Letter of engagement for Virtual Tax Partner support services.

This is an agreement made between Ross Martin Tax Consultancy Limited "VtaxP" and you.

Complete your details below. Print off and read and then physically sign this letter and then email back to VtaxP.

To obtain the correct address for email, please Contact VtaxP with the heading: Email address for VtaxP please.

Our apologies that this is such an elaborate process however we are unable to provide advice without a letter of engagement in place.

Full Name

Address:            

 

 

 

Postcode

 

Professional institute membership no:  

or, if not a professional firm

 Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) or

National Insurance number  

 

Acceptance

I agree to standard terms and conditions (below) which fully record the agreement between us concerning your appointment to carry out the work described in those documents.

Signed…………………………………………………………………………… 

                                                                                                                                          

Print name………………………………………………………………….

Date……………………..          

 

Engagement letter

This letter sets out our services, which, together with our standard terms and conditions set out the basis on which we will act for you.

Please print out two copies of this letter, and sign one, and return it to Ross Martin Tax Consultancy by post. If you wish us to commence work immediately, we will either accept a scanned copy, or an email from you confirming that you have signed this letter, you must also enclose the original in the post.

Who we are acting for

We are acting for you. 

Period of engagement

This engagement will start with immediate effect.

Scope of services

We will provide you with tax assistance, on a flexible basis as requested by you. The exact type of assistance may vary according to the nature of your request. It may be in the form of verbal or written guidance in relation to a taxing problem, checking computations or more general discussion in respect of the following taxes: Income tax, Capital Gains Tax, Corporation Tax, Capital Allowances, Inheritance Tax, VAT, Stamp Duties, PAYE, National Insurance and International Taxes. We specialise in advice on business start-ups, incorporation and sale, employee benefits, share schemes and setting up qualifying EIS and SEIS companies.

If legal assistance is required in conjunction with tax assistance we will make recommendations suggestions and, if agreed we will then engage our legal team to draft the supporting documentation.  

Instruction

We request that you instruct us in writing by email.

Fees

Our fees are charged according to the schedule of fees set out in our attached standard terms and conditions.  Please review these to ensure you understand the basis of our charges.

Payment terms

We will bill at monthly intervals unless we have agreed a fixed fee. In the case of a fixed fee we require a payment in advance.

Limitation of liability

We specifically draw your attention to paragraphs 15 to 17 of our standard terms and conditions which sets out the basis on which we limit our liability to you and to others.

Your agreement

Please confirm your agreement to the terms of this letter and the standard terms and conditions by signing and returning one copy of this letter.

Yours faithfully

The directors,
Ross Martin Tax Consultancy Limited.

Our standard terms and conditions of business to this engagement letter and should be read in conjunction with it.

STANDARD TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS 1 JANUARY 2016

1.      Applicable Law

Our engagement letter, the schedule of services and our standard terms and conditions of business are governed by, and should be construed in accordance with English law.  Each party agrees that the courts of England will have exclusive jurisdiction in relation to any claim, dispute or difference concerning this engagement letter and any matter arising from it.  Each party irrevocably waives any right to object to any action being brought in those Courts, to claim that the action has been brought in an inappropriate forum, or to claim that those Courts do not have jurisdiction.

2.      Client identification

Under the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 we are obliged to obtain evidence of identity for all clients.  When returning the signed engagement letter please supply your passport or photo driving licence together with a recent personal utility bill certified by a solicitor or by the Post Office.  An online identity check will also be carried out.

If you are a registered member of an accountancy institute please provide your membership number and institute in lieu of the above.

3.      Complaints

We are committed to providing you with a high quality service that is both efficient and effective.  However, should there be any cause for complaint in relation to any aspect of our service please contact us using our VtaxP email.  We agree to look into any complaint carefully and promptly and do everything reasonable to put it right.  If you are still not satisfied you can refer your complaint to our professional body, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

4.      Confidentiality

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.

5.      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.  Where conflicts are identified which cannot be managed in a way that protects your interests then we regret that 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.

6.      Data Protection

We confirm that we will comply with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 when processing personal data about you and your family.  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 personal data about you.

7.      Disengagement

Should we resign or be requested to resign we will normally issue a disengagement letter to ensure that our respective responsibilities are clear.

8.      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.  We use virus-scanning software to reduce the risk of viruses and similar damaging items being transmitted through emails or electronic storage devices.  However electronic communication is not totally secure and we cannot be held responsible for damage or loss caused by viruses nor for communications which are corrupted or altered after despatch.  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 bear in return for greater efficiency and lower costs.  If you do not wish to accept these risks please let us know and we will communicate by paper mail, other than where electronic submission is mandatory.  

Any communication by us with you sent through the post is deemed to arrive at your postal address two working days after the day that the document was sent.

9.      Fees, billing and payment terms

The level of fees that we charge depends not only upon the amount of time spent but also on the level of skill and responsibility and the importance and value of the advice that we provide, as well as the level of risk. Our minimum charge is a quarter of an hour of time. Paid subscribers to the www.rossmartin.co.uk website are offered free tax advice by VtaxP if their query falls into the descriptive category of a "Free Quick call".

What is a "Free Quick call"? This is a telephone call with a duration of less than 5 minutes that does not require any research on our part or any response in writing.

For any written or telephone query we endeavour to provide an estimate of an approximate fee for a particular assignment at the outset. If you require a fixed fee, please state this.

