Terms of Business
As of November 2019
1.1. Terms – These terms apply to the services you have engaged us to provide via the Expat Tax Online website.
1.2. Commencement – This agreement will start once services have been ordered via the website, paid for in full and accepted by Expat Tax Online LLC.
2.1. Services – We will perform the services described on the order page with reasonable skill and care. You confirm that the scope is sufficient for your purpose. The services (including deliverables) are provided solely for you for the purpose set out on the order page or the relevant deliverable.
2.2. Deliverables – You may not disclose a deliverable or make the benefit of the services available to anyone else or refer to the contents of a deliverable or the findings of our work, except (i) with our prior written consent on terms to be agreed, (ii) where required by law or regulation, or (iii) to your lawyers or group members as long as you tell them, in advance, that we accept no liability to them and that no onward disclosure may be made.
2.3. Liability to you alone – We accept no liability to anyone, other than you, in connection with our services, unless otherwise agreed by us in writing. You agree to reimburse us for any liability (including legal costs) that we incur in connection with any claim by anyone else in relation to the services.
2.4. Changes – Either we or you may request a change to the services or this agreement. A change will be effective only when agreed in writing.
2.5. Extent of services – In performing the services, we will not (i) carry out an audit or other assurance engagement in accordance with applicable professional standards or (ii) attempt to detect or accept responsibility for detecting fraud.
2.6. Oral advice and draft deliverables – You may rely only on our final written deliverables and not on oral advice or draft deliverables. If you wish to rely on something we have said to you, please let us know so that we may prepare a written deliverable on which you can rely.
2.7. Deemed knowledge – In performing the services we will not be deemed to have information from other services.
2.8. All IRS refunds including the Additional Child Tax Credit Refund and Refund of Fees Paid – in the event that an IRS refund is not issued or partly issued due to a calculation or tax return preparation error on our part, you may be eligible for to have Paid Fees refunded to you, in part, or in full. In the event of any part of a refund being paid to a third-party or other US government office, this is deemed as issued and a Refund of Fees Paid will not be considered. The IRS can issue your refund to cover overdue debts such as Student Loan which has not been repaid and is in default.
2.9. Audit and Notices Support: Basic, free or included support services in relation to IRS correspondence is limited to two hours of professional services. This support service is limited to reviewing IRS correspondence and assisting in the preparation of a response to the correspondence. Where appropriate, ETO will prepare an IRS response in full for you. It is the responsibility of the taxpayer to issue the response to the IRS. ETO does not accept requests to gain Power of Attorney to correspond with the IRS directly on your behalf.
3. Your responsibilities
3.1. Information – In order for us to advise you properly you will make sure that (i) any information given to us by you, or anyone else working with or for you, is (a) given promptly, (b) accurate and (c) complete; and (ii) any assumptions are appropriate. We will not verify any information given to us relating to the services.
3.2. Your obligations – Our performance depends on you performing your obligations under this agreement. We are not liable for any loss arising from you not fulfilling your obligations. If we contact, you and we do not receive a response from you, via email, within 30 days, we reserve the right to terminate this agreement as a material breach in accordance with clause 11.
4.1. Payment for services – You agree to pay us for our services. Any estimate we may give you is not binding. It is our standard practice that the balance is paid prior to the release of any deliverables, such as tax returns. You will receive links by email to purchase additional required services. We reserve the right to request that a deposit is paid prior to us commencing the work.
4.2. Basis of fees – Fees for the services will be charged on the basis listed on our Products & Pricing webpage. Our fees may reflect not only time spent but also such factors as complexity, urgency, inherent risks, use of techniques, know?how and research together with the level of skills and expertise required of the personnel needed to perform and review the services.
4.3. Expenses – You will pay any reasonable expenses that we incur in connection with the services.
4.4. Taxes – You will also pay any taxes, including VAT or withholding tax, that is due in relation to our goods and services. You will pay us the full amount of any invoice, regardless of any deduction that you are required by law to make.
4.5. Invoices and payment – In some cases, further services may be required to complete your tax reporting liabilities. In these cases, you will be contacted and requested to order additional services via our website www.expattaxonline.com
4.6. Exchange rates – All fees are required to be paid in US dollars (USD) unless otherwise agreed.
4.7. Credit Card Charges – credit card fees and charges are absorbed by Expat Tax Online and are not passed onto the client except for cases of refunds and where credit card fees are expressly stated before payments are made.
