lodgement Program that require us as a tax agent to meet compliance levels to retain our concessional lodgement timeframes.
Entities removed from our client list will have no agent appointed from there on in for the remainder of concessional compliance timeframe established by signing the Agreement of our Engagement. We may however consider re-engagement where an entity is ready to bring their obligations up to date, at that time.
Professional rules and statutory obligations
We will observe and act in accordance with the relevant professional and ethical standards issued by the Accounting Professional & Ethical Standards Board Limited (APESB) and will accept instructions to act for you on this basis. In particular you give us the authority to correct errors made by ATO where we become aware of them. We will not be liable for any loss, damage or cost arising from our compliance with statutory or regulatory obligations. The requirements are available on-line at:
Reliance on advice
We will endeavour to record all advice on important matters in writing. Advice given orally is not intended to be relied upon unless confirmed in writing. Therefore, if we provide oral advice (for example during the course of a meeting or a telephone conversation) and you wish to be able to rely on that advice, you must ask for the advice to be confirmed by us in writing.
Responding to Non-compliance with Laws and Regulations
Our engagement cannot be relied upon to disclose irregularities including fraud, other illegal acts and errors that may exist or occur. However, we may, take steps and actions as set out in Section 225 of the Code, “Responding to Non-Compliance with Laws and Regulations”. These include but are not limited to the following. During the course of our engagement, if we identify or suspect that non-compliance with laws or regulations has occurred or may occur which;
We will discuss the matter with the appropriate level of management, those charged with governance as appropriate, to enable you to rectify, remediate or mitigate the consequences of the identified or suspected non-compliance or deter the commission of the non-compliance where it has not yet occurred. We will consider whether to communicate the non-compliance or suspected noncompliance with external auditors, unless prohibited by law or regulation. We will also consider, based on materiality and/or significance of the matter, whether further action is needed in the public interest.
Further action may include disclosing the matter to an appropriate authority even when there is no legal or regulatory requirement to do so or withdrawing from the engagement and the professional relationship where permitted by law or regulation. Where appropriate we will inform you of our intention to disclose the matter to an appropriate authority before disclosing the matter. However, if we have reason to believe that the actual or intended conduct would constitute an imminent breach of a law or regulation that would cause substantial harm to investors, creditors, employees or the general public, we may immediately disclose the matter to an appropriate authority in order to prevent or mitigate the consequences of such imminent breach of law or regulation.
Retention of records
During the course of our work we may collect information from you and others relevant to your tax affairs. We will return any original documents to you. Whilst certain documents may legally belong to you we may destroy correspondence and other papers that we store, electronically or otherwise, which are more than 5 years old.
You have a legal responsibility to retain documents and records relevant to your tax affairs where:
Storage of Personal Information and Data Protection
As with other professional services firms, we are required to identify our clients for the purposes of the Australia anti-money laundering legislation. We will collect, request from you, and retain such information and documentation as we require for these purposes and/or make searches of appropriate databases.
We confirm that we will comply with the provisions of the Privacy Act 1998 when processing and personal information. In order to carry out the services of this engagement and for related purposes such as updating and enhancing our client records, analysis for management purposes and statutory returns, legal and regulatory compliance and crime prevention we may obtain, process, use and disclose your personal data.
We may use cloud computing services to store the data collected. To protect this Personal Information and other data of the Client from unauthorized disclosure we will use commercially reasonable security technologies (such as encryption, password protection and firewall protection). You are to hereby acknowledge and agree that security of the Personal Information and other data are not guaranteed, and that the use of cloud computing services may therefore entail certain risks. We shall only be responsible if it has finally judicially been determined that it did not take commercially reasonable measures to protect your Personal Information and other data from unauthorized disclosure.
Tax Agent Services Regime
There are provisions in the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (“TAA”) that provide you (as of 1 March 2010) with “safe harbours” from administrative penalties from incorrect or late lodgement of returns, if among other things, you give us “all relevant taxation information” in a timely manner. This includes cooperate with our requests for information to allow us to accurately perform our work and promptly advising us of anything that occurs subsequently to render any previous information incorrect, misleading or incomplete.
Any failure by you to provide all such information and documentation, reply to our requests for information, or to advise us of any changes in circumstances may affect your ability to access the safe harbour provisions. Further, as the ATO monitors the lodgement and accuracy compliance of Cube Accounting as a tax agent, and we are bound by our professional association ethical values, we reserve the right to discontinue our engagement with any entities that provide untimely, misleading or illegitimate information.
Third-party Audits, Reviews and Questionnaires
The ATO (as an example) conduct both random and targeted audits in order to maintain the integrity of the tax system. As your tax agent, we are often the first contact for the ATO where they are conducting an audit or review. Often the initial contact takes time to ascertain exactly what type of audit or review the ATO are conducting, what information they require, the time frame of the audit or review, and various other aspects. As your tax agent, you are authorising Cube Accounting to automatically handle this initial ATO contact and you agree to pay any fees levied by Cube Accounting for its time involved. Once details of this initial ATO contact has been ascertained, you will be contacted with the details of the audit or review, and at that stage you can request or decline further assistance with the audit or review. There are other entities (particularly Government entities) that this would apply to, such as ASIC, WorkCover, State Governments for Payroll Tax, and numerous others.
The attached schedule to this engagement agreement should be read in conjunction with it.
SCHEDULE OF SERVICES – Sole Proprietor
This schedule should be read in conjunction with the engagement agreement.