For extras or time based billing our fees are charged in units of a quarter of an hour, with a minimum charge of a quarter of an hour.

Our standard charges are all discounted if you are a subscriber to www.rossmartin.co.uk.
The discount for subscribers is unlimited: it applies to any number of queries.

Rates (per quarter of an hour) are as follows:

Subscribers

Partner rate: £56.25 + VAT

Manager rate: £43.75 + VAT

Non-subscribers

£75 + VAT

All fees are subject to VAT at standard rate.

Discounts are available when you book us for one whole day or more, such as on days where we come to you for file or case reviews and in-house training. 

It may be impractical for us to bill you for the odd quick one off telephone or email query, however, in the case of several queries, we generally issue a fee note once time committed is in excess of half an hour.

Estimated fees: we will bill monthly or bi-monthly and our invoices will are due for payment within 14 days of issue. 

Fixed fees: we require full payment on account up-front and we will invoice you on receipt.

Our fees are exclusive of VAT which will be added where it is chargeable.  Any disbursements we incur on your behalf, and expenses incurred in the course of carrying out our work for you, will be added to our invoices where appropriate.

Unless otherwise agreed to the contrary our fees do not include the costs of any third party, counsel or other professional fees.

We understand and will exercise our statutory right to claim interest and compensation for debt recovery costs under the late payment legislation if we are not paid according to agreed credit terms. 

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.

If a client company, trust or other entity is unable or unwilling to settle our fees we reserve the right to seek payment from the individual (or parent company) giving us instructions on behalf of the client and you agree that we shall be entitled to enforce any sums due against the Group Company or individual nominated to act for you.

10.   Implementation

We will only assist with implementation of our advice if specifically instructed.

11.   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.

12.   Interpretation

If any provision of this engagement letter or enclosed schedules is held to be void, then that provision will be deemed not to form part of this contract.

In the event of any conflict between these terms of business and the engagement letter or appendices, the relevant provision in the engagement letter or schedules will take precedence.

13.   Investment advice (including insurance mediation services)

We are not authorised to provide investment advice.

14.   Lien

Insofar as we are permitted to so by law or professional guidelines, we reserve the right to exercise a lien over all funds, documents and records in our possession relating to all engagements for you until all outstanding fees and disbursements are paid in full.

15.   Limitation of liability

We will provide our services with reasonable care and skill.  Our liability to you is limited to the sum of £1,000,000 for any losses, damages, costs and expenses caused by our negligence or wilful default.

Exclusion of liability for loss caused by others

We will not be liable if such losses, penalties, surcharges, interest or additional tax liabilities are due to the acts or omissions of any other person or due to the provision to us of incomplete, misleading or false information or if they are due to a failure to act on our advice or a failure to provide us with relevant information.

Exclusion of liability in relation to circumstances beyond our control

We will not be liable to you for any delay or failure to perform our obligations under this engagement letter if the delay or failure is caused by circumstances outside our reasonable control.

Exclusion of liability relating to the discovery of fraud etc.

We will not be responsible or liable for any loss, damage or expense incurred or sustained if information material to the service we are providing is withheld or concealed from us or misrepresented to us.  This applies equally to fraudulent acts, misrepresentation or wilful default on the part of any party to the transaction and their directors, officers, employees, agents or advisers. 

This exclusion shall not apply where such misrepresentation, withholding or concealment is or should (in carrying out the procedures which we have agreed to perform with reasonable care and skill) have been evident to us without further enquiry.

Indemnity for unauthorised disclosure

You agree to indemnify us and our agents in respect of any claim (including any claim for negligence) arising out of any unauthorised disclosure by you or by any person for whom you are responsible of our advice and opinions, whether in writing or otherwise.  This indemnity will extend to the cost of defending any such claim, including payment at our usual rates for the time that we spend in defending it.

Insurers: in accordance with the disclosure requirements of the Services Regulations 2009, our professional indemnity insurer is HCC International Insurance Co Plc of Walsingham House, 35 Seething Lane, London EC3N 4AH. The territorial coverage is worldwide excluding professional business carried out from an office in the United States of America or Canada and excludes any action for a claim bought in any court in the United States of America or Canada.

17.   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 writing that a specified third party may rely on our work.  We accept no responsibility to third parties, including any group company to whom the engagement letter is not addressed, for any advice, information or material produced as part of our work for you which you make available to them.  A party to this agreement is the only person who has the right under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 to enforce any of its terms.

18.   Period of engagement and termination

Unless otherwise agreed in the engagement covering letter our work will begin when we receive your implicit or explicit acceptance of that letter.  Except as stated in that letter we will not be responsible for periods before that date.

Each of us may terminate this agreement by giving not less than 21 days 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 HMRC 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 shall not be responsible or liable for any consequences arising from termination. 

19.   Professional rules and statutory obligations

We will observe and act in accordance with the bye-laws, regulations and ethical guidelines of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and will accept instructions to act for you on this basis.  In particular you give us the authority to correct errors made by HMRC 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.

20.   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.

21.   Retention of papers

You have a legal responsibility to retain documents and records relevant to your tax affairs. 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 [if requested].  Documents and records relevant to your tax affairs are required by law to be retained as follows:

Individuals, trustees and partnerships:

 

  • with trading or rental income: 5 years and 10 months after the end of the tax year;
  • otherwise: 22 months after the end of the tax year;

 

Companies:

  • 6 years from the end of the accounting period.

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 7 years old.  You must tell us if you require the return or retention of any specific documents for a longer period.