BentleyAccounting

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Our firm is Bentley Accounting

Our terms of engagement
Our firm may provide services mentioned to you (the client), which will be conducted in accordance with the relevant professional and ethical standards issued by the Accounting Professional & Ethical Standards Board Limited (APESB), and with the relevant legislation (including, but not limited to, the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997, the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936, A New Tax System (Goods And Services Tax) Act 1999, Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SIS Act), Superannuation Legislation Amendment (Stronger Super) Act 2012 and the Workers Compensation Act 1987). 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 disclose irregularities including fraud, other illegal acts and errors that may exist. However, we will inform you of any such matters that come to our attention.

Reports, as per Schedule 1 below, will be prepared for distribution to the client for the agreed purpose. If documents need to be lodged, then we will do so.

There is no assumption of responsibility for any reliance on our report by any person or entity other than yourself. The report shall not be inferred or used for any purpose other than for which it was specifically prepared. Accordingly, our report may include a disclaimer to this effect.



Quick Links

Information specific to Individual Tax Returns

Deducting our fees from refunds

Proving your claims and Record Keeping requirements

ATO Audits (also known as Reviews) as well as our fees for audit assistance



Period of Engagement

This engagement will start on the date agreed to in accordance with the client. This may be the date of an appointment agreed to by the client (as is the case with most individual tax returns and consultations), the date that a letter of engagement is approved and then received by us or a date specified or implied through written correspondence. The first period for which we will be responsible are the periods agreed upon with the client using the abovementioned methods. We will not initially deal with earlier/later periods unless you specifically ask us to do so and we agree. By requesting that we provide additional services to you, you agree to these terms of engagement for those new services.



Responsibilities

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 we are requested, our files relating to this engagement will be made available under this program.

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 we are requested, our files relating to this engagement will be made available under this program.



Privacy

In conducting this engagement, information acquired by us in the course of the engagement is subject to strict confidentiality requirements. That information will not be disclosed by us to other parties except as required or allowed for by law, or with your written consent.

We may collect Personal Information about your representatives, your clients and others when we provide services to you. If we do, you agree to work with us to ensure that we both meet the obligations that we each may have under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (as amended) (Privacy Act). The obligations may include notifying the relevant person to whom the personal information relates who we are and how we propose to use their personal information. Where you have collected personal information, you confirm that you have collected the personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act, that you are entitled to provide this personal information to us and that we may use and disclose the personal information for the purpose/s we provide our services to you. We will handle personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act.



Client's Responsibilities

The Client is responsible for the reliability, accuracy and completeness of the accounting records, particulars and information provided and disclosure of all material and relevant information. Clients are required to arrange for reasonable access by us to relevant individuals and documents, and shall be responsible for both the completeness and accuracy of the information supplied to us. Any advice given to the Client is only an opinion based on our knowledge of the Client’s particular circumstances. The Client or Client’s staff are responsible for maintaining and regularly balancing all books of accounts, and the maintenance of an adequate accounting and internal control system. The Client has obligations under self assessment to keep full and proper records in order to facilitate the preparation of accurate returns. It is the Client’s responsibility to keep those records for five (5) years.

A taxpayer is responsible under self assessment to keep full and proper records in order to facilitate the preparation and lodgement of a correct return (including but not limited to tax returns, activity statements,superannuation guarantee charge statements, PAYG Summaries, PAYG Summary Statements, ABN and other registrations) . 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 four (4) 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.



Responsibility of the clients to understand or inquire about their tax and other relevant obligations

It is the responsibility of the client to understand their tax and associated obligations, including due dates for lodgment of Tax Returns, BASs, workers compensation insurance obligations, superannuation obligations, obligations as trustees and as directors if applicable. The client is welcome to contact us to inquire about their obligations however they must not assume that we will contact them to remind them to meet their obligations.

In order to make it easier for clients to meet their obligations we have created a comprehensive list of due dates and other obligations for our clients. It can be found at http://www.bentleyaccounting.com.au/?id=dates

Like most accounting firms, we generally take 4-8 weeks to prepare business tax returns so this needs to be taken into account when planning to provide us your materials on time. For example, if your tax returns are due on 15 May and you provide your materials for these tax returns on 25 April then we can not guarantee that they will be lodged on time. It is therefore the client's responsibility to ensure that we are provided with the materials early enough so as to allow us to complete and lodge them on time.



Authorisations to act as your agent and access your information

The client agrees to authorise us to act as the client's tax agent which includes liasing with the Australian Taxation Office on the client's behalf as well as adding the client as our client(s) to, and accessing the client's information through, the ATO Tax Agent Portal. Any company engaging our services agrees to also authorise us to act as their ASIC agent which includes liasing with ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission) on their behalf as well as adding them as our client(s) to, and accessing their information through, the ASIC Registered Agent Portal.



