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Engagement Letter

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[Taxpayer(s)/Client(s)]:

Eide & Eide CPAs, LLC is pleased to provide you with the professional services described below. This letter and any other attachments incorporated herein (collectively, “Agreement”), confirm our understanding of the terms and objectives of our engagement and the nature and limitations of the services we will provide. The engagement between you and our firm will be governed by the terms of this Agreement.

Engagement Objective and Scope

We will prepare your 2017 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return ( Form 1040 and applicable Schedules ) and State Resident Income Tax Return as required by law.  A list of all forms required for filing will be listed on your invoice upon completion of tax returns.

We will not prepare any tax returns except those identified above, without your written request, and our written consent to do so. We will prepare your tax returns based upon information and representations that you provide to us. We have not been engaged to and will not prepare financial statements. We will not audit or otherwise verify the data you submit to us, although we may ask you to clarify certain information.

We will prepare the above referenced tax returns solely for filing with the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) and state and local tax authorities as identified above. 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 our firm and its partners, principals, shareholders, officers, directors, members, employees, agents or assigns (collectively, “firm,” “we,” “us,” or “our”) 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 and state and local tax authorities regardless of the nature of the claim, including the negligence of any party.

Your acceptance below agrees that any dispute (other than our efforts to collect an outstanding invoice) that may arise regarding the meaning, performance or enforcement of this engagement or any prior engagement that we have performed for you, will, prior to resorting to litigation, be submitted to mediation, and that the parties will engage in the mediation process in good faith once a written request to mediate has been given by any party to the engagement.  Any mediation initiated as a result of this engagement shall be administered within the county of Lake County, Illinois, according to its mediation rules, and any ensuing litigation shall be conducted within said county, according to Illinois law.  The results of any such mediation shall be binding only upon agreement of each party to be bound.  The costs of any mediation proceeding shall be shared equally by the participating parties.

Any claim arising out of this Agreement shall be commenced within one year of the delivery of the work product to the client.  Any action not brought within that one year time period shall be barred despite any other limitations period set forth by either case law or statute.  Our firm's liability for claims, damages, and costs arising from this engagement is limited to the total amount of fees paid for the year(s) at issue by the client to our firm for services rendered under this agreement.

Our engagement does not include any procedures designed to detect errors, fraud, or theft. Therefore, our engagement cannot be relied upon to disclose such matters.

This engagement is limited to the professional services outlined above.

CPA Firm Responsibilities

Unless otherwise noted, we will perform our services in accordance with the Statements on Standards for Tax Services (“SSTS”) issued by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (“AICPA”) and U.S. Treasury Department Circular 230 (“Circular 230”).

We will prepare your tax returns based upon your filing status (single, married filing jointly, married filing separately, head of household or qualifying widow[er] with dependent child) as reflected in your income tax returns for last year. If your filing status has changed, you wish to change your filing status, or you have questions about your filing status, please contact us immediately.

Bookkeeping Assistance

We may deem it necessary to provide you with accounting and bookkeeping assistance solely for the purpose of preparing the income tax returns. These services will be performed solely in accordance with the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct. We will request your approval in writing before rendering these services. Additional charges will apply for such services.

Estimated Tax Payments

You may be required to make quarterly estimated tax payments. We will calculate these payments for the 2018 tax year based upon the information you provide to prepare your 2017 tax returns and have no obligation to update recommended payments after the engagement is completed. If you ask us to update your estimated tax payments, we will confirm this in a separate engagement letter.

Tax Planning Services

Our engagement does not include tax planning services. 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, we will confirm this representation in a separate engagement letter.

Government Inquiries

This engagement does not include responding to inquiries by any governmental agency or tax authority. If your tax return is selected for examination or audit, you may request our assistance in responding to such an inquiry. If you ask us to represent you, we will confirm this representation in a separate engagement letter.

Third-Party Verification Requests

We will not respond to any request from banks, mortgage brokers or others for verification of any information reported on these tax returns.

