Summary Terms of Business
This section sets out some general information about the firm and our Terms of Business.
6 The practice
This section provides detail on who we are.
7 Fees – Routine Services
This section details how routine quoted fees work, and in particular:
– What is and isn’t included in a quotation
– Invoicing and Payment
– Cancellation and pro rata fees
– Late payment costs
8 Fees – Non Routine and Non Fixed Price Services
This section details matters around non routine fees, and in particular:
– What may necessitate a non routine fee being raised
– Invoicing and payment
– Standard charge rates per hour for our staff
10 Preparation of Accounts
11 Tax compliance
These sections set out respective responsibilities, and in particular:
– It is your responsibility to manage your tax, VAT and NIC affairs
– It is our responsibility to assist you and advise you as requested
– It is your responsibility to maintain accounting and tax records and provide them to us
– It is your responsibility to be aware of time limits and let us have information in good time
– It is our responsibility to prepare your accounts or tax based on them
– Its is your responsibility to check your accounts and returns after we have prepared them
12 Tax planning and mitigation, financial planning
This section sets out respective responsibilities around tax planning and mitigation, in particular:
– You are responsible for engaging us for such advice
– We are responsible for responding to specific requests for advice
13 Tax Enquiries
This section sets out respective responsibilities around tax enquiries and disputes. In particular:
– You have the choice whether to engage us to assist or not
– Invoicing and payment arrangements
14 VAT returns and bookkeeping
This section sets out respective responsibilities where you engage us to assist with bookkeeping or VAT returns.
15 Payroll and CIS – Bureau services
This section sets out respective responsibilities where you engage us to assist with payroll or CIS.
This section sets out special arrangements where we act for Charities and other third sector bodies.
17 One off engagements and consultancy
This section sets out arrangements where we carry out one off engagements or consultancy projects.
18 Company Secretarial
This section sets out how we assist with Company Secretarial work, including Confirmation Statements, and respective responsibilities.
19 Statutory Audit and Independent Examination
This section sets out arrangements where we provide Statutory Audit or Independent Examination.
20 Tax Credits
This section sets out arrangements where we assist with Tax Credit work.
21 Auto Enrolment
This section sets out arrangements where we Auto Enrolment or workplace pension work.
This section sets out the deadlines for the provision of information to us in the annual tax cycle, and what happens if these are missed.
23 Contact details
This section explains your responsibility for providing us with contact details.
24 Limitation of liability
This section sets out our liability to you, and in particular:
– We will only be liable for matters you have asked us to advise on
– Our liability is limited to ten times the fee paid
25 Insurance and fee protection
This section sets out arrangements for Tax Enquiry Insurance and Professional Fee Protection.
26 Ownership of papers
This section covers ownership of papers, and arrangement for release.
This section covers mutual confidentiality arrangements, and in particular:
– We are responsible for keeping your affairs confidential except where we are legally obliged otherwise
– You are responsible for keeping our correspondence with you, documents prepared, etc, confidential
28 Complaints and disputes
This section sets out the procedures for resolving complaints and disputes.
29 Credit terms
This section sets out our credit terms, and late payment arrangements.
30 Data security and electronic systems
This section covers our obligations around data protection, data security, and security of electronic systems.
This section covers miscellaneous issues, and in particular:
– Handling Client Money
– Written advice versus informal advice
– Anti Money Laundering
– Cancellation rights
32 Updates to this document
– This section covers our rights to update these terms
Detailed Terms of Business
1. This document sets out the services we will be providing to you and the basis on which we will be acting. It forms the basis of the contract between Whitefield Tax Limited and yourself, but where appropriate it is amended by any specific agreements.
2. In the event of conflict the precedence for agreement between us is as follows:
i. (highest precedence) Any letter or email which is clearly intended to be a contractual agreement
ii. Any engagement letter or other service level agreement specific to you
iii. Any generic service description for our service packages
iv. This document
In particular for clients using our Personal Service Company scheme, the service specification for that scheme sets out fees and terms for the package of services under that scheme and should be read in conjunction with this document.
3. Within this document “You” refers to any client of Whitefield, being an individual, a partnership and/or its partners, a company and/or its directors or a charity and/or its trustees (the entity). In the case of a corporate entity, charity or LLP, the responsibility for preparing accounts and administering taxes is a personal one of the directors, trustees or partners hence this contract is jointly and severally with the directors, officers, trustees or partners as applicable rather and the entity itself.