Individual/Personal Tax Returns

The service being provided is preparation and lodgment of a tax return. If, due to our error, the tax result on your tax return is worse than the tax result which we quoted then we will be happy to refund our fee for that tax return. However if your refund is lower due to circumstances which are not our error (ie you have other debts to the ATO or government which have reduced your refund) we will not refund our fees. And we will not accept any liability to do with your tax return (for example please do not "spend" your refund before you receive it).

We will not provide you with a breakdown of the expenses claimed in your tax return (although we will provide a depreciation schedule if items were depreciated and you request this schedule). We use a proprietary system for our tax return working papers. We do not provide this system to clients as it is our intellectual property. It is not a legal requirement to provide a taxpayer with a breakdown of the items claimed in their tax return. Aside from depreciation, deductions claimed in a tax return do not impact the deductions that will be claimed in a future tax return.

The service that you are engaging us to provide is preparation and lodgment of a document (a tax return). This service does not include an explanation of the way we compiled this document. The service is provided using the information supplied by the client so the client will be aware of what they are claiming in the tax return during the appointment and should make their own list of items being claimed.

Our service is priced based on the amount of time it takes us to prepare your tax return. Our proprietary systems allow us to quickly prepare tax returns at a lower cost to the client. To provide a breakdown to our clients we have to create a new working paper with the breakdown presented in a way that can be read by anyone without giving away our intellectual property, and this takes about as much time as it takes to prepare an entire tax return. Therefore if a client wants us to provide a breakdown there will be a charge of $198 including GST for the breakdown payable before the breakdown is provided.

We have never had an existing client ask for a breakdown of items claimed in a previous tax return that we prepared for them. The only people who have asked breakdowns for previously prepared personal tax returns are clients who are choosing to have their tax returns prepared by someone else.

For tax returns that include a rental property or a business, We will provide a breakdown for expenses claimed in the business section and rental section of the tax returns.

Deducting our fees from refunds
We charge an extra fee for deducting our fees from your refund. This compensates us for the extra work involved in manually deducting fees from refunds, which requires the refund to be deposited from the ATO to our trust account and then for us to trace it to your tax return, manually deduct our fees and manually transfer the remainder to your nominated bank account.

If the refund doesn't cover our fees
Sometimes refunds are reduced by the ATO for outstanding debts. This is most commonly due to other government debts, such as Child Support, or over claims on Centrelink payments. When the tax return is lodged the ATO may reduce your refund to pay these other debts which have nothing to do with your tax return. If this happens, and your refund is reduced to an amount that is lower than our fee then you agree to pay our fee immediately. If we have prepared a tax return for your partner and you have both elected to have us deduct our fees from your refunds then you agree to have our fees for both partners come out of which ever refund will cover our fees (ie we will deduct your partner's fees from your refund).

Authorisation to have us deduct our fees from your refund
By using our services you authorise us to deduct our fees from your refunds. This involves transferring your refund into our trust account, taking our fees out and then transferring the remainder to your nominated account. This authorisation is cancelled if you pay our fees prior to the tax return being lodged or if you specify that you don't want us to deduct our fees form your refund.

Record Keeping.

You must be able to prove every item claimed in your tax return.

In the case of deductions 2 criteria need to be met
  1. Expenses were actually incurred
  2. These expenses are actually deductible

    For example, if you are a carpenter and are trying to claim a trip to Fiji on your tax return, you may be able to meet the first criteria (by having proof of payment for the expenses you claimed in the tax return, such as airfare, accommodation and food receipts). Simply being able to prove that you travelled to Fiji does not automatically entitle you to claim the trip in your tax return. You need to also be able to prove that these expenses were necessarily incurred in earning your income and that the amount being deducted was not for something that was of a private nature. For example if you went to Fiji, paying for flights, accomodation and meals, took your wife and kids, spent 2 weeks there and happened to visit a work client then the trip is of a private nature and is not deductible even though you may be able to prove that you incurred all expenses related to that trip.