Divorce

If you inform us of your pending divorce, we will advise each of you to seek independent tax advice. As you may have conflicting interests, we may not be able to advise you going forward. Consequently, we will require a letter of instruction from both of your divorce attorneys identifying items needed to prepare your tax return and your agreement to same before the tax returns can be prepared. In addition, we will require both of you to sign a conflict of interest waiver. For example, your income tax return filing status is an item about which we will need instruction. Electing a filing status of married filing jointly establishes joint liability for taxes owed and requires that certain tax related decisions be made prior to the preparation of income tax returns. In the event you elect to file separate tax returns, you will both be required to sign new engagement letters prior to the preparation of your returns.

Tax Advice

Our advice is based upon tax reference materials, facts, assumptions, and representations that are subject to change. Tax reference materials include, but are not limited to the Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”), tax regulations, Revenue Rulings, Revenue Procedures, Private Letter Rulings and court decisions. 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.

Arguable Positions

We will use our judgment to resolve questions in your favor where a tax law is unclear, provided there is substantial support 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 the Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”), tax regulations, Revenue Rulings, Revenue Procedures, Private Letter Rulings and court cases. If the IRS, state or local tax authorities later contest the position taken, there may be additional tax, penalties, interest, and professional fees. We assume no liability, and you hereby release us from any liability for such additional tax, penalties, interest, and professional fees.

Client Responsibilities

We will provide you with an income tax organizer to help you compile and document the information we will need to prepare your income tax returns. You must complete the income tax organizer with accurate and complete information. Income from all sources, including those outside the U.S., is required.

We rely upon the accuracy and completeness of both the information you provide in the income tax organizer and other supporting data you provide in rendering professional services to you.

Documentation

You are responsible for maintaining adequate documentation to substantiate the accuracy and completeness of your tax returns. You should retain all documents that provide evidence and support for reported income, credits, and deductions on your returns, as required under applicable tax laws and regulations. You are responsible for the adequacy of all information provided in such documents. You represent that you have such documentation and can produce it, if needed, to respond to any audit or inquiry by tax authorities. You agree to hold harmless our firm and its partners, principals, shareholders, officers, directors, members, employees, agents or assigns with respect to any additional tax, penalties, or interest imposed on you by tax authorities resulting from the disallowance of tax deductions due to inadequate documentation.

You should retain all the documents, cancelled checks and other data that form the basis of income and deductions.  These may be necessary to prove the accuracy and completeness of the returns to a taxing authority.  You have the final responsibility for the income tax returns and, therefore, you should review them carefully before you sign them.  You should make sure to keep your copies of completed returns in a safe place.  We will return to you all of your records that you provide to us.  If we make copies of such records for inclusion in our work papers, such copies become our property and will be provided to you at our discretion.

Communication

In connection with this engagement, we may communicate with you or others via email transmission.  As emails can be intercepted and read, disclosed, or otherwise used or communicated by an unintended third party, or may not be delivered to each of the parties to whom they are directed and only to such parties, we cannot guarantee or warrant that emails from us will be properly delivered and read only by the addressee.  Therefore, we specifically disclaim and waive any liability or responsibility whatsoever for interception or unintentional disclosure of emails transmitted by us in connection with the performance of this engagement.  In that regard, you agree that we shall have no liability for any loss or damage to any person or entity resulting from the use of email transmissions, including any consequential, incidental, direct, indirect, or special damages, such as loss of revenues or anticipated profits, or disclosure or communication of confidential or proprietary information.

Personal Expenses

You are responsible for ensuring that personal expenses, if any, are segregated from business expenses and that expenses such as meals, travel, entertainment, vehicle use, gifts, and related expenses are supported by necessary records required by the IRS and other tax authorities. At your written request, we are available to provide you with written answers to your questions on the types of supporting records required.

State and Local Filing Obligations

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. You agree that we have no responsibility to research these obligations or to inform you of them. If upon review of the information you have provided to us, along with information that comes to our attention, we believe you may have additional filing obligations, we will notify you of this responsibility in writing and ask you to contact us. If you ask us to prepare these returns, we will confirm this representation in a separate engagement letter.

Most states have increased their efforts in identifying out-of-state purchases ( online or otherwise ) in which there was no sales/use tax paid on purchases.  If you have applicable non-taxed purchases in the reporting year, please make sure to bring this matter and totals to our attention so that we may incorporate this information on your return.