For convenience we will invoice the entity on their behalf, save that if the entity defaults the directors, officers, trustees, partners will be liable. The signatories to this document for the client warrants that they have the authority of all other parties to enter into this agreement, and indemnifies Whitefield Tax Limited on this basis.
4. This contract is not designed to prejudice your statutory or common law rights, nor does it bind you to using our services for any set length of time. This agreement can be terminated in writing by either party by way of letter to the latest address held, with no notice required. For the avoidance of doubt, contract terminations should be clearly marked as such.
This agreement is intended to operate under English Law. Any clause deemed unenforceable stands alone and does not render the rest of the agreement void.
5. Not Used
a. “Whitefield” is the trading name of Whitefield Tax Limited, registered in England number 4140568. The director of Whitefield Tax Limited is Jessica Garbett FCCA. The registered office is Arnold House, 2 New Road, Brading, Isle of Wight, PO36 0DT
b. Whitefield holds a practising certificate from the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants (ACCA), and also is a Registered Auditor under the Companies Act 1989.
c. Whitefield is registered with the ACCA to undertake a range of investment business activities, but we normally only offer investment advice as a integral part of other professional services. However we have links with a number of independent financial advisors, and can introduce clients to them. You are entitled to receive information about any commissions received from third parties, and this under the terms of this agreement you consent to us retaining such commissions, for example from bankers or insurance providers.
d. In order to keep our costs reasonable, some of our staff work with us on a sub contract basis, either from our offices, their offices or from their home. We accept full responsibility for the work they carry out and your contractual relationship is with us.
e. We only offer advice on, and carry out services relating to, UK accounting and tax matters. We may offer general advice about overseas matters, but not jurisdiction specific advice.
f. This contract is construed and operated under English law.
a. Our accountancy quotations are designed to include within one annual fee all the routine services which you are likely to need during the course of a year and builds in an allowance for ad hoc queries and advice so that we do not have charge for this separately. All quotations are ex vat.
b. Our quotations are normally fixed for two years, and are then subject to review in line with inflation. Obviously they will also be subject to review if there is a major change in the nature or size of your business or the services you require.
c. Unless agreed otherwise our quotation does not include:
• Regular weekly, monthly or quarterly bookkeeping.
• Preparation of VAT returns.
• Preparation of regular weekly or monthly payroll calculations for staff.
• Tax enquiries (including Self Assessment enquiries, VAT inspections and PAYE/NI inspections).
• Income confirmations for mortgage, borrowing or tenancy purposes.
• LEA grant forms, and similar applications.
• Applications for Tax Credits or similar benefits administered through the tax system.
We are, of course, happy to provide a quotation to encompass the above.
d. Annual invoices are normally raised on completion of the annual accounts, or for tax only clients, completion of the tax return. Where work has been started but cannot be completed due to a delay outside of our control, eg you not making papers available to finalise accounts, then we reserve the right to invoice part or all of the quoted fee.
e. For fixed fee packages with a monthly payment, we may not always issue annual invoices, but vat invoices will be provided on request.
f. Where services such as regular VAT returns, bookkeeping or payroll are provided we may invoice quarterly or monthly within the context of the annual fee agreement between us.
g. Invoices are due for payment within fourteen days of the invoice date, by cash, cheque or credit card and we reserve the right to charge interest on overdue accounts at the rate of 2% per month. Queries on invoices must be raised within fourteen days of the date of issue.
h. We prefer payments by direct debit. Our fees are computed on an annual basis, however where payments are made by standing order or direct debit each payment is deemed to be a stand alone contract for services during the month of payment.
i. For clients paying by standing order / direct debit, an annual vat invoice is provided for the calendar year. Fee invoices covered by standing order are for accounting and control only.
j. If standing orders or direct debits are unpaid or missed, and your account is in debit (money owed to us) we may make an administration charge of up to £10 per missed payment.
k. Where standing orders or direct debits are cancelled, or two standing orders or direct debits in a row are unpaid, any outstanding balance becomes payable in full.
l. In the event of credit terms being breached we may levy credit charges and interest in accordance with Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1988 as amended by EC Directive 2000/35/EC.
m. At our discretion we may request payment in advance for work, or withhold aspects of completed work pending settlement of our fees.
n. No discount or refund is given for contracted services not used.
o. Very occasionally if presented with very poor quality information and records a previously quoted fixed fee may have to be withdrawn; if this is the case then you will be advised as soon as possible, and will be given the option of continuing to engage us on an hourly rate, or to terminate the engagement.
p. Where the contract between you and ourselves is cancelled by either party:
• a pro rata fee may apply from ourselves for the current financial year. This will not exceed the annual quoted fee on a pro rata basis.