    On the other hand, if you went to Fji yourself under instruction of the employer, the employer paid for most things aside from some meals, you went by yourself or with other work collegues also instructed to undertake this trip, and spent the entire time working and can prove everything aside from the meals you wish to claim becuase you lost your receipts or did not keep them in the first place, then the ATO may choose to disallow the deduction simply because you can not prove that you spent money on deductible items
A comprehensive guide to the supprting documents required to prove items claimed in a tax return can be found here: https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Ind/Supporting-documentation/

Diaries


How long do you need to keep records

As a general rule
You must keep written evidence of expenses, other deductions, losses brought forward (such as business, rental and taxable income losses), depreciation, amortisation and any claims whatsoever made in a tax return for the later of five years from when

Any taxpayer can be chosen to be audited (or "reviewed") by the ATO.
The purpose of ATO audits is to ensure that the claims made on the tax return (or other lodged document) are true and allowable. Any taxpayer can be chosen to be audited. Taxpayers may be randomly selected, be in an industry being targeted for audits or have claimed amounts that are substantially higher than what is expected from similar tax returns.

Our service for representing you in an audit of an individual tax return
Preparing a basic (wages, interest and dividend income) individual tax return typically takes approximately 30 minutes. Our tax return fees are based on this time frame only. They do not cover the provision of assistance in the case of an ATO audit or review.

If a client is chosen to be audited by the ATO
  • We will provide them with a list of the expenses we claimed for them as well as the latest ATO guide on the supporting evidence required.
  • The client can choose to have us represent them in the audit. But this is not mandatory.


If a client chooses to engage us to assist them with the audit we will
  1. Require the same documents that are present in the list that we provide to them
  2. Determine whether the quality of the supporting evidence is sufficient. If not we will work with them to get further supporting evidence.
  3. Act as the client's representative with the ATO. Therefore the client does not need to have any contact with the ATO if that is their wish.
Our fees for assisting and representing a client in an ATO audit of an individual tax return

As per our terms and our invoices the tax return service we provide to clients is preparation and lodgment of a tax return. It does not include providing audit assistance and representation. Providing audit assistance and representation is a separate service which is extremely time consuming and generally has to be done outside of working hours due to our other bookings.

Our charge for the service of providing audit assistance for individual tax returns that we had prepared depends on the amount of work involved and starts at $895 which is payable before the service is given. For any other tax return we will provide a quote of our fees based on the complexity and estimated time involved in the audit.



Companies - ASIC Agent Service

As a courtesy and gesture of goodwill we will act as the client's ASIC Agent at no charge (unless the client asks us not to provide this service in which case we will remove ourselves as their ASIC Agent). As a company director you have a legal obligation to understand your responsibilities under the Corporations Act. This includes notifying ASIC of any changes to your company or your personal details (such as your address, the company's address, name, structure, shareholding in a company, changes to your offices etc). If you need to notify ASIC of these changes we will be happy to prepare and lodge the required forms for you. If the number of ASIC transactions/notifications is large or if you ask us to spend substantial amounts of time liasing with ASIC we may charge you, however we will provide a quote prior to commencing a chargeable service. Otherwise this is a free service provided to our company clients and as such the client agrees that they will not hold us liable for any ASIC penalties they receive.



Companies: Your ASIC obligations, penalties and responsibilities

The Corporations Act states that it is the responsibility of a director of a company to pay the annual fees on time regardless of whether they are notified by ASIC or an ASIC Agent (us). We don't provide a reminder service for these payments but we do try, as a matter of goodwill, to email to the client the annual ASIC statements on time. But sometimes this is not possible due to our ASIC system being down or emails being sent to spam folders rather than inboxes or letters that we post somehow not reaching our clients. Unfortunately while ASIC officially accepts some of these reasons in order to waive late fees, their requirements of proving that these incidents happen are, in our experience, almost impossible to meet. Therefore you must not rely on us or ASIC to receive the Annual Review Invoice. To avoid being fined, you can set up a yearly scheduled Bpay transfer to ASIC of $250 (their fee is currently lower than this but it increases by $5-10 per year). You can also prepay next year's fees. For companies who are registered with ASIC as having the sole purpose of acting as a trustee for a SMSF the ASIC Annual Review fee for 2014 is currently $44 but may also increase. We will not take any responsibility for the client's failure to pay their annual ASIC fee regardless of the reason. You (the client) agree to indemnify us of any liability relating to any ASIC penalty regardless of the reason.



