1. About this website
Website Owner = MAD Crew Wealth (“ MAD Crew Wealth”) (Domain name = www.madcrewwealth.com the “website”)

2. About these terms of use
These website terms of use (“terms of use”) and the associated Privacy Statement (“privacy policy”) govern your access to and use of the website. You should read these terms of use and the privacy policy carefully before using this website.

3. Your access/use implies agreement
The website is available for your use only on the condition that you agree to these terms of use. By accessing/using the website, you are signifying that you agree to be bound by these terms.

4. Modifications to the Terms
MAD Crew Wealth may revise and update these terms of use at any time. Your continued usage of the website after any changes to these terms of use will mean you accept those changes.

5. Modifications to the information
MAD Crew Wealth does not warrant the accuracy, adequacy or completeness of material on this website. All information may be changed, supplemented, deleted or updated without notice at the sole discretion of MAD Crew Wealth.

6. Errors and problems
MAD Crew Wealth does not guarantee that the website will be free from viruses, or that access to the website will be uninterrupted.

7. License and Ownership
The copyright for the content on this website is owned or licensed by MAD Crew Wealth and is protected under copyright laws in both Australia and other countries. No material on this website may be reproduced, adapted, uploaded to a third party, linked to, framed, performed in public, distributed or transmitted in any form by any process without the specific written consent of MAD Crew Wealth.
All custom graphics, icons, and other items that appear on the website and all associated trademarks are trademarks of MAD Crew Wealth.

8. MAD Crew Wealth Privacy Policy
The MAD Crew Wealth privacy policy governs the use of information collected from or provided by you at the website. A policy statement prepared by MAD Crew Wealth for the purposes of being made available to customers and the general public declaring the company’s commitment to privacy is available at the Privacy section of this website.

9. Feedback, suggestions, comments or requests
MAD Crew Wealth does not encourage you to make feedback, suggestions, comments or requests (“comments”) but these comments may be made at the contact page of this website and if you do make comments, you acknowledge that: they will not be considered confidential or proprietary, and MAD Crew Wealth is under no obligation to keep such information confidential, and MAD Crew Wealth will have an unrestricted, irrevocable, world-wide, royalty-free right to use, communicate, reproduce, publish, display, distribute and exploit such comments in any manner it chooses.

10. Outbound links
The website may contain links to third-party websites and resources (“linked sites”). These linked sites are provided solely as a convenience to you and not as an endorsement by MAD Crew Wealth. MAD Crew Wealth makes no representations or warranties regarding the availability, correctness, accuracy, performance or quality of the linked site or any content, software, service or application found at any linked site. MAD Crew Wealth may receive payments and/or commissions from operators of linked sites in relation to goods or services supplied by the operator as a result of you linking to the third party website from the MAD Crew Wealth website.

11. Inbound links
MAD Crew Wealth generally encourages and agrees to your linking to the Home page through a plain text link on your website without the need for agreement between yourself and MAD Crew Wealth. However, linking to any other page of the website is strictly prohibited, without express written permission from MAD Crew Wealth.

12. Disclaimer of Warranties
MAD Crew Wealth makes no representations or warranties about the accuracy, completeness, security or timeliness of the content, information or services provided by the website and disclaims all warranties, either express or implied, statutory or otherwise, including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability, non-infringement of third parties’ rights, and fitness for a particular purpose.

13. Limitation of Liability – Website
If MAD Crew Wealth is found responsible for any damages, MAD Crew Wealth is responsible for actual damages only. In no event shall MAD Crew Wealth, be liable for any incidental, indirect, exemplary, punitive and/or consequential damages, lost profits, or damages resulting from lost data or business interruption resulting from the use of or inability to use the website.