• fees may be due for the previous financial year in respect of work in hand. These will not exceed the annual quoted fee.
Part year charging is based upon our valuation of work carried out at our normal charge rates, subject to the caps above, and to any specific agreement. As well as specific accounts and tax return assignment, the valuation takes into account work flow management, ad hoc advice and general service overheads.
a. From time to time many businesses need some extra assistance, and non routine work of this nature is subject to a separate charge. Typical examples of non routine issues are:
• Buying or selling a business.
• Raising business or personal finance.
• Preparation of business plans or forecasts.
• Tax planning and mitigation strategies and strategic tax / financial planning
• Tax enquiries (including Self Assessment enquiries, VAT inspections and PAYE/NI inspections).
• Income confirmations for mortgage, borrowing or tenancy purposes.
• LEA grant forms, and similar applications.
We would stress that occasional telephone calls, requests for advice, etc, do not incur a separate charge -separate charges only arise where a significant amount of extra work is called for.
Where at all possible we will tell you if the work we are doing for you is outside of the quoted annual fee for routine services and therefore incurring extra charges, and where at all possible we will give you a quotation for the non routine work.
b. Our hourly rates for non routine work are currently (excluding VAT):
• £200 Director (minimum charge one hour)
• £100 Manager Grade staff
• £50 Senior technician grade staff
• £25 Junior technician grade staff
c. Invoices for non routine work are raised either on completion of the work or on a periodic basis and are due for payment within fourteen days by cash, cheque or credit card. We reserve the right to charge interest on overdue accounts at the rate of 2% per month. Queries on invoices must be raised within fourteen days of the date of issue. In the event of credit terms being breached we may levy credit charges and interest in accordance with Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1988 as amended by EC Directive 2000/35/EC.
d. Where charges are covered by third parties, including insurers, the client remains responsible for settlement and observation of credit terms by the third party.
e. At our discretion we may request payment in advance for work, or withhold aspects of completed work pending settlement of our fees, eg submission of accounts to Companies House.
a. Your Tax, VAT and NIC affairs are your responsibility; we act only as your agent. It is your responsibility to:
i. maintain accurate records for accountancy, audit or taxation purposes, including HMRC Digital Obligations, eg Making Tax Digital for VAT;
ii. consider the accuracy of accounts, tax returns or other documents which the practice prepares for you, before you sign them.
iii. ensure that elections, forms, returns or accounts which are subject to a statutory time limit are made on time;
iv. make sure we get copies or originals of all forms, assessments or other documents sent to you by HMRC or Companies House on which you wish us to advise or take action.
b. We will offer you as much assistance as possible in meeting the above. This will include, where possible and practical:
i. giving you guidance on the records you need to keep and advising you of any significant errors or omissions which we discover;
ii. ensuring that accounts, tax returns and other documents are an accurate reflection of the records and other information, written or verbal, which you have given us, and drawing to your attention any known uncertainties or errors;
iii. ensuring that you are aware of relevant time limits and critical dates;
iv. ensuring that we process work you give us within the time scale necessary to meet relevant time limits provided that we have been given the necessary books and records within good time.
c. If you are not VAT registered it is your responsibility to monitor the registration thresholds and contact us if you need to effect registration. Likewise (a) if you use a vat scheme with a turnover limit it is your responsibility to monitor your continued eligibility for its use or (b) if you are VAT registered and below the threshold, you are responsible for entering MTDfV if your turnover goes over the threshold.
d. We are not responsible for the detection of, or prevention of, fraud, theft or accidental losses within your business or personal affairs.
a. We will prepare your accounts from your records, incorporating any other verbal or written information given. In preparing these accounts we will endeavour to identify and correct any material errors found in your records, and where appropriate advise you accordingly.
b. We will draw your attention to any major deficiencies, errors or omissions which we discover in your records or accounting systems.
c. It is your responsibility to maintain accurate and reliable accounting records for the purpose of our drawing up accounts.
d. Unless specifically agreed we will not be responsible for maintaining or preparing a nominal ledger or Statutory Accounting Records under the Companies Act. Our own working papers do not constitute a nominal ledger or Statutory Accounting records.