Self Managed Superfunds (SMSFs) – Trustee Declaration

If our services include preparation and audit of a superfund tax return and financial statements and the person(s) engaging us to provide these services are the trustees or trustee representatives of the superfund, then you confirm that the following is true:
  1. The Fund is maintained for the sole purpose of providing benefits for each member on their retirement, death, termination of employment or ill-health
  2. No disqualified person acts as a director of the trustee company or as an individual trustee.
  3. The Fund meets the definition of a self-managed superannuation fund under SISA, including that no member is an employee of another member, unless they are relatives and no trustee [or director of the corporate trustee] receives any remuneration for any duties or services performed by the trustee [or director] in relation to the fund.
  4. The Fund has been conducted in accordance with its constituent trust deed at all times during the year and there were no amendments to the trust deed during the year, except as notified to you.
  5. The trustees have complied with all aspects of the trustee requirements of the SISA and SISR.
  6. The trustees are not subject to any contract or obligation which would prevent or hinder the trustees in properly executing their functions and powers.
  7. The Fund has been conducted in accordance with SISA, SISR and the governing rules of the Fund.
  8. The Fund has complied with the requirements of the SISA and SISR specified in the approved form auditor’s report as issued by the ATO, which are sections 17A, 35A, 35B, 35C(2), 52(2)(d), 52(2)(e), 62, 65, 66, 67, 69–71E, 73–75, 80–85, 103, 104A, 109 and 126K of the SISA and regulations 1.06(9A), 4.09, 5.03, 5.08, 6.17, 7.04, 13.12, 13.13, and 13.14 of the SISR.
  9. All contributions accepted and benefits paid have been in accordance with the governing rules of the Fund and relevant provisions of the SISA and SISR.
  10. There have been no communications from regulatory agencies concerning non-compliance with, or deficiencies in, financial reporting practices that could have a material effect on the financial report.
  11. The investment strategy has been determined with due regard to risk, return, liquidity and diversity, and the assets of the Fund are in line with this strategy.
  12. All the significant accounting policies of the Fund are adequately described in the financial report and the notes attached thereto. These policies are consistent with the policies adopted last year.
  13. You have or will make available to you all financial records and related data, other information, explanations and assistance necessary for the conduct of the audit; and minutes of all meetings of the trustees.
  14. You acknowledge your responsibility for the design and implementation of internal control to prevent and detect error. You have established and maintained an adequate internal control structure to facilitate the preparation of reliable financial reports, and adequate financial records have been maintained. There are no material transactions that have not been properly recorded in the accounting records underlying the financial report.
  15. All accounting records and financial reports have been kept for 5 years (or for the duration of the superfund’s existence), minutes and records of trustees’ [or directors of the corporate trustee] meetings [or for sole trustee: decisions] have been kept for 10 years and trustee declarations in the approved form have been signed and kept for each trustee appointed after 30 June 2007
  16. There have been no:
    1. Frauds, error or non-compliance with laws and regulations involving management or employees who have a significant role in the internal control structure that could have a material effect on the financial report.
    2. Communications from regulatory agencies concerning non-compliance with, or deficiencies in, financial reporting practices that could have a material effect on the financial report.
    3. Violations or possible violations of laws or regulations whose effects should have been considered for disclosure in the financial report or as a basis for recording an expense.
  17. The assets of the Fund are being held in a form suitable for the benefit of the members of the Fund, and are in accordance with our investment strategy.
  18. Investments are carried in the books at market value. Such amounts are considered reasonable in light of present circumstances.
  19. You have no plans or intentions that may materially affect the carrying values, or classification, of assets and liabilities.
  20. There are no commitments, fixed or contingent, for the purchase or sale of long term investments.
  21. You believe the effects of any uncorrected financial report misstatements aggregated by the auditor during the audit are immaterial, both individually and in aggregate, to the financial report taken as a whole and if such misstatements exist you will provide us with a summary within one week of accepting this engagement.
  22. The Fund has satisfactory title to all assets appearing in the statement of Financial Position. All investments are registered in the name of the Fund, where possible, and are in the custody of the respective manager/trustee.
  23. There are no liens or encumbrances on any assets or benefits and no assets, benefits or interests in the Fund have been pledged or assigned to secure liabilities of others.
  24. All assets of the Fund are held separately from the assets of the members, employers and the trustees. All assets are acquired, maintained and disposed of on an arm’s length basis and appropriate action is taken to protect the assets of the Fund.
  25. Related party transactions and related amounts receivable have been properly recorded or disclosed in the financial report. Acquisitions from, loans to, leasing of assets to and investments in related parties have not exceeded the in-house asset restrictions in the SISA at the time of the investment, acquisition or at year end.
  26. The Fund has not made any loans or provided financial assistance to members of the Fund or their relatives.
  27. The Fund has not borrowed money or maintained any borrowings during the period, with the exception of borrowings which were allowable under SISA.
  28. No events or transactions have occurred since the date of the financial report, or are pending, which would have a significant adverse effect on the Fund’s financial position at that date, or which are of such significance in relation to the Fund as to require mention in the notes to the financial statements in order to ensure they are not misleading as to the financial position of the Fund or its operations.
  29. The trustees confirm that there is no outstanding legal action or claims against the Fund.
  30. There have been no communications from the ATO concerning a contravention of SISA or SISR which has occurred, is occurring, or is about to occur.
  31. You understand that your examination was made in accordance with Australian Auditing Standards and applicable Standards on Assurance Engagements and was, therefore, designed primarily for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the financial report of the Fund taken as a whole, and on the compliance of the Fund with specified requirements of SISA and SISR, and that your tests of the financial and compliance records and other auditing procedures were limited to those which you considered necessary for that purpose