4.8. Refunds and Cancellation – refer to Section 11 Termination.
4.9. Competitions – all competition winners are drawn at random by an algorithm. Winners will be contacted by Facebook. Winners have 14 days to accept their prize. Prizes are limited to a maximum value and additional services may attract additional fees. Prizes carry zero cash value. Prizes cannot be transferred to another person or another tax year, unless explicitly stated in writing. Prizes cannot be used in conjunction with other services, unless explicitly stated in writing. Please check with our Client Services team via Facebook Messenger to check if your situation would attract additional fees. Only one entry permitted per person.
5.1. Confidential information – We and you agree to use the other’s confidential information only in relation to the services, and not to disclose it, except where (i) required by law or any court of competent jurisdiction or regulation or where requested by a professional body of which we are a member; (ii) such information is or becomes generally available to the public, other than as a result of a breach of an obligation under this clause 5.1; (iii) it has been received from a third party who owes no duty of confidentiality in respect of the confidential information; or (iv) it has been independently developed by the recipient. However, we may give confidential information to other Expat Tax Online firms or relevant subcontractors as long as they are bound by confidentiality obligations, and to your advisers who are involved in this matter. Nothing in this agreement will restrict your ability to disclose our advice concerning the tax (including social security) treatment or tax structure of any transaction, regardless of any confidentiality markings on any communications.
5.2. Referring to you and the services – We may wish to refer to you and the services we have performed for you when marketing our services. You agree that we may do so, as long as we do not disclose your confidential information.
5.3. Performing services for others – You agree that we may perform services for your competitors or other parties whose interests may conflict with yours, as long as we do not disclose your confidential information and we comply with our ethical obligations.
6. Intellectual property rights
6.1. We will own the intellectual property rights in the deliverables and any materials created under this agreement, and you will have a non-exclusive, non-transferable licence to use the deliverables for your own internal purposes.
7. Data protection and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
7.1. Personal data – You agree that we may process your personal data for the purposes of any of (i) providing the services, (ii) maintaining our administrative or client relationship management systems, (iii) quality and risk management reviews, and (iv) providing you with information about us and our range of services.
7.2 Expat Tax Online’s Data Protection Officer can be contacted by email at email@example.com
7.3 Subscribers can easily remove themseleves from our database with one click. Requests to remove all personal data needs to be sent to our Data Protection Officer. See point 7.2
8.1. Specific types of loss – You agree that we will not be liable for (i) loss or corruption of data from your systems, (ii) loss of profit, goodwill, business opportunity, anticipated savings or benefits or (iii) indirect or consequential loss.
8.2. Our liability – You agree that our total liability (including interest) for all claims connected with the services or this agreement (including but not limited to negligence) is limited to the fees paid for the services.
8.3. Sharing of limit – Where we agree in writing to accept liability to more than one party, the limit on our liability in clause 8.2 will be shared between them, and it is up to those parties how they share it.
8.4. Unlimited liability – Nothing in this agreement will limit a person’s liability for (i) death or personal injury caused by that person’s negligence, (ii) that person’s fraud or (iii) anything else that cannot by law be limited.
8.5. No claims against individuals – You agree to bring any claim in connection with the services only against us, and not against any individual, without reference to their employment title with Expat Tax Online LLC.
8.6. Proportionality – If we are liable to you under this agreement, and another provider would be liable to you in respect of the same loss (save for your contractual arrangements with them), then (i) the compensation payable by us to you in respect of that loss will be reduced; (ii) the reduction will take into account the extent of the responsibility of that other provider for the loss; and (iii) in determining the extent of the responsibility of that other provider for the loss, no account will be taken of (a) any limit or exclusion placed on the amount that provider will pay or (b) any shortfall in recovery from that provider (for whatever reason).
9. Member firms and subcontractors
9.1. Subcontractors – We may use other Expat Tax Online affiliated firms (each of which is a separate and independent legal entity) or subcontractors to provide the services. We remain solely responsible for the services. In the UAE, Expat Tax Online operates as Expat Solutions DMCC.
9.2. Restriction on claims – You agree not to bring any claim (including one in negligence) against another Expat Tax Online firm (or its members, directors or employees) or our subcontractors in connection with the services.
9.3. Group members – You will ensure that no group member, including your subsidiaries, associated companies and any holding company (unless a party to this agreement), both while they are a group member and thereafter, brings any claim against any Expat Tax Online firm (or its members, directors or employees) or our subcontractors in respect of any liability relating to the services or this agreement.
10.1. Policy – We will retain one copy of all materials relevant to the services, including any materials given to us by you or on your behalf solely for the purpose of compliance with our professional obligations and internal risk management policies.