13. Limitation of Liability – Email

Information contained in emails sent by MAD Crew Wealth using the domain @madcrewwealth.com are confidential and only intended to be read or used by the addressee. If you are not the identified recipient, you are hereby notified that any use, dissemination, distribution, or reproduction of a MAD Crew Wealth email by you or at your instigation is prohibited. If you have received an email in error, please delete it and notify us immediately by telephone or email.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation. The relevant scheme is that of the Certified Practicing Accountants, which presently has a Professional Standards Scheme in force.

13. Penalty Charges

 

13. Termination of Engagement

In addition to any other rights you might have, you can terminate this Engagement at any time, after the Engagement Minimum length (if applicable), by telling us in writing and providing 14 days’ written notice to allow for an effective handover. We also reserve the right to do so by providing you with 14 days’ written notice.

If either you or we terminate this Engagement, the provisions of clause 2.6 will apply.

 

* The Terms and Conditions of this agreement are subject to change by either party after due consultation and notice
* Upon termination of the agreement for whatever reason by either party, payment for all Services accrued up to and including the date of termination becomes immediately due and payable
* If you fail to pay our account according to our terms then we reserve the right to suspend or cease work immediately without penalty and charge you in advance in 10 hour blocks. We reserve the right to charge 5% interest per month on all overdue accounts accruing daily until paid. If we are required to engage the Services of an external debt collector you agree to pay all fees and charges associated with the collection as well as our overdue account.
* We are not engaged to undertake a statutory audit of the financial records of any of your business entities and we will not express and auditor’s opinion as to the truth and fairness of the financial statements. In the event of an audit being conducted on your accounts our normal hourly rate will apply should you require our assistance.
* The financial statements and any other documents that we are specifically engaged to prepare, together with any original documents given to us by you shall be your property. Any other documents brought into existence by us, including general working papers, draft documents, and Checklists will remain our property at all times. If our Services are terminated we shall be entitled to retain your source documents and/or data file until payment is made in full of all outstanding fees.
* All materials given by you to us are owned by you or you have permission from the rightful owner to use such materials and you will hold harmless, protect and defend us from any claim or action which may arise from the use of such materials.
* Upon mutual agreement, the work can be completed onsite or offsite. When we are working at your premises we will take all due care and consideration to ensure no loss and/or damage occurs. However, we shall not be held responsible for any loss and/or damage incurred while at your premises.
* We assume no responsibility for any consequences resulting from the provision of information and Services including but not limited to errors or omissions. We make every effort to provide you will accurate and reliable information and services, however, all information provided is intended solely to provide general guidance and you accept full responsibility for its use. The information provided does not constitute legal, financial planning, or consulting services and we recommend you receive advice from professionals.
* We are independent contractors, not employees and as such we reserve the right to perform, direct and control the services we provide including hiring subcontractors, onshore employees, or offshore employees/contractors to provide the services on our behalf.
* It is a breach of the agreement we have with our contractors that they approach you to work with you directly. Likewise, it is a breach of this agreement with you if you approach any of our staff or contractors and ask them to work for you directly. Penalties apply.

h3. Accounting Services

In engaging us to provide accounting Services, it is important for you to understand the following:
• To provide access to the relevant business records necessary for the provision of Services by {{ practice.name }} and to be made available in a complete and timely manner; Where {{ client.name }} fails to comply with their obligations, additional fees may be
incurred as set out in the Standard Terms and Conditions.
• You are responsible for the accuracy and completeness of the particulars and information provided to us by you.
• Any advice we provide is only an opinion based on our knowledge of your particular circumstances.
• You have obligations under the self-assessment regime to keep full and proper records in order to facilitate the preparation of accurate returns.
• We cannot provide taxation services if we find that information on which those Services are to be based contain false or misleading information, or omit material information, and you are not prepared to appropriately amend that information.
• All relevant documentation and information, required to allow {{ practice.name }} to prepare and produce financial reporting to comply with legislative requirements, must be received in a timely manner prior to due lodgement dates. {{ practice.name }} will not be liable for any penalties if documentation and information have not been provided;

h3. Compilation of financial statements

By engaging us to compile financial statements, you acknowledge that:
• the reliability, accuracy and completeness of the accounting records are your responsibility; and
• that you have disclosed to us all material and relevant information.

h3. No statutory financial audits are conducted

You and your employees are responsible for the maintenance of the accounting systems and internal controls for all the Entities. That includes the keeping and maintenance of all required books of account. Our firm cannot be relied upon to disclose irregularities, including fraud, and other illegal acts and errors that may occur with regard to such matters.

