David Burton CPA, LLC

Engagement Letter

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1040 Income Tax Return Annual Engagement Letter – Tax Year 2018

I am pleased to confirm our understanding of the arrangements for your income tax return(s).  This letter confirms the services you have asked me to perform and the terms under which we have agreed to do that work.  Please read this letter carefully because it is important to both parties that you understand what you can and cannot expect from my work.  If there are any questions or concerns, please call or email me to discuss this letter prior to signing it.

The Internal Revenue Service imposes penalties on taxpayers, and also on us as tax return preparers, for failure to observe due care in reporting on income tax returns.  In order to ensure an understanding of our mutual responsibilities, I must ask all clients for whom I prepare tax returns to confirm the following arrangements.

I will prepare your 2018 federal and state Forms 1040 and related forms and schedules from information you furnish to me.  For this engagement, I am not responsible for auditing or otherwise verifying all data you submit, although I will exercise reasonable professional care, including asking for further documentation and/or verbal clarification for unusual or potentially questionable items.  I will furnish you, free upon request, a tax organizer to help you gather and organize the necessary information.

While I will apply my knowledge, expertise, and professional judgment in the process of preparing your tax returns, it is your responsibility to maintain the documentation necessary to support the data used in preparing your tax returns.  If you have any questions as to the type of records required, I will be available to advise you.

Whenever applicable tax laws are unclear or that there are conflicting interpretations of the law by authorities (e.g., tax agencies and courts), I will explain to you the possible positions that may be taken on your return. I will adopt whatever position you request on your return so long as it is consistent with the codes, regulations, and interpretations that have been promulgated. If the Internal Revenue Service or other taxing authority should later contest the position taken, there may be an assessment of additional tax plus interest and penalties. I assume no liability for any such additional penalties or assessments.

It is also your responsibility to carefully examine and approve your completed tax returns before signing and and submitting them to the tax authorities.  I cannot be held responsible for the subsequent disallowance of doubtful deductions or inadequately supported documentation, nor for resulting taxes, penalties and interest.  I will rely, without further verification, upon information you provide to me from third parties (K-1s, 1099s, 1098s, receipts, etc.).

While I maintain high standards for myself, like any professional, there is a chance I may make a mistake.  In the event that you receive a notice from a tax authority related to a return I have prepared for you, and it is agreed that I made an error, I will correct your return at no charge, and also pay any penalties or interest incurred.  However, I am not responsible for any taxes owed.

I must receive all necessary information to prepare your return by April 1, 2019, to ensure that your returns will be completed by the filing deadline of April 15, 2019.  If I have not received all of your information by April 1, 2019, your returns may not be completed by the filing deadline, and you may be subject to late filing or late payment penalties.  I will be glad to file extensions for you, but I do not file tax extensions for clients unless specifically requested to do so.  Note that filing an extension does not extend the due date for any unpaid tax liabilities.

I ask that you check to be sure you have received all known tax documents prior to the completion and transmission your tax return(s).  Note that there may be additional charges if an amended return is necessary.    

With the exception of a valid subpoena, I will never share your information with anyone unless I receive your written consent to do so.

While this engagement does not cover returns other than income tax returns (i.e., gift tax, estate tax, sales tax), nor does it cover responses to inquires or examination by taxing authorities, I am available to perform those services under a separate agreement.

It is my policy to keep records related to this engagement for seven years after which they are destroyed.  However, it is my policy not to retain any original client records, so I will attempt to return those to you at the completion of the services rendered under this engagement.  Once records are returned to you, it is your responsibility to retain and protect your records for possible future use, including potential examination by any government or regulatory agencies.  Any documents remaining at my office will be securely stored.

In the interest of facilitating services to you, I may communicate with you via email or facsimile transmissions.  I take every effort to insure such communications are secure in accordance with my obligations under applicable laws and professional standards, including the encrypting of confidential files.  However, as email messages may be intercepted and read, disclosed, or forwarded by an unintended third party, I cannot guarantee that email messages from me will be properly delivered and read only by the addressee.  Therefore, I must specifically disclaim and waive any liability or responsibility whatsoever for interception or unintentional disclosure of emails transmitted by me in connection with the performance of this engagement.  In that regard, you agree that I shall have no liability for any loss or damage to any person or entity resulting from the use of email transmissions.

My fees for this engagement are not contingent on the results of my services.  Rather, my fees are based on per-form rates (rate sheet available upon request).  However, in the event that I encounter unusual circumstances that would require me to expand the scope of the engagement, and/or if I anticipate my fees exceeding a reasonable range (i.e., prior year billing), I will adjust the estimate, and obtain your prior approval before continuing with the engagement.

Payment for services rendered is due upon completion of the engagement unless other arrangements have been made in advance.

I appreciate the opportunity to serve you.  Please date and sign the enclosed copy of this letter to acknowledge your agreement with and acceptance of your responsibilities and the terms of this engagement.  It is my policy to initiate services after receiving this executed engagement letter.


David Burton, CPA



____________________________________ (Client Name - Print)


____________________________________ (Client Signature)         ____________ (Date)


____________________________________ (Client Name – Print)


____________________________________ (Client Signature)         ____________ (Date)


I/we have read the above terms of the engagement letter and agree with the terms of this engagement.


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 David Burton CPA, LLC  *  805 Plainfield Road, Suite 116  *  Darien, IL  60561  *  630.615.8531