Fees

The fee arrangement is based on the expected amount of time and the level of staff required to complete the services being provided. The fees will always be quoted to you in writing before commencing our engagement. The fee will be subject to change if the following circumstances should occur:
  1. Extra services outside of those initially agreed upon are requested
  2. Extra information is provided to us to redo something that was already completed or almost completed
  3. Extra information is provided to us to redo something that was almost completed – this happens when we provide a draft to the client for approval. If the client approves the draft and then later provides further information we will have to redo the job, sometimes from scratch.
We anticipate issuing a fee tax invoice upon completion of provision of our services. Payment is required within 7 days of the earlier of the following (completion of our services, or provision of a completed document such as a tax return). However the following payment terms are added to these terms and any other terms agreed upon:
  1. If we request further information which is required to complete our services and we don't receive the requested information within 21 days then our fees will become payable immediately.
  2. Otherwise payment of our fees is required within 7 days of us providing you with the tax returns or other documents for signing and/or approval. If you require changes to be made we will be happy to make them however by accepting these terms you agree to pay our fees within 7 days of providing the first set of tax returns or other documents specified in our engagement
  3. Payment options, such as electronic funds transfer, or cheque, will be sent together with our tax invoice.
We only lodge documents to the ATO after receiving full payment of our fees. Therefore if you need something lodged urgently we can provide an invoice before the service is completed. This will allow you to pay us earlier, ensuring that by the time you have provided us with the signed tax returns (or other signed documents) they can then be immediately lodged.



Terms of Engagement rolling over for future services

Unless otherwise stated by us in writing to you, if you require the same service in later periods (such as requiring a similar BAS in a later quarter/month or similar tax returns for a later tax year) then: This engagement agreement will roll over to that future period
  1. Our terms will remain the same
  2. Our fee will be increased by 3-4% (unless inflation is significantly higher in which case our fees will be adjusted to reflect the movement of the CPI)


Limitation of Liability

Our liability is limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation. Further information on the scheme is available from the Professional Standards Councils’ website: http://www.professionalstandardscouncil.gov.au.  



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.

Our engagement will result in the production of the documents as per Schedule 1 below. Ownership of these documents will vest in you. All other documents produced by us in respect of this engagement (including working papers and depreciation schedules) will remain the property of the firm.

The firm has a policy of exploring a legal right of lien over any client documents in our possession in the event of a dispute. This means that we will retain ownership of the client's original documents in the event of a fee dispute (for example our fees not being paid in line with the terms mentioned in this document). The firm has also established dispute resolution processes.



Schedule 1

Tax Returns and Financial Statements

  • Individuals
    For each financial year, the following will be provided
    • Individual Income Tax Return
    • PAYG Summaries and PAYG Summary Statements if required


  • Companies
    For each financial year, the following will be provided
    • Special Purpose Financial Statements including the profit and loss, balance sheet, declarations and compliance statement
    • Company Income Tax Return
    • PAYG Summaries and PAYG Summary Statements if required


  • Partnerships
    For each financial year, the following will be provided
    • Special Purpose Financial Statements including the profit and loss, balance sheet, declarations and compliance statement
    • Partnership Income Tax Return
    • PAYG Summaries and PAYG Summary Statements if required


  • Self-Managed Superannuation Funds
    For each financial year, the following will be provided
    • Special Purpose Financial Statements including the profit and loss, balance sheet, declarations and compliance statement
    • Self-Managed Superannuation Fund Income Tax Return
    • PAYG Summaries and PAYG Summary Statements if required


  • Trusts
    For each financial year, the following will be provided
    • Special Purpose Financial Statements including the profit and loss, balance sheet, declarations and compliance statement
    • Trust Income Tax Return
    • PAYG Summaries and PAYG Summary Statements if required


  • Superannuation Guarantee Charge Statement
    • All Entities
      For each reporting period, a Superannuation Guarantee Charge Statement will be provided


  • Activity Statements (ie BAS, IAS)
    • All Entities
      For each reporting period, the relevant Activity Statement will be provided. We may provide an email with an Activity Statement included within it













































































































































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