Our firm is not being engaged to conduct a statutory audit of the financial records of any of your Entities and we will not express an auditor’s opinion as to the truth and fairness of the financial statements.

h3. Documentation

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 and will advise you at the beginning of the financial year when documentation should be provided to us. 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 lodgment penalties or interest charges you may incur.

h3. Ownership of documents

The financial statements, tax returns and any other documents which we are specifically engaged to prepare, together with any original documents given to us by you, shall be your property. Any other documents brought into existence by us, including general working papers, the general ledger and draft documents will remain our property at all times.

If our Services are terminated (by either party), each client separately agrees that we shall be entitled to retain all documents owned by that client (including all tax refund cheques of that client which come into our possession) until payment in full of all outstanding fees outstanding from all members of the Group on any account. Where copies of any documents released to you are required for our records, you will be charged for the cost of photocopying at our normal rates.

h3. Additional Services

The scope of our engagement is the preparation and lodgment of the accounting and taxation matters detailed above. Any agreed fee applies only to services and advice provided within the scope of our engagement. This fee includes checking and forwarding original assessments and payment notices that are received from the ATO and the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC).

However, any additional Services or advice that you request are outside the scope of this letter and are not included in this agreed fee. We will separately advise you of the fee for these Services, including any direct out of pocket expenses. Please note in particular that any correspondence from the ATO or ASIC that does not relate to initial assessments or original payment notices, will be charged as additional Services.

h3. GST – Disbursements

In addition to our professional fees, you will be responsible for payment of expenses which we incur on your behalf (together with the GST that we pay in relation to such expenses), as set out below.

Certain government charges and fees included in some matters undertaken in the scope of our engagement are effectively GST-free to the applicant, but will attract the 10% GST if paid by this firm and then passed on to you as part of our Services.

Accordingly, for certain disbursements in this category, namely:
• ASIC fees;
• new company and trust deed orders; and
• other specific disbursements notified from time to time,

we will act as your agents in incurring those disbursements. You will therefore technically be primarily liable to pay the account to the supplier. Under this agency relationship, you will receive the benefit of any concessional GST treatment of any part of the disbursement.

Where GST is payable on some or all of a supply acquired by us as your agent, we will forward you the Tax Invoice and you will be entitled to claim the input tax credits directly if you have an ABN and are entitled to claim input tax credits.

For disbursements incurred in this manner, we may in some cases require that you provide us with separate cheques for the relevant amounts to be paid directly to the relevant government body or supplier.

For all other disbursements (e.g., couriers, searches, photocopying, etc.) the treatment will be the same as for professional fees – i.e., we will incur the costs at first instance and invoice them on to you after making allowance for any GST input tax credits received by us on the acquisition. These invoices will include GST for which you may be entitled to claim an input tax credit.

h3. Information relating to your affairs

Our firm may, from time to time, use the Services of third party contractors to perform some of the Services we are engaged to perform for you.

Each client in the Group hereby authorises us to disclose information relating to that client’s affairs to such third party contractors as we may choose to engage to perform such work.

Where we use the Services of third party contractors, we are nevertheless responsible for the conduct and activities of those contractors and for the delivery of the Services we are engaged to perform for you.

From time to time, our firm and our third party contractors may engage external IT service providers (including in relation to “cloud computing” Services) in the performance of Services under this Engagement.

Each client in the Group hereby authorises us and our third party contractors to disclose information relating to those clients’ affairs to such external IT service providers as we or our third party contractors may choose to engage.