e. We will certify accounts with a non audit certification, confirming the work we have carried out on the accounts.
f. For companies/LLPs we will file your accounts at Companies House, normally electronic abbreviated accounts which give the minimum disclosure for Companies House filing. As these are a abbreviated version of the full accounts we will normally rely on your approval of the full accounts, rather than asking you to explicitly approve the abbreviated accounts.
g. For charities, we will not file the accounts at the Charities Commission – this is your responsibility.
h. Where you submit accounting information to us which you subsequently advise is incorrect, and we have to amend and re-issue approval accounts and/or draft tax returns, then a supplementary fee of £100+vat may apply for processing the changes. This will be invoiced at the time of processing the changes and will be subject to our 14 day credit terms.
a. We will check and advise you of the correctness or otherwise of any assessments, computations, statements of tax liabilities, PAYE codings or demands for payment sent to you by HMRC provided, of course, that we have a copy of the relevant documentation.
b. Under normal circumstances we automatically get sent copies of Self Assessment and Corporation Tax assessments raised by HMRC, but we do not get automatic copies of other HMRC assessments, including VAT, demands for payment, reminders or PAYE codings – these must therefore be forwarded to us if you require us to act upon them.
c. Where requested we will prepare your business and/or personal tax returns as the engagement dictates, including, if requested between us spouse tax returns.
d. We will prepare tax computations on your accounts, and will submit these to HMRC. In the case of Companies, these computations are submitted automatically after your accounts are sent to you for approval; in the case of individuals / partnerships these computations are sent with your Self Assessment return once you have approved it.
e. Having prepared your accounts, tax returns or computations, if at all possible we will advise you of your approximate tax liabilities.
f. The routine preparation of VAT returns and the calculation of PAYE/NIC liabilities are services which are only offered where they have been specifically quoted for. Annual directors only PAYE calculations can however be dealt with at your request as part of a basic business taxation service at no extra charge. Calculation of PAYE/NI does not include other employment related issues, eg contracts, minimum wage compliance, auto enrolment.
g. Taxation services will normally cover the company and its directors (partnerships and their partners), but will not cover a director or partner where it is clear by either (i) express agreement or (ii) action that the director or partner wishes to make their own arrangements for taxation advice.
h. We have your consent to make use of HMRC, Companies House and other Electronic Filing opportunities where available without explicit approval.
i. We require a Data Request form / questionnaire to be supplied to us for personal returns. Where this is not supplied we will endeavour to complete the form on information available, but accept no liability for omissions and inaccuracies.
j. You must read through and returns we send you for approval and consider their accuracy and completes before signing them and authorising us to file them.
k. Where we process payroll for you, you are responsible for providing us with timely and accurate payroll information for PAYE/NI, including RTI submissions. This includes information about hours, pay rates and staff changes.
l. Where we have agreed to use payroll or RTI data on a recurring basis, you are responsible for letting us know about any changes.
a. Where requested we will offer advice on Capital Gains Tax, Inheritance Tax and other capital taxes for either long term strategic planning or estate planning.
b. Where requested we will offer advice on all Capital Gains Tax, Inheritance Tax, Income tax, Corporation Tax, NI and VAT for specific transactions.
c. Our advice will be based on current law and practice, and we will highlight any known uncertainties or matters requiring clarification.
d. We do not undertake to update our advice for subsequent changes in legislation, case law, practice or interpretation. If you require advice to be updated you must ask us to update the advice.
e. Our advice is limited to taxation and financial matters. We do not offer advice on, not accept responsibility for, general legal or contractual matters.
a. Where engaged to represent you we will correspond with HMRC on your behalf and represent you at any formal interviews. We ask that you do not contact HMRC directly, as this can compromise our handling of the enquiry.
b. We will copy all significant correspondence to you, and seek your approval on our proposed actions/responses as the enquiry progresses.
c. If at any time you want to make voluntary disclosure of irregularities then you should advise us as soon as possible.
d. We have three options for charging you:
i. Hourly rate in accordance with our charge rates for non routine / non fixed price work
ii. Fixed retainer, payable on a monthly basis by direct debit until the end of the enquiry. The amount of the retainer is assessed according to our experience of your business and the likely costs of the enquiry. The retainer covers all of our staff time for correspondence, meetings and representation up to and including General Commissioners level. Representation in further appeals is not covered (unlikely in most cases).
