After the first 15-minute free consultation we require a signed (electronically or on paper) agreement in order to continue with our services. Generally, the following flat fees are charged for most individual tax returns (we require the previous tax returns to provide exact quote). In order to use the built-in electronic signature and secure payment system of this site, you must book at least one hour through our appointment booking system and accept the following agreement:
US Tax Services Engagement Agreement
We appreciate the opportunity to work with you. To minimize the possibility of a misunderstanding between us, we are setting forth pertinent information about the services we will perform for you.
We will prepare the following U.S. federal individual income tax returns from information you furnish us and we may process them with an outside computer service. We will not audit or otherwise verify the data you submit, although we may ask you to clarify some of the information.
You agree to be charged for standard tax forms at the following fixed prices:
Forms 1040, 1116, 2555 of one earner with standard deduction – CHF 500
Additional earner – CHF 250
State income tax returns – CHF 250
Schedule A, Itemized Deductions – CHF 100-200
Schedule B, Interest & Dividends – CHF 10/item
Schedule C, Business Income – CHF 100-200
Schedule D, Capital Gains – CHF 10/item
Schedule E, Rental Property Income (includes Form 8582) – CHF 100-200
Schedule K, Partnership Income (includes basis calculation)- CHF 100-200
Form FIN CEN 114 (fka FBAR) – CHF 10/per acct., min. CHF 50 per form
Form 8938, Foreign Financial Assets – CHF 10/per acct., min. CHF 50 per form
Forms 3520, 5471 Information Returns – from CHF500 to CHF5000 per form
Form 8621, Passive Foreign Investment Company CHF100 per form
Any other forms, not listed above, are charged at our standard “compliance rate” of CHF 250 per hour, or may be quoted and negotiated separately before start of work.
Verbal consultations, representation before tax authorities and written advice are charged at our “advisory rate” of CHF 350 per hour, with the first one hour due upon signing of the agreement before start of any work. If an agreement is signed for a fixed-fee tax return preparation, this CHF350 charge will represent your retainer.
USCANTAX reserves the right to offer discounted rates to long-term, or low-income clients at our sole discretion.
These fees assume that you timely furnish us with a PDF, eOrganizer and/or other information request package(s). Chasing client information is chargeable at the applicable engagement rate.
We will require a retainer of 50% of the estimated fees, but not less than CHF 350, prior to the commencement of work. Please make your payments to USCANTAX GmbH, Account No. 1780202-91 at Credit Suisse AG, Zurich,
IBAN: CH24 0483 5178 0202 9100 0, BIC: CRESCHZZ80A.
or by credit card/PayPal through our secure payment system.
Payment for service is due when rendered and interim billings may be submitted as work progresses and expenses are incurred. We reserve the right to stop work on any account that is 30 days past due, in accordance with our firm’s stated collection policy.
We are responsible for preparing only the returns and records listed above (or added in writing with our agreement). Our fees do not include representation in an IRS examination. Such audit representation services are chargeable at our “advisory rates” of CHF 350 per hour for which you will be covered by the attorney/tax professional-client privilege (confidentiality) rights, discussed further below.
It is your responsibility to maintain, in your records, the documentation necessary to support the data used in preparing your tax returns, including but not limited to the auto, travel, entertainment, and related expenses and the required documents to support charitable contributions over $250. If you have any questions as to the type of records required, please ask us for advice in that regard. It is also your responsibility to carefully examine and approve your completed tax returns before signing and mailing them to the tax authorities. We are not responsible for the disallowance of doubtful deductions or inadequately supported documentation, nor for resulting taxes, penalties and interest.
Professional standards now require us to electronically file all federal and state individual income tax returns (“e-filing”). However, you do have the right to “opt out” of the e-filing program. Should you desire not to have your return e-filed, please notify our firm immediately so that we may provide you with the form necessary for opting out of the e-file program. Please note that unless you notify us of your desire to not e-file your return, we will prepare your return to be e-filed.
Please note that although e-filing will require both you and our firm to complete additional steps, the same filing deadlines will apply. You must therefore ensure that you complete the additional requirements well before the due dates in order for our firm to be able to timely transmit your return. E-filing also requires certain additional personal information for your return to be successfully transmitted electronically. Accordingly, it is of the utmost importance that you provide us with your complete and accurate tax information as soon as possible to ensure successful electronic transmission.
Our firm must send (transmit) your return to the taxing authorities (rather than you) using a third-party e-filing vendor. We will provide you with a paper copy of the income tax returns for your review prior to electronic transmission. After you have reviewed the returns, you must provide us with a signed authorization indicating that you have reviewed the return and that, to the best of your knowledge, you feel it is correct. We cannot transmit the returns to the taxing authorities until we have the signed authorization. Therefore, if you have not provided our firm with your signed authorization before April 15 of the following year, we will place your return on extension, even though it might already have been completed. In that event, you will be responsible for ensuring that any payment due with the extension is timely sent to the appropriate taxing authority(ies). You will also be responsible for any additional costs our firm incurs arising from the extension preparation.
Additionally, please note that all tax payment due dates remain the same even if your return is e-filed. You must ensure that your payment of any tax balance due is timely remitted on or before April 15 of the following year. There are options to pay your balance due using a credit card or electronic funds withdrawal. If you instead choose to pay the balance due by mail, payment must be postmarked on or before the due date to avoid penalties.
Finally, please note that although our firm will use our best efforts to ensure that your returns are successfully transmitted to the appropriate taxing authorities, we will not be financially responsible for electronic transmission or other errors arising after your return has been successfully submitted from our office.