We may also need to disclose information relating to one client’s affairs to other clients in the Group to assist in performing our work, to persons responsible for the governance of an entity to comply with accounting standards, or to a professional body of which we are a member, in relation to a quality review program undertaken by that body. Each client in the Group hereby authorises us to do so when we consider it appropriate to further our performance of work for the Group, or when required by that professional body.

h3. Non-compliance with Laws and Regulations (NOCLAR)

During the performance of our work under this Engagement, we may detect conduct or a transaction that is considered to constitute NOCLAR, which has a material effect on any documents or information that might be required to be provided to a regulatory authority (RA), such as the ATO.

If we detect any NOCLAR, we may have an ethical requirement to make a disclosure to a RA. We will follow a formal process which will include advising you of our concerns, and if necessary, seeking legal advice. If we do seek legal advice we reserve the right to ask you to pay or reimburse us for our reasonable costs.

If we are required to make a disclosure to a RA, you agree to forever release us from any claim for costs or losses you incur in responding to or dealing with anything that arises from our disclosure.

h3. Losses from unauthorised cyber-activity

We will take all reasonable precautions to ensure that any electronic data that contains your private information is securely stored and that any email transmissions are protected and are not able to be intercepted by third parties. However, we cannot be held liable for any loss that you might incur as a consequence of any third party intervention that accesses, procures or copies any data that contains your private information from any medium or device we use to store or transmit such information.

In the event that, despite our firm having taken reasonable precautions to securely store your private information, you suffer any losses arising from unauthorised cyber-activity, you agree to forever release us from any claim for your losses.

h3. Limitation of liability

Our firm’s liability may be limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards legislation.

h3. Details of Services to be provided

We shall now outline the basis of our engagement in the context of the specific Services to be provided.

It should be noted at the outset that, as a general proposition, we rely upon our clients to provide us with accurate and timely information to enable us to properly perform our engagement obligations.
Consequently, any rectifying work performed by us on the basis of incorrect or late information will be work which is outside the scope of this letter and will be charged as additional Services.

h4. BAS returns

It is not possible for {{ practice.name }} to review the correctness of the underlying financial information as part of the preparation of the quarterly BAS return. This is because we are engaged to prepare the BAS returns based on the information you have provided us with.

Therefore, for the quarterly BAS returns, we will rely on and process the financial information provided to us without any review of the primary source documents. In doing that, we will make the following specific assumptions:
• The financial information provided to us is accurate.
• The financial information correctly states the GST position.
• You have the necessary supporting documentation to satisfy the ATO for GST purposes.
• You hold valid tax invoices and adjustment notes for all expenditures incurred by you in respect of which an input tax credit is being claimed. Substantial penalties apply for an incorrectly prepared BAS. If you have any queries in respect to this, please contact our office for assistance.

h4. Financial accounts

This firm has been engaged to prepare the annual financial accounts of the Entities in your Group. This service includes the preparation of:
• a profit and loss statement;
• a balance sheet; and
• notes for the above accounts.

This service includes maintenance of the chart of accounts for the general ledgers of your Entities, and telephone support should you require any assistance as to how to record specific transactions in the general ledger. This service also includes the preparation and lodgement of any standard reports that are required to be furnished to ASIC.

However, this service does not include the preparation of one-off accounts for presentation to your financiers for additional finance and the like.

h4. Income tax returns

This firm has been engaged to prepare and lodge income tax returns for your Group.

This firm will not be responsible for reviewing or verifying any financial records or statements provided to it by the Client.

Also please ensure that you have all source documentation available to allow our firm to analyse the income tax implications of any transaction if we request to see it. Whilst we will not as a matter of course be looking at these documents, the ATO will expect you (and you are required) to have them available before any claim is made in your income tax return. We may in some circumstances also request to see source documents if a tax issue is particularly contentious.