iii. Insured – we recommend that all of our clients consider tax enquiry insurance. We have a suitable product available on request.
a. Where we are engaged to prepare vat returns and carry out basic bookkeeping we will do so from the records and information you provide to us. You retain responsibility for the completeness of this information.
b. We accept responsibility for the accurate processing of the information given to us.
c. The extent of our responsibilities and yours will be subject to specific agreement, between us.
d. The specific output in terms of reports and returns will be subject to agreement between us.
e. Where specifically agreed we will maintain, on your behalf, electronic records, and the electronic data will be your property. Where there is no specific agreement electronic data , including backup files, data files, programme files and passwords, are our property but you will be entitled to ask for transaction reports, audit trails and day books to be printed.
f. Unless agreed to the contrary services are provided on a fixed fee, retainer basis, with no credit for unutilised services.
g. In respect of Making Tax Digital for VAT (MDTfV), being introduced in 2019:
g.1 You are responsible for selecting software for complying with MTDfV
g.2 Where we provide software, eg FreeAgent or Link Software, it is on an agency business and we accept no responsibility for technical software failures.
g.3 Except as agreed by us we do not accept responsibility for MTDfV compliance. If you ask us to advise on MTDfV or check returns, we do so without liability unless (a) we have been engaged to prepare or process the underlying records or (b) we have specifically agreed to provide a MTDfV checking or submission service.
a. Our payroll service covers:
i. Provision of computer generated payslips.
ii. Provision of payroll summary for your records.
iii. Preparation of end of year returns P35/P14/P60
iv. Administration of monthly/quarterly remittances to HMRC.
v. Calculation and administration of SMP and SSP payments and recoveries. Other paperwork relating to SMP and SSP, eg medical certificates, requests for information from third parties are the responsibility of the client.
vi. Dealing with payroll deductions or additions to be made relating to Student Loans, Child Support, Court Orders or Working Families Tax Credit. The client is responsible for liasing with the relevant bodies and providing information to them as requested; our responsibility is solely to include the relevant items in the payroll.
vii. HMRC queries relating to payroll deductions and calculation.
b. Our payroll service does not cover:
i. Maintaining records of holiday or sickness absence.
ii. Matters related to contracts of employment or advice on employment law.
iii. HMRC queries on payroll matters other than deductions and calculations, eg benefits, minimum wage, working time directive.
iv. Site attendance for PAYE/NI compliance audits.
v. P11Ds (available by separate quotation for employees earning over £8,500 p.a.)
c. Our CIS service covers:
i. Comprehensive service:
– verification of new subcontractors
– Monthly statements for the subcontractors (CIS voucher substitute)
– Monthly return completion and submission
ii. Basic service
– Monthly return completion and submission
d. Our CIS service does not cover:
i. Maintenance of primary records (record keeping, payment schedules)
ii. Matters relating to contracts of engagement and status issues or advice
iii. HMRC queries on status matters
iv. Site attendance for CIS compliance audits.
e. For all payroll and CIS matters we require notifications to us to be by email, fax or post. We will accept telephone instructions but do not accept responsibility for matters communicated by telephone.
f. Unless agreed to the contrary services are provided on a fixed fee, retainer basis, with no credit for unutilised services.
g. We do not advise on employment law, employment disputes or contracts of employment / service.
h. Where we process payroll or CIS for you, you are responsible for providing us with timely and accurate payroll information for PAYE/NI, including RTI submissions, and CIS submissions. This includes information about hours, pay rates and staff changes.
i. Where we have agreed to use payroll, RTI or CIS data on a recurring basis, you are responsible for letting us know about any changes.
a. We will not normally take responsibility for filing your accounts or annual return with the Charities Commission.
b. We will not normally take responsibility for administration of Gift Aid and similar tax matters.
a. The scope of one off engagements and consultancy work will be agreed beforehand, along with the fee basis.
b. Our advice is limited to taxation, financial, company law and general matters. We do not offer advice on, not accept responsibility for, general legal or contractual matters.
c. For business sale and purchase transactions, we will only take responsibility for matters we have specifically agreed to advise on.
d. For one off engagements we do not offer any ongoing services or advice, and we do not commit to updating advice given if law or regulation changes.
e. We offer an “Ask an Accountant” service for individuals and businesses not otherwise a current client of ours to consult with us on a fixed price basis for a specific issue. The fee and scope of work is agreed before the engagement starts. For engagements under “Ask an Accountant” we do not offer any ongoing services or advice, and we do not commit to updating advice given if law or regulation changes.
a. When requested we will assist you with returns or documents to Companies House, although it is your responsibility to pay stamp duty, filing fees or other duty. We do not normally submit your Confirmation Statement to Companies House due to the filing fee being due for payment by yourself; however we will do so on request, and subject to an administration fee.
b. We are willing to allow our Brading address to be used as a registered office address for client companies. We will process or forward on to you any official post received; junk mail will however, at our discretion, be destroyed.