We will use our judgment to resolve questions in your favor where a tax law is unclear if there is a reasonable justification for doing so. Whenever we are aware that a possibly applicable tax law is unclear or that there are conflicting interpretations of the law by authorities (e.g., tax agencies and courts), we will explain the possible positions that may be taken on your return. In accordance with our professional standards, we will follow whatever position you request, as long as it is consistent with the codes, regulations, and interpretations that have been promulgated. If the IRS should later contest the position taken, there may be an assessment of additional tax plus interest and penalties. Currently, the IRS and state taxing agencies are aggressive in assessing penalties. We assume no liability for any such additional penalties or assessments. In the event, however, that you ask us to take a tax position that in our professional judgment will not meet the applicable laws and standards as promulgated, we reserve the right to stop work and shall not be liable to you for any damages that occur as a result of ceasing to render services.
Please note that any person or entity subject to the jurisdiction of the United States (includes individuals, corporations, partnerships, trusts, and estates) having a financial interest in, or signature or other authority over, bank accounts, securities, or other financial accounts having a value exceeding $10,000 in a foreign country, shall report such a relationship. Although there are some limited exceptions, filing requirements also apply to taxpayers that have direct or indirect control over a foreign or domestic entity with foreign financial accounts, even if the taxpayer does not have foreign account(s). For example, a corporate-owned foreign account would require filings by the corporation and by the individual corporate officers with signature authority. Failure to disclose the required information to the U.S. Department of the Treasury may result in substantial civil and/or criminal penalties.
If you and/or your entity have a financial interest in any foreign accounts, you are responsible for providing our firm with all the information necessary to prepare Form FIN CEN 114 required by the U.S. Department of the Treasury on or before April 15th of each tax year. If you do not provide our firm with information regarding any interest you may have in a foreign account, we will not be able to prepare any of the required disclosure statements.
In addition, currently the Internal Revenue Service, under IRC §6038 and §6046, requires information reporting if you are an officer, director or shareholder with respect to certain foreign corporations (Form 5471), foreign disregarded entities (Form 8858), controlled foreign partnerships (Form 8865); foreign-owned U.S. corporation or foreign corporation engaged in a U.S. trade or business (Form 5472); U.S. transferor of property to a foreign corporation (Form 926) ); and, for taxable years beginning after March 18, 2010, if you hold foreign financial assets with an aggregate value exceeding $50,000 (Form 8938) . These code sections describe the information required to be reported on the respective forms, which are due when your income tax return is due, including extensions. Therefore, if you fall into one of the above categories you may be required to file one of the above listed forms. Failure to timely file may result in substantial monetary penalties. By your signature below, you accept responsibility for informing us if you believe that you fall into one of the above categories and you agree to provide us with the information necessary to prepare the appropriate form(s). We assume no liability for penalties associated with the failure to timely file any of these forms.
Privileged Communications (None in certain cases): The IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 allows federally authorized practitioners (those bound by Circular 230) a limited client privilege under section 7525 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) to the extent it would be considered as a common law attorney-client privilege. This privilege allows confidentiality between the taxpayer and the tax practitioner under certain conditions. The privilege applies to situations where the taxpayer is being represented in cases involving audits and collection matters. Tax return preparation is NOT covered by this client privilege, and thus is not covered by the §7525 privilege. The IRC section 7525 privilege does not attach to communications in the case of tax shelter transactions or criminal tax matters that are before the IRS or brought by or against the U.S. Government in a federal court. This privilege does not apply to state tax matters, although a number of states have an accountant-client privilege. In those situations we would refer you to a criminal tax attorney licensed to practise in your state who may sub-contract our tax return preparation services under a “Kovel Agreement” with an attorney you have or will engage.
In addition, your confidentiality privilege can be inadvertently waived if you discuss the contents of any privileged communication with a third party, such as a lending institution, a friend, or a business associate. We recommend that you contact us before releasing any privileged information to a third party.
If we are asked to disclose any privileged communication, unless we are required to disclose the communication by law, we will not provide such disclosure until you have had an opportunity to argue that the communication is privileged. You agree to pay any and all reasonable expenses that we incur, including legal fees, that are a result of attempts to protect any communication as privileged.
It is acknowledged that we will have access to all personal information in your custody that we require to complete our engagement. Our services are provided on the basis that:
- you represent to us that before we access such personal information, you will have obtained any required consents for collection, use and disclosure to us of personal information required under applicable privacy legislation; and
- we will collect from you, and use, disclose and retain all such personal information in compliance with our privacy statement.
Pursuant to section 7216 of the Internal Revenue Code and by virtue of The Firm’s location outside the United States, we are required to obtain consent from you to use and disclose your US tax return information. Please review and if in agreement, sign the enclosed consent form(s).
It is our policy to keep records related to this engagement for seven years. However, we do not keep any original client records, so we will return those to you at the completion of the services rendered under this engagement. When 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.
By your signature below, you acknowledge and agree that upon the expiration of the seven-year period we shall be free to destroy our records related to this engagement.
Client and tax advisor both agree that any dispute will be submitted for resolution by the Swiss courts in the Canton of Zurich.
If the above fairly sets forth your understanding, please sign the enclosed copy of this letter and return it to us. Please note that you are affirming to us your understanding of, and agreement to, the terms and conditions of this engagement letter by any one of the following actions: returning your signed engagement letter to our firm; returning your income tax information to us for use in the preparation of your returns; the submission of the tax returns we have prepared for you to the taxing authorities; or the payment of our return preparation fees.
We are pleased to have you as a client and look forward to a long and mutually satisfying relationship.