Churchill Taxation
call: 01902 674492

Terms of Business

May 2016

Please note: This is an important document, which we urge you to read and keep in a safe place for future reference.

We aim to offer quality advice with personal service at a fair cost.  This document sets out the terms upon which we will be instructed to act for you and should be read in conjunction with any related engagement letter that might be issued.

Fees. Our charges are generally related to the time spent dealing with a case and the skill and responsibility involved.  Time spent will include meetings with you and others; considering, preparing and working on papers; reviewing implications of technical considerations; tax calculations where required, correspondence in and out, and telephone calls.  We will wherever possible endeavour to provide either a fixed fee or an estimated fee quote before we undertake any work.

If your instructions are particularly complex, or you require an unusual degree of urgency we reserve the right to charge a higher hourly rate.

Should a matter not be carried through to completion, and we are instructed to undertake no further work on it, a charge will be made in respect of the work that has been undertaken.

If we give an estimate of costs, we will seek to provide a sensible estimate in the light of the factors known to us at the time of giving the estimate.  In most cases we cannot know in advance exactly how much work will be required.  Such estimates are not legally binding on us and do not amount to an agreed fee, unless we agree otherwise in writing.

Should you wish to place a limit on our costs then you may do so.  In such a case we will not exceed that limit nor carry out any further work without your authorisation.

Invoices.  Invoices will be rendered periodically or on completion of specific tasks as appropriate.  Interim bills for ongoing work enable you to budget for costs as well as assisting cash flow for us.  You will be deemed to have received the bill within three working days of the date of the invoice.  Payment of an invoice is expected by return and certainly within 14 days.  If you have any query about the invoice, please contact the person handling your matter immediately.

We reserve the right to charge you interest on the amount you owe at the Bank of England base rate from one month after you receive the bill.  Where payment of fees billed is unduly delayed we reserve the right to suspend work on or to withdraw from all matters on which you have retained us until any outstanding sums are discharged.

Identification.  We are required to keep records of evidence of identity of clients.

Where you as our client are representing a professional firm (solicitors or accountants or tax advisers) whose premises have been visited and / or whose existence is attested to by publicly available information (professional bodies etc) we do not require further evidence of your firm’s identity and location.

Where you engage us to work on matters on behalf of your clients, our understanding is that you will have taken responsibility to be satisfied on the identification matters for those clients as appropriate in accordance with any professional requirements and the latest Money Laundering regulations, or that you will fully inform us or any reason for reservation in this respect before we commence work.

Where you as our client are not a professional firm as above, on the first occasion we act for you we will request the following two items, copies of which will be retained on our files:

  • One item of photographic evidence, such as a photocopy of your passport or driving licence;
  • One other independent item including your name and address such as recent utility bill, council tax demand or bank statement.

Ownership of documents.  All documents created by us, such as file notes, working papers, draft letters and draft computations, remain our property.  We do not assert ownership rights to documents provided by and belonging to you such as original invoices, title deeds and contract notes.  After completing your work, we are entitled to retain your papers and documents whilst money is owing to us.  Thereafter we will return any of your papers as requested by you and keep our file for at least five years.  After such period we have your authority to destroy the file.

Funds.  We will not handle, or act as intermediary for handling funds, except to the extent that they are in payment of our fees or are cheques made payable to HM Revenue & Customs in settlement of tax liabilities.

Money Laundering.  This firm is required under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 to make a report to the National Criminal Intelligence Service without reference to you if we become aware during the course of our professional work of any circumstances which give rise to knowledge or suspicion of any money laundering offence.  The offence of money laundering may be committed by concealing, arranging or acquiring the proceeds of any criminal conduct, including the proceeds of tax evasion, even if the conduct occurs outside the UK.

Electronic communication.  If you provide us with an email address, we may use email to communicate with you unless you instruct us not to do so.  We cannot accept any responsibility for data corruption or interception after despatch.  It is the responsibility of the recipient to carry out a virus check on any attachments received.

Financial Services.  We are not authorised to, and will not, provide financial services advice, such as recommendations of specific or alternative pension or investment products. We can refer you to appropriately qualified individuals where required or requested.

Raising queries or concerns.  If you have any queries or concerns about our work or service, please raise them with us without delay.  We will review the matter and do whatever we can to resolve any such concerns as quickly as possible.  We will also consider whether your stated grounds for dissatisfaction reveal any internal improvements we can make to our services or procedures.

Limitation of liability.  We cannot be held responsible for any losses, penalties, surcharges, interest or additional tax liabilities arising from incorrect or incomplete information supplied to us from your failure, or your client’s failure, to act on our advice or respond quickly to communications from HM Revenue & Customs.

The liability of Churchill Taxation Limited for all and any damaged or losses suffered or incurred by you shall be limited to the proportion of such damages or losses which may be justly and equitably attributed to Churchill taxation Limited after taking into account the contributory negligence (if any) of you and any other third party found to be liable to contribute to the said damages or losses pursuant to the Civil Liability (Contribution) Act 1978.

These terms of business will apply in conjunction with all related correspondence subject to any variations agreed between us in writing.  They apply to all dealings between you and this firm.

Termination.  You may terminate your instructions to us in writing at any time.  You agree to be charged for work done up to your cancellation.

The following paragraphs apply, in addition to the above, to our clients who are individuals or businesses, traders or landlords, and executors or trustees, who are not part of or representing any professional firm of accountants or lawyers.

Please note that work additional to your original instructions, caused by correspondence or enquiries from HM Revenue & Customs, or further tax planning requested by you, will be the subject of separate and additional fees.

We may seek to inform you of tax planning ideas that may be of assistance but we do not have a duty to monitor potentially useful technical developments or to unilaterally suggest tax planning advice on specific matters.  We will not be responsible for any failure to advise on matters which fall outside the scope of your stated instructions.

Any advice we give is to you and not to any third party.  We do not accept any liability to any third party in relation to any advice we give to you.

Where more than one party instructs us, then unless we agree otherwise in writing, each party shall be jointly and severally liable for payment of our charges.

In relation to corporate clients, these Terms of Business apply to any holding or subsidiary companies in the group.

Responsibility for legal documents.  While we will take care in any advice we may give in relation to the tax implication of or recommended structure of legal documents such as will and trust deeds, we cannot accept any responsibility for any loss or damage suffered as a result of any defect in such documents arising from their drafting, preparation, completion or the mechanics of putting them into effect, as the drafting and finalisation of such documents remain the responsibility of your lawyers.

Data Protection.  Your data is protected by the Data Protection Act 1998.  By accepting our Terms of Business you provide your consent for your name and address, and any tax-related information about you, and our correspondence with you and with tax authorities or your other professional advisers about you, to be stored in paper and / or electronic form by Churchill Taxation Limited.

You will at any time be able to request and obtain confirmation of the information stored about you and your tax affairs by us.  We will not release information about you to third parties for marketing information.

What we need from you.  In carrying out your instructions, this firm will act as your agent.  It is your responsibility to ensure that:

  • All information supplied to us is accurate and complete;
  • All returns made the tax authorities are, to the best of your knowledge and belief, correct and complete;
  • Tax due is paid on time;
  • Communications from HM Revenue & Customs and responses to our own communications are sent to us as promptly as possible;
  • You inform us of significant changes in your circumstances if they are likely to affect your tax position and may therefore influence your instructions to us or our advice to you.

Churchill Taxation Limited

 

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