It is also expected that, in respect of individual income tax returns, each person will have the necessary documents so as to comply with the substantiation provisions of the Income Tax Assessment Act.

We will specifically advise as to the requirements of the substantiation provisions relating to your income tax return and of the necessity to obtain acceptable receipts as specifically required by the legislation. We will not, however, be checking that the requirements of the substantiation provisions have been satisfied.

This specifically means that we will not be reviewing your log book or any calculations or information you provide us, such as a rental property schedule either prepared by you on a spreadsheet or by a property manager. If you require assistance in completing a logbook or preparing any calculations, or you would like us to review such work, please discuss this with us. This will entail work that is outside the scope of this letter and will be charged as additional Services.

From time to time, this firm prepares templates and schedules to assist with the collation of information to complete income tax returns. These will be provided free of charge.

The fee for this service does not cover any inquiries made to us, or investigations involving us, conducted by the ATO. Substantial penalties apply for an incorrectly prepared income tax return. If you have any queries in respect to this, please contact our office for assistance.

h4. Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) returns

This firm has also been engaged to prepare and lodge the FBT returns for your Entities. Please note, because of the impact of GST, it is not impossible to prepare an FBT return from the information contained in the general ledger. It is necessary to revert to the source documentation to allow our firm to analyse the FBT implications of any transaction.

Our fee for this service includes the following:
• Advice on how to collate the information necessary to prepare the annual FBT return;
• An annual review of the methods available to reduce the FBT expense on the annual FBT return;
• Telephone advice on basic FBT issues; and
• The calculation of Reportable Fringe Benefits Tax Amounts that may be required to be included on the annual payment summaries for your employees (including family members employed in the business of any Entity).

h4. Single Touch Payroll (‘STP’) reports

Where required we will prepare and lodge STP reports with the ATO for the Group, based on the information provided to us by you, your employees, or any third party authorised by you, without reviewing or verifying the payroll calculations, any relevant wage rates or the source documents relied upon to process each STP pay event.

We will only provide a lodgment service. We make no representations about the accuracy of the information submitted, the due date, or whether it is received by the ATO.

Our firm is not being engaged to perform, or check the accuracy of, payroll calculations associated with the STP reports.

You and your employees are also responsible for calculating and remitting your PAYG withholding and Superannuation Guarantee liabilities with respect to each employee, for each relevant pay event.

h4. Superannuation advice

We do not hold an Australian Financial Services Licence and are not an authorised representative of such a licence holder.

As a result, we are generally prohibited from providing you with any advice, recommendation, or opinion that is intended to influence you in making any decision in relation to superannuation (including whether to establish, contribute to or draw benefits from a superannuation fund, or any investment decision by a superannuation trustee), or that could reasonably be regarded as being intended to have such an influence (Financial Advice). However, we are able to provide you with superannuation advice that is of a factual nature only (e.g., to explain how superannuation rules would apply to you and what options are available to you).

Where you request us to undertake superannuation-related work (e.g., to arrange for the establishment of a self-managed superannuation fund), we will be obliged to perform that work in accordance with your instructions, even if we believe those instructions may not be in your best interest.

Where you request Financial Advice concerning superannuation, we will endeavor to assist you in obtaining that advice from an appropriately-licensed advisor. Depending on the circumstances, this may involve us outsourcing the provision of the Financial Advice (in which case we would seek your prior authorization), or referring you to a licensed provider directly.

h3. Why do we offer a fixed price agreement for ongoing Services?

The standard method of billing in professional Services has traditionally had an emphasis on providing Services in exchange for an hourly rate. {{ practice.name }} has come to the realisation that this method is an archaic method of pricing. It is also a conflict of interest because what it means is (as an industry) we are directly rewarded for how inefficient we are. The longer we take to do the job the more we get. Hourly billing does not promote an emphasis on customer service or an incentive to complete jobs quickly.