Registered Office facilities may be withdrawn in the event of Court Judgements, Bailiff visits or similar and are offered at our sole, revocable, discretion. When withdrawn we will change the registered office to the correspondence address we have on file for you and file any other related documents to protect our position. We have your implied authority to notify such a change to Companies House and third parties, and to release the address details we have on file for you.
c. Where we are engaged to act in respect of a company formation, a separate fee applies and the following terms are imposed:
i. We will not normally supply statutory records for a company (share register, minute book, company seal) – these are available at extra cost if required.
ii. A standard form of Memorandum and Articles of Association will be used.
d. Unless specifically engaged to do so, our responsibilities do not extend to the maintenance of statutory records.
e. Where we provide a Company Secretary in the form of Whitefield Nominees Limited, we act as nominee secretary only and do not take on the responsibilities outlined in this section.
f. Where we cease to act for a company but the directors do not change the registered office then we may at our discretion make a charge of £20 per month plus vat for each whole or part month of registered office provision.
a. The terms “audit” and “independent examination” have special meaning in terms of company and charity accounts,, Most companies, and many charities, are exempt from these requirements. Where a statutory audit or independent examination is required, a separate engagement letter will be necessary in respect of that service in a format set down by regulators. That engagement letter sits alongside, but does not supersede, this document.
a. Our fixed price services do not cover the preparation of tax credit claims or claims for similar benefits which are integrated with the tax system.
a. Our fixed price services do not cover administration of Auto Enrolment in accordance with The Pension Regulator rules.
b. The responsibility for compliance with Auto Enrolment rules lies with you.
c. For businesses who are fully exempt from Auto Enrolment, on request we will at no cost liaise with The Pension Regulator to register the exemption.
d. Where we agree to provide Auto Enrolment related services, these will be subject to a separate agreement between us as to the scope of provision and its cost.
a. In order to meet statutory filing deadlines for business accounts, we require business books and records from you no later than:
~ 30 September after tax year end (5 April) for partnerships / sole traders
~ 6 months after year end for companies / LLPs (i.e. 30 September for 31 March year ends)
Where business books and records are received after the deadline:
~ we will make every effort to complete accounts in time for statutory deadlines but cannot guarantee to do so
~ if statutory deadlines are met then a supplementary fee of £100+vat from us will apply, which will be invoiced when the accounts are sent to you and subject to 14 day credit terms
~ if statutory deadlines are not met then the supplementary fee will not apply and we accept no responsibility for penalties from HMRC / Companies House
b. In order to meet statutory filing deadlines for individual Self Assessment returns we require personal tax information from you no later than:
~ 30 September after tax year end (5 April) in the form of a completed Self Assessment Questionnaire and any supporting paperwork
Where tax information is received after this deadline:
~ we will make every effort to complete returns in time for statutory deadlines but cannot guarantee to do so
~ if statutory deadlines are not met we accept no responsibility for penalties from HMRC
c. Other deadlines will apply for services like VAT returns and Bureau Payroll. We will notify clients individually of these deadlines.
a. You are responsible for providing us with up to date postal, e-mail and telephone details.
b. Any e-mail address used by you to correspond with us is deemed valid and confidential for reply purposes unless we are advised to the contrary.
a. Unless specifically agreed to the contrary Whitefield Tax Limited will only be liable to you for advice in respect of:
i. Matters which have been specifically drawn to our attention; or
ii Matters where we have specifically been asked to comment; or
iii Matters where we have specifically advised you.
b. Whitefield Tax Limited will not be liable for failure to provide advice in respect of a matter which has not been drawn to our attention by yourself or where you have not sought our advice.
c. Unless an extension has been agreed Whitefield Tax Limited has a maximum liability to you equal to ten times the annual fees charged under this agreement, or ten times the fee charged for a specific piece of advice where a separate fee agreement exists.
