What you need to know about dealing with the Tax Office?
A taxpayer is responsible under self-assessment to keep full and proper records in order to facilitate the preparation of a correct return. While 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 four 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 credits 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.
Individual taxpayers have an obligation under self-assessment to keep full and proper records in order to facilitate the preparation of accurate returns for five years.
What you need to know about dealing with ASIC?
The accuracy of the financial accounts is the responsibility of the Directors of the Company, as set out in the Corporations Act 2001.
Who owns what?
Any documents which we are specifically engaged to prepare (for example, financial statements and income tax returns), together with original documentation provided by you shall be your property. Any other documents brought into existence by us, including general work papers and drafts, will remain our property at all times.
On the termination of our services, we are entitled to retain all documentation until payment in full of all outstanding fees.
We retain all intellectual property rights over every document developed by us, whether before, during or after the course of the engagement including systems, methodologies, software, know-how, reports, written advice or other deliverables we provide to you.
How will we communicate with you?
Email has speed up our world and can make communication quick and direct. We ask that you include your partner on all emails to us so we know what is happening in our office on your file. Likewise when we are working on your files we will keep you in the email loop. There will be no need for you to act on these emails, unless you want us to stop work or believe our information is incorrect or incomplete.
Email is so good sometimes we forget to talk. Please pick up the phone and call us on our mobiles whenever you feel inclined. You may be surprised when we answer the first few times but you will get used to it.
Unfortunately we cannot unsure that electronically transmitted items will remain confidential and accordingly we can take no responsibility for any unauthorised copying, recording, reading or interference with that document after transmission, or for any delay or non-delivery of any document.
The cloud is now a part of our how your information is accessed efficiently from anywhere in the world, both by you and by us. We use reliable and secure protocols for storage and transmission of data wherever possible and this is invariably cloud based now.
Unfortunately, we are not mind readers
We can only provide advice based on the information you make available to us.
We will assist in the preparation of your financial statements in accordance with the Accounting Standards and the Corporation Act 2001 and Accounting Professional & Ethical Standard 315: “Compilation of Financial Information”.
Our work will not include verification or validation procedures and is not designed to disclose fraud, material misstatement, defalcations or other irregularities that may occur. However, from time to time we do discover such problems. Similarly, we may also find material weaknesses in your accounting or internal control systems. These matters are serious and will be drawn to your attention.
Any services provided to you will be based on the relevant taxation legislation and ATO practices in force and applicable at the time the service is provided. Such legislation and practices change over time and it is your responsibility to seek updated advice if you intend to rely on our advice at a later stage. We note that taxation laws are subject to frequent change and our advice will not be updated unless specifically requested by you at the time of the change in law is made or announced.
As a consequence of Australia’s self-assessment taxation system, we will not be responsible for verifying information supplied to us for the purpose of preparing income tax returns.
In case bad stuff happens
You agree to indemnify us against all liabilities, claims, costs and expenses (including GST costs associated with such a claim) incurred by us in respect of any claim by a third party which is related to, arises out of, or is in any way associated with our engagement. This indemnity does not apply where it is finally determined that the claim arose as a result of our negligent, wrongful or wilful acts or omissions.
We can only complete your work on time if you provide us with all of the information on a timely basis. Any fines, penalties and interest charges arising from your delay will be you responsibility.
What if you are not having fun?
Please tell us – we are committed to listening to our clients, learning from our experiences and making things better. Some messages are hard to deliver… try an email. We value your feedback.
If a dispute or complaint arises during the provision of our services, we will deal with it in accordance with our Complaints Policy and the applicable Code of Conduct requirements of the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.