The biggest issue with hourly billing you have no idea how much the job will be until the bill is received. We don’t think that is fair on you. As a courtesy to you, we think you deserve
to know in advance how much the job will cost and what it entails. As a modern & progressive firm we have moved all of our engagements to a fixed price agreement model. What does this mean for you?

* You will always know how much you will pay for Services in advance, and will always have the opportunity to discuss the agreement before we get started on any work. If new work is required outside of the scope of our existing agreement we will issue a written proposal for you to accept (or discuss) before we commence new Services.

* It places the risk back on us, the practice. You don’t have to worry about paying for more hours than you thought it would take. We have to focus on being more efficient to ensure our relationship is mutually profitable. This means we can leverage the best in breed technology to constantly improve the quality of the Services we deliver to you.

* It opens the lines of communication. You don’t have to be afraid to contact us with questions and be worried about receiving a bill for your time. All of our fixed price agreements include support and regularly scheduled review sessions. In fact, we encourage constant communication between {{ client.name }} and {{ practice.name }}. Becoming your trusted advisor is our mission and open communication is the key.

h3. Hourly Billing for Services with an Undefined Scope

While {{ practice.name }} will try to always provide a fixed price agreement, particularly in the instance where Services are ongoing. However there are some Services that we offer where an estimate based on an hourly rate is the only method of billing that applies. We’ll quote an hourly rate in cases of project work where it is difficult to define the scope of the service required. In the case where you have been quoted an estimate based on an hourly rate, {{ practice.name }} will inform {{ client.name }} of the amount of time used before we issue the final bill and collect payment.

If possible, {{ practice.name }} will convert any hourly Services into a fixed price agreement, if or when, the scope of the service becomes more apparent.

h3. Unanticipated Services

While your fixed price agreement entitles you to unlimited communication, if your question or issue requires additional research and analysis beyond the Services agreed in this contract, any additional work will be quoted to you before the commencement of said additional work. Once the scope of the additional work is agreed upon, we will issue a Change of Service Request via our online proposal system, and will ask you to sign the new agreement before we commence the new work.

Furthermore, {{ client.name }} will agree that if an unanticipated need arises (such as an audit, an amended tax return or a personal financial statement required as part of a loan agreement), this additional work will be performed only after arriving at a mutually agreed-upon price and a Change of Service Request is accepted with a digital signature.

h3. Service and Price Guarantee

{{ practice.name }} will always stand behind the quality and professional nature of the Services that we offer. If at any point you are not completely satisfied with the Services we have performed, we encourage you to bring this to our attention immediately. We’d love the opportunity to correctly address your concerns and allow us a chance to win your trust back and prevent similar problems from happening in the future.

h3. Ownership of Documents

All original documents obtained from {{ client.name }}arising from this Engagement shall remain the property of {{ client.name }}t. However, we reserve the right to make a reasonable number of copies of the original documents for our records.

h3. Accounting and record-keeping

In undertaking this Engagement, you must generally ensure the following:
• The bookkeeping for all Entities is maintained on a regular basis. In fact, we recommend the bookkeeping and record-keeping tasks be attended to each week.
• Reconciliations for the bank accounts, debtors and creditors are performed at this end of each month for each of the Entities.
• A stocktake will be performed during the last weekend in June for each entity that deals in trading stock.

 

* seek clarification of some matters pertaining to the Services provided, however shall not audit the information provided by the Client as we will be satisfied that the Client understands their record keeping obligations;
* exercise all due caution and care from the setup, implementation and integration of cloud software however is not responsible for any loss or damage that may arise ;
# To inform the Client of arrangements for keeping Client’s documents or of making copies;
# To inform the Client whether third parties will have access to the Client’s information and how informed consent will be gained;
# To provide services in a competent manner and within agreed time frames, including the lodging of documents with the Australian Taxation Office, as set out in the Standard Terms and Conditions.
Any advice given to the Client is only an opinion based on our knowledge of the Client’s particular circumstances.