Recurring compliance work
1. We will prepare the following together with any supplementary pages required from the information and explanations that you provide to us:
After obtaining the Nominated Owner or other Nominated Person and signature, we will submit your returns to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
2. We will maintain the accounting records of the Sole Proprietor on your behalf from the information and explanations provided to us on your behalf for the purposes of preparing the annual accounts and tax returns.
3. We will prepare the income and expenditure and capital accounts of the Sole Proprietor in accordance with generally accepted accounting practice from the books, accounting records and other information and explanations provided to us on your behalf. We will not be responsible for reviewing or verifying any financial statements provided to us either via manual cashbooks or prepared on accounting software such as Xero, MYOB or Quickbooks. Correct coding or classification of accounts is outside the scope of this engagement. If assistance is required for coding or review of accounts, please discuss this with us as it will entail work which is additional to the current scope and will incur an additional charge.
4. We will calculate your income tax and tell you how much you should pay and when. We will advise on the interest, penalty and surcharge implications if tax is paid late. We will also check ATO’s calculation of your tax and initiate refund claims if tax has been overpaid.
5. We will advise you as to possible tax return related claims and elections arising from information supplied by you. Where instructed by you, we will make such claims and elections in the form and manner required by ATO.
6. Where the terms of the Sole Proprietor require income or capital payments to be made to the beneficiaries, we will assist you in preparing all necessary forms relating to such payment.
7. Before we lodge any returns on your behalf, we will forward the documents to you for approval. We will endeavour to ensure that the returns are lodged by the due dates subject to your provision of all information and supporting documents in a timely manner
8. Bookkeeping includes:
9. Payroll includes:
Ad hoc and advisory work
10. Where you have instructed us to do so, we will also provide such other taxation ad hoc and advisory services as may be agreed between us from time to time. These may be the subject of a separate engagement letter at our option. Where appropriate we will discuss and agree an additional fee for such work when it is commissioned by you. Examples of such work include:
11. Where specialist advice is required on occasions we may need to seek this from or refer you to appropriate specialists.
Changes in the law
12. We will not accept responsibility if you act on advice given by us on an earlier occasion without first confirming with us that the advice is still valid in the light of any change in the law or your circumstances.
12. We will accept no liability for losses arising from changes in the law or the interpretation thereof that are first published after the date on which the advice is given.
13. As Owners you have legal responsibility for:
(a) The reliability, accuracy and completeness of the accounting records, particulars and information provided and disclosure of all material and relevant information.
(b) To arrange for reasonable access by us to relevant documents, and shall be responsible for both the completeness and accuracy of the information supplied to us. Any advice given to you is only an opinion based on our knowledge of your particular circumstances.
(c) Ensuring that your self assessment tax returns are correct and complete;
(d) Filing any returns by the due date; and
(e) Making payment of tax on time.
Failure to do this may lead to automatic penalties, surcharges and/or interest.
14. Owners who sign their returns cannot delegate this legal responsibility to others. You agree to check that returns that we have prepared for you are complete before you approve and sign them.
Please note that a taxpayer is responsible under self assessment to keep full and proper records in order to facilitate the preparation of a correct return. Whilst the Commissioner of Taxation will accept claims made by a taxpayer in an income tax return and issue a notice of assessment, usually without adjustment, the return may be subject to later review. Under the taxation law such a review may take place within a period of up to 5 years after tax becomes due and payable under the assessment. Furthermore, where there is fraud or evasion there is no time limit on amending the assessment. Accordingly, you should check the return before it is signed to ensure that the information in the return is accurate.
Where the application of a taxation law to your particular circumstances is uncertain you also have the right to request a private ruling which will set out the Commissioner’s opinion about the way a taxation law applies, or would apply, to you in those circumstances. You must provide a description of all of the facts (with supporting documentation) that are relevant to your scheme or circumstances in your private ruling application. If there is any material difference between the facts set out in the ruling and what you actually do the private ruling is ineffective.
If you rely on a private ruling you have received, the Commissioner must administer the law in the way set out in the ruling, unless it is found to be incorrect and applying the law correctly would lead to a better outcome for you. Where you disagree with the decision in the private ruling, or the Commissioner fails to issue such a ruling, you can lodge an objection against the ruling if it relates to income tax, fuel tax credit or fringe benefits tax. Your time limits in lodging an objection will depend on whether you are issued an assessment for the matter (or period) covered by the private ruling.
15. To enable us to carry out our work you agree:
(a) That all returns are to be made on the basis of full disclosure of all sources of income, charges, allowances and capital transactions;
(b) To provide full information necessary for dealing with the Sole Propriator’s taxation affairs: we will rely on the information and documents being true, correct and complete and will not audit the information or those documents;
(c) To advise us of distributions made within 30 days of such an event;
(d) To authorise us to approach such third parties as may be appropriate for information that we consider necessary to deal with your affairs; and
(e) To provide us with information in sufficient time for your tax return to be completed and submitted by the due date following the end of the tax year. If you are late in providing information, we will do our best to meet the time limits, but we will not be responsible for any late lodgement penalties you may incur.
16. You will keep us informed of material changes in your circumstances that could affect the income, capital gains and tax liabilities of the Sole Propriator. If you are unsure whether the change is material or not please let us know so that we can assess its significance.
17. You will forward to us ATO statements of account, copies of notices of assessment, letters and other communications received from ATO by you in time to enable us to deal with them as may be necessary within the statutory time limits. Although ATO have the authority to communicate with us, it is essential that you let us have copies of any correspondence received because ATO is not obliged to send us copies of all communications issued to you.
Confirmation of Terms
Please sign and check below to indicate that it is in accordance with your understanding of the arrangements. This agreement will be effective for future years unless we advise you of any change.