U.S. Filing Obligations Related to Foreign Financial Assets

As part of your filing obligations, you are required to report the maximum value of specified foreign financial assets, which include financial accounts with foreign institutions and certain other foreign non-account investment assets that exceed certain thresholds. You are responsible for informing us of all foreign assets, so we may properly advise you regarding your filing obligations.

These assets include any ownership interests you directly or indirectly hold in businesses located in a foreign country, and any assets or financial accounts located in a foreign country over which you have signatory authority. Based upon the information you provide, this information will be used to calculate any applicable foreign tax credits. We will also use this data to inform you of any additional filing requirements, which may include Form 8938, Statement of Specified Foreign Assets, and FinCEN Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (“FBAR”). Failure to file required forms can result in the imposition of both civil and criminal penalties, which may be significant. The FBAR is not a tax return and its preparation is not within the scope of this engagement. If you ask us to prepare the FBAR, we will confirm this representation in a separate engagement letter.

Foreign Filing Obligations

You are responsible for complying with the tax filing requirements of any other country. You acknowledge and agree that we have no responsibility to raise these issues with you and that foreign filing obligations are not within the scope of this engagement.

Ultimate Responsibility

You have final responsibility for your income tax returns. We will provide you with a copy of your electronic income tax returns and accompanying schedules and statements for review prior to filing with the IRS and state and local tax authorities (as applicable). You agree to review and examine them carefully for accuracy and completeness.

You will be required to verify and sign a completed Form 8879, IRS e-file Signature Authorization, and any similar state and local equivalent authorization form before your returns can be filed electronically.

In the event that you do not wish to have your income tax returns filed electronically, please contact our firm. Additional procedures will apply. You will be responsible for reviewing the paper returns for accuracy, signing them, and filing them timely with the tax authorities.

Timing of the Engagement

We expect to begin our services upon receipt of the completed 2017 income tax organizer and all tax documents requested either in the organizer or by our office.

If your return is electronically filed, our services will conclude upon the earlier of:

  • the filing and acceptance of your 2017 tax returns by the appropriate tax authorities,
  • written notification by either party that the engagement is terminated, or
  • one year from the execution date of this Agreement.

Extensions of Time to File Tax Returns

The original filing due date for your Federal and State tax returns is April 15, 2018.  Due to the high volume of tax returns prepared by our firm, the information needed to complete the tax returns must be received no later than March 31, 2018 so that the returns may be completed by the original filing due dates.

It may become necessary to apply for an extension of the filing deadline if there are unresolved tax 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. Our firm will not file these applications unless we receive an executed copy of this Agreement and your express written authorization to file for extension. In some cases, your signature may be needed 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.

We are available to discuss this matter with you at your request. Additional charges will apply for such services.

Penalties and Interest Charges

Federal, state, and local tax authorities impose various penalties and interest charges for non-compliance with tax laws and regulations, including, failure to file or late filing of returns, and underpayment of taxes. You, as the taxpayer, remain responsible for the payment of all tax, penalties, and interest charges imposed by tax authorities.

We rely on the accuracy and completeness of the information you provide to us in connection with the preparation of your tax returns. Failure to disclose or inadequate disclosure of income or tax positions may result in the imposition of penalties and interest charges.

Professional Fees

Our professional fee for the services outlined above is due at delivery/receipt of tax returns. This fee is based upon the complexity of the work to be performed, and our professional time, as well as out-of-pocket expenses. We reserve the right to suspend our services or to withdraw from this engagement in the event that any of our invoices are deemed delinquent.  In addition, this fee depends upon the timely delivery, availability, quality, and completeness of the information you provide to us. You agree that you will deliver all records requested and respond to all inquiries made by our staff to complete this engagement on a timely basis. You agree to pay all fees and expenses incurred whether or not we prepare the income tax returns.

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We appreciate the opportunity to be of service to you.  Please date and execute the enclosed copy of this Agreement and return it to us to acknowledge your acceptance. We will not initiate services until we receive the executed Agreement.

 

Truly Yours,

Eide & Eide CPAs, LLC

 

_______________________________

CPA

 

ACCEPTED:

 

 

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Client Signature                                                                           

 

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Client Spouse’s Signature

 

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Date