Privacy and Confidentiality

* reserves the right to hold records and data against any outstanding debts as set out in the Standard Terms and Conditions;

As a client of this practice, we are obliged to advise you of your rights and obligations under the taxation laws in relation to the Services we provide to you. Set out below is a brief explanation of the main areas of the taxation system you should be aware of. If you have any concerns or issues with any of the matters discussed below, please feel free to contact us.

h4. The self-assessment system

The Australian tax system operates as a self-assessment system. This means that when your tax return, Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) return or Business Activity Statement (BAS) is lodged, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) accepts the information in the return at face-value and issues you with an assessment notice based on that information. It is important to understand that this does not mean the assessment is final as the ATO can conduct a review or audit of the information provided in the return at a later time, subject to the time limits discussed in the topic below.

h4. The Commissioner’s ability to amend an assessment

As explained above, the ATO accepts the information lodged in your return at face value. However, the ATO also has the power to amend the assessment if they find it to be incorrect. The following rules generally apply:

h5. Individuals

• For most individuals, the ATO can amend an assessment within two years after you receive your notice of assessment. If the individual carries on a business and is not a Small Business Entity, that period extends to four years.
• If the individual is a partner in a partnership or a beneficiary of a trust, the period is two years. If the partnership or trust carries on a business and is not a Small Business Entity, the period extends to four years.

h5. Companies

• The ATO can amend a company assessment within two years after the company receives a notice of assessment where the company is a Small business Entity. The same period applies where the company is a partner in a partnership or beneficiary of a trust that is a

h5. Small Business Entity.

• In any other case, the period is four years.

h5. Trustees

• The ATO can amend an assessment within two years after the trustee receives the notice of assessment if the trust is a Small Business Entity.
• If the trustee is a partner in a partnership or a beneficiary of a trust that is not a Small Business Entity, that period extends to four years.
• In any other case, the period is four years.

If the ATO amends an assessment, this will potentially involve, apart from increased taxes, penalties and interest. If you discover an error in the information declared in the return, lower penalties generally apply for making a voluntary disclosure.

Note that there are no time limits on the ATO amending an assessment where they believe there has been fraud or evasion.

h4. Obligation to keep records

The tax laws specifically require taxpayers to keep records that properly explain the transaction they have entered into.

h5. Individuals

Individuals claiming deductions for work-related expenses are subject to the substantiation rules in the tax laws. This requires taxpayers to keep receipts, invoices, etc., of the expenses they incur. Where the expenses relate to a taxpayer traveling interstate or overseas, a travel diary may also need to be kept. Where the expense relates to a motor vehicle, a record of the journeys taken such as a logbook may need to be kept.

A failure to keep the appropriate records can lead to the ATO denying a particular deduction which may involve the imposition of penalties and interest. Substantiation records must be retained for five years.

h5. Businesses

The tax laws specifically require a taxpayer that carries on business to keep records that record and explain all the transactions they have entered into. This includes all the documents that explain how the income and expenditure of the taxpayer were determined.

Where the tax laws allow or require a taxpayer to make a choice, election, estimate or calculation, documents containing particulars of these matters must be kept.

All these records must be retained for a period of five years. There are penalties for taxpayers who fail to do so.

h4. Obligation to provide complete and accurate records

In order for our practice to be able to lodge returns on your behalf, it is your responsibility to provide us with complete and accurate records. Further, in order to lodge your return on time, we will require you to provide us the relevant information as and when requested.

Where you are unable to provide us with complete and accurate records, we may be unable to prepare and lodge your return. Tax agents are subject to a Professional Code of Conduct contained in the Tax Agent Services Act 2009, which prevents them from acting for a client where insufficient records or information exists so as to be able to determine the amount of the client’s income or deductions.