d. Where, on your request, we engage the services of specialists or third parties we do not accept liability for their work or advice.
e. To the fullest extent possible our directors, staff or contractors to not accept personal liability for work carried out.
a. We offer various insurance schemes and fee protection schemes for protection against tax enquiries and inspections. These insurance schemes are expressly offered on the basis of the policy conditions notified with the insurance, and are provided by the insurers concerned with Whitefield acting as introducer.
b. In the event of any dispute concerning cover or claims, the insurers ruling is final.
c. You will be liable for any excess under the insurance policy.
d. Such insurance policies are not compulsory, but where not taken up, or where policy conditions are breached, you will be liable for any professional fees arising from matters which would otherwise have been covered by the insurance.
a. Copies of correspondence with HMRC or tax returns prepared on your behalf belong to you. We will normally retain these copies on our files, but copies can be provided to you on request and at no charge (subject to c and d below)
b. Working papers for accounts and returns, file notes and copies of our correspondence to you are our property and will not normally be released.
Our working papers do not constitute a nominal ledger nor do they qualify as Statutory Accounting information under the Companies Act.
c. We archive files periodically, and a charge will be made for recovering papers from archive. By concession this charge may be waived for active clients. Where the client relationship is terminated files will normally be archived three months later, and a charge made for access after that date.
d. We may levy a charge for providing copies of documents previously provided to you.
e. On a change of accountant, subject to authority from yourself, which may be implied or express, we will
i. promptly release a copy of any trial balance, relevant lead schedules and breakdowns from the last completed accounts, and a copy of the last tax return / computations. This information will be provided without charge unless (c) or (d) above apply. Relevance of lead schedules and breakdowns to be released will be at our discretion, but will follow best professional practice and should be adequate for your new accountant to continue work for you.
We may withhold release of these papers if there are fees owed to us, pending payment of the balance outstanding.
ii. give consideration to supply of any further information requested, for which a charge may be levied.
f. Where permitted by law Lien may be exercised on papers or records, including prime records belonging to you, for any fee balance due to us. The lien will be released promptly on payment.
g. We have your consent to store papers electronically or manually, and to destroy manual backups of electronic paperwork.
a. We have an obligation to keep your affairs confidential.
We reserve the right, for the purpose of promotional activity, training or for other business purpose, to mention you are a client. As stated above we will not disclose any confidential information.
b. Correspondence between ourselves and yourselves, along with relevant schedules, should be kept confidential by yourself and not disclosed to third parties without our consent. You agree to indemnify us from any costs arising as a result of such disclosure in defending our selves or asserting our rights, such costs to include our own time at the charge rates quoted for non routine work.
This does not apply to documents which are clearly intended to be forwarded to third parties, eg tax returns and certified annual accounts.
c. We have an implied authority to discuss your affairs with (i) any banker, lawyer or IFA acting for you (ii) any co director / partner / officer of your entity (iii) and your spouse. However we would not normally discuss personal information with an unrelated director / partner, nor business matters with a spouse not normally involved with the business.
d. We have an implied authority to respond to any enquiry from a government department, law enforcement body, statutory agency or other legitimate third party where we have an obligation to do so at law, or where failure to do so may lead to a complaint against us.
e. We will inform you if we become aware of any conflict of interest in our relationship with you, and seek to agree with you a procedure for managing any such conflict.
f. Where disputes arise between shareholders / directors / partners in a business, including matrimonial/family disputes in a family owned business then we normally take instructions from, communicate with and report to, the managing director/senior partner, or the director/partner who we normally communicate with, and other parties are advised to take independent advice.
g. For company / partnership clients we normally take instructions from, communicate with and report to, the managing director/senior partner, or, if different, the director/partner who is nominated to deal with accounting and tax matters, and rely on them to communicate with their colleagues. This does not extend to personal taxation matters of individual partners / directors.
a. Any complaint about our services must, in the first instance, be put in writing to Mrs Jessica Hart-Garbett, Principal / MD of the practice., and clearly marked as a complaint.
b. We will then investigate this complaint and report to you promptly.
c. Business customers: Where a complaint cannot be agreed between us after investigation, you have the right to raise the matter with our regulator ACCA, and we will provide you with details on request as to how to do this. We will co-operate with our regulator in their investigation of the matter. You undertake to pay our costs, both external, eg legal fees, and internal at the charge rates quoted for non routine work, if the regulator does not uphold the complaint.