We also reserve the right to question any claims for deductions or credits that in our reasonable judgment might be considered as being excessive, and we may ask for more substantiation or records to prove that such a claim is allowable under the law. If we believe that a claim is excessive and cannot be substantiated we reserve the right not to include such a claim in your income tax returns or BAS, but you will have the right to lodge an objection after receiving your notice of objection. There may be further costs in doing so, and we will advise you accordingly.

h4. Records for clients operating in the cash economy

Because of the ATO’s concerns with dealings in the cash economy, there are particular recording imperatives for clients who operate in that sector. In particular, the ATO has a program of “benchmarking” standardised revenue returns for a wide range of cash businesses.

In circumstances where it is dissatisfied with a taxpayer’s records or recording systems, the ATO will often assess income tax and/or GST on what it considers to be an appropriate “benchmark” amount (plus penalties and interest) and then put the taxpayer to the task of disproving that assessment.

Where that occurs, the taxpayer is at a serious disadvantage and can be put to a great deal of cost and effort in disputing the assessment.

Taxpayers who operate in the cash economy are therefore urged to have a robust and reliable system for recording and reporting all cash transactions and to ensure that the recorded figures are accurate.

If you need assistance in setting up or reviewing your recording and reporting systems, we will be happy to do so and will advise you of our rates for doing so on request.

h4. Right to seek a Private Binding Ruling

When preparing your return, we may identify one or more issues that are not clear under the tax laws. Where we have pointed out such issues to you, you have a right to request a Private Binding Ruling from the ATO. Upon providing the ATO with all the relevant facts, they will provide you with a ruling setting out their view on the proper tax treatment of the issue requested to be ruled upon.

h4. Objecting against an assessment

If the ATO issues you with an assessment that you do not agree with, you have the right to lodge an objection against that assessment. The objection must be lodged with the ATO within either two or four years. As to which period applies, this is determined in the same way as the discussion above under the heading ‘Commissioner’s ability to amend an assessment’.

Where the ATO issues an amended assessment, the period for objecting is the greater of:
• 60 days from the time the amended assessment is received; or
• two or four years (whichever is applicable) from the time the original assessment was received.

If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of the objection, you have the right to have the matter reviewed by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal or to appeal the matter to the Federal Court.

h4. Onus of proof falls on the taxpayer

It is important to be aware that in any disputed assessment before the court or the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, the onus of proof is placed on the taxpayer. In other words, if the Commissioner asserts that your income should include a certain amount or that a deduction claimed in a return is not allowed, it will be up to you to establish that the Commissioner’s view is incorrect.

h4. Your protections under TASA

The Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (TASA) and complementary amendments to the applicable taxation administration legislation provide statutory protections for taxpayers who engage registered tax agents.

In particular, as your tax agent, we are bound by a statutory Code of Conduct which is administered by a new national Tax Practitioners Board. That Code requires us, amongst other things, to act lawfully in your best interests and with honesty and integrity in the performance of our duties.

In addition, as the client of a registered tax agent, you have statutory “safe harbour” exemptions from penalties in certain circumstances.

h5. When did the safe harbour provisions commence?

The safe harbour can only apply for returns lodged on or after 1 March 2010.

h5. How does the safe harbour work?

In order to benefit from the safe harbour should the need arise, it is a requirement for you to ensure that you provide us with all of the relevant tax information. This includes any records, or documents we request from you plus any other information relevant to the preparation of your tax return. The information provided must be complete and accurate.

It is equally important that you provide us with this information by the time it is requested so as to allow the return to be lodged by its due date. The safe harbour from late lodgement penalties can also apply where a Business Activity Statement, Instalment Activity Statement, or Fringe Benefits Tax return is lodged late.

h5. What does the safe harbour apply to?

Whilst the safe harbour can apply to exempt the penalty for an error made in a tax return, it is important to note that the tax and interest will be still be payable.

h5. What if the safe harbour does not apply?

Even if you are not eligible for the safe harbour, it is still possible to request the ATO remit or reduce the penalty.

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