d. Private clients (“consumers”): Where a complaint cannot be agreed between us after investigation, you have the right to raise the matter with our regulator ACCA, and we will provide you with details on request as to how to do this. We will co-operate with our regulator in their investigation of the matter. Should ACCA consider a complaint appropriate for conciliation, it is competent to offer alternative dispute resolution through its Conciliation Service. ACCA’s website address is www.accaglobal.com. Please note that, under the Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015 we are not obliged to submit to ACCAs conciliation process.
a. Unless agreed otherwise, credit terms for invoices not being settled by standing order or direct debit, including balances arising where a standing order or direct debit arrangement is not honoured, are 14 days from invoice date or, in the case of a failed standing order or direct debit, on demand.
b. We reserve the right to charge interest on overdue accounts at the rate of 2% per month.
c. Queries on invoices must be raised within fourteen days of the date of issue.
d. In the event of credit terms being breached we may levy credit charges and interest in accordance with Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1988 as amended by EC Directive 2000/35/EC
e. Balances over 30 days old may be passed to our solicitors or to credit managers, and you agree to be liable for their charges and disbursements, including court costs, in addition to the principal sum and related interest / charges.
f. As set out in clause 3 of this agreement, for corporate entities the directors or, where relevant, other officers, are responsible for settling the charges for a corporate body.
a. We will take reasonable steps to ensure that data we hold about you electronically is kept securely. We will, however, not accept liability for any disclosure as a result of a physical or electronic security breach.
b. Where you supply accounts data to us electronically we will hold this solely for the purposes of processing your accounts or taxes. You are responsible for maintaining and securing your own copies for business management and backup purposes.
c. Where we are engaged to input data on your systems, or to prepare data for input on your systems, including (i) transactions, (ii) year and adjustments (including running year ends), (iii) other adjustments, we will take appropriate care with regard to the accuracy of the input, however you must supervise the entries and satisfy yourself that they are correct, and raise any questions at the time of the input being undertaken or of amended data being provided electronically or manually. This reflects that the obligation to maintain accounting systems rests with the business and its controlling parties.
d. Where we are contracted to provide accountancy, bookkeeping or vat preparation services using our own electronic systems then (c) above does not apply; we are responsible for the accuracy of data input, however you are responsible for checking accounts, returns and reports which we generate for you.
e. Where we are contracted to provide accountancy, bookkeeping or vat preparation services using our own electronic systems then unless agreed otherwise the electronic data remains in our ownership, and we may impose stipulations on its release electronically. Paper copies will always be provided on request.
f. We have your authority to process data electronically, and to exchange data electronically on your behalf with HMRC, Companies House and other regulators, without case by case consent.
g. We generally retain data securely for an indefinite period, recognising (a) litigation and dispute risk and (b) that often information is required many years retrospectively about asset values, elections or transactions. On request we will remove all transactional data for a former client, but subject to a waiver of all liability being executed by the requesting party.
h. We do not sell client data or release except with consent or legal requirement.
a. We may from time to time hold money on your behalf. Such money will be held in trust in a client bank account, which is segregated from the firms funds.
b. 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 and you wish to reply on that advice, you must ask for the advice to be confirmed in writing.
c. We welcome the efficiency of communicating with clients by email and will take steps to ensure that any emails we send are virus free. However you are responsible for checking any emails, including attachments, from us for viruses. Email is an informal communication medium, and therefore the contents of an email to not constitute formal advice unless clearly stated to do so.
d. Under UK law we have a responsibility to identify all clients and the sources of their assets for Anti Money Laundering purposes. We also have an obligation to report suspicious transactions. We will need you to co-operate with us in the provision of identification documentation, and in the provision of explanations about specific transactions or arrangements.
e. Under the Cancellation of Contracts made in a Consumers Home or Place of Work etc Regulations 2008 and/or The Consumer Protections (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 if you are dealing with us as a consumer, i.e. in respect of personal rather than business matters, then you have a right to cancel the contract between us within 7 days of its instigation, which will normally be the date of our welcome letter (engagement letter) to you. This is in addition to the general termination provisions within our agreement.
a. This document may be updated and changed by Whitefield Tax Limited:
i. By 30 days notice being given on the terms of business section of our website
ii By immediate notice on our website where circumstances dictate
We will endeavour to advise all clients of major changes to our terms of business.
b. You can request a copy of the latest terms of business from our offices at any time.
c. We will not change fee or charging levels without specific communication to clients.