10.2. Release – We do not release materials which belong to us (including our working papers) unless we have specifically agreed to do so. We may require a release letter from the recipient as a condition of disclosure.
11.1. Immediate notice – Either we or you may end this agreement immediately by giving written notice to the other if (i) the other materially breaches it and does not remedy the breach within 14 days, (ii) the other is or appears likely to be unable to pay its debts or becomes insolvent or (iii) the performance of it (including the application of any fee arrangements) may breach a legal or regulatory requirement.
11.2. 30 days’ notice – Either we or you may end this agreement on 30 days’ written notice. For promotional offers, refer to 11.5 and 11.6.
11.3. Fees payable on termination – You agree to pay us for all services we perform up to the date of termination. Where there is a fixed fee for services, you agree to pay us for the services that we have performed on the basis of the time spent at our then-current hourly rates, up to the amount of the fixed fee. Any contingent element of the fees will remain payable in accordance with the Expat Tax Online Products and Pricing list. If a contingent fee cannot be paid for regulatory reasons, you agree to pay all outstanding fees on the basis of time spent, unless alternative arrangements have been agreed.
11.4. In the event you change your mind for whatever reason, you have 14 days notice to terminate the agreement.
11.5. Payments made during a promotional periods or to secure a special offer are refundable at our discretion if you notify us in writing within 14 days from your payment date. Typically, refunds are issued when tax preparation services have not been started and your tax information has not been provided. Refunds may be limited to 90% of the total fees payable under this agreement to cover banking fees that we incur when refunding debit and credit cards, fluctuations in exchange rates and administration time.
11.6. Refunds beyond 14 days from your payment date are at our discretion and are usually not granted without significant reason. If approved, the maximum refundable amount is 90% of the total fees payable under this agreement to cover bank fees that we incur when refunding debit and credit cards, fluctuations in exchange rates and administration time.
11.7. In the unlikely event that your Streamlined Offshore Filing Procedure is rejected by the I.R.S. you may eligible for a refund of fees that you’ve paid us. To be eligible for a refund of fees paid, all the information you provided must have been in full and accurate with no information omitted. You must also agree to supply any further information requested by us or the I.R.S. in order to make your application successful. We reserve the right to refile an entire Streamlined application on your behalf. In order to make your application successful we expect full and comprehensive participation from you, including additional fees for additional filing requirements that may arise during the process.
12. Dispute resolution
12.1. Mediation – If a dispute arises, the parties will attempt to resolve it by discussion, negotiation and mediation before commencing legal proceedings.
12.2. Law and jurisdiction – This agreement and any dispute arising from it, whether contractual or noncontractual, will be governed by the law and be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts in Austin, Texas.
12.3. Limitation period – Any claims must be brought no later than 1 year after the date the claimant should have been aware of the potential claim and, in any event, no later than 2 years after any alleged breach.
13.1. Matters beyond reasonable control – No party will be liable to another if it fails to meet its obligations due to matters beyond its reasonable control i.e. a force majeure event.
13.2. Entire agreement – This agreement forms the entire agreement between the parties in relation to the services. It replaces any earlier agreements, representations or discussions. Subject to clause 8.4, no party is liable to any other party (whether for negligence or otherwise) for a representation that is not in this agreement.
13.3. Your actions – Where you consist of more than one party, an act or omission of one party will be regarded as an act or omission of all.
13.4. Assignment – No party may assign, transfer or deal with their rights or obligations under this agreement without prior written consent, but we may novate the agreement to a transferee of all or part of our business. This novation will take effect on written notice from us so that (i) the transferee will be substituted for us with effect from the date specified in the notice and we will no longer have any rights and obligations under this agreement except in respect of work performed prior to that date and (ii) the combined aggregated liability of us and the transferee will not exceed the limit of our liability before the novation took place.
13.5. Rights of third parties – Except as set out in clauses 8.5, 9.2 and 9.3, a person who is not a party to this agreement has no rights to enforce any term of this agreement. The Expat Tax Online firms and individuals referred to in those clauses may enforce them in their own right. Their consent is not required to vary or rescind this agreement.
13.6. Quality of service – If you are not satisfied with the services, or have suggestions for improvement, please contact us. We will look carefully and promptly at any complaint.
13.7. Survival – Any clause that is meant to continue to apply after termination of this agreement will do so including, but not limited to, 2.3, 2.4, 2.6, 2.7, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11.3, 12, 13 and 14.
14.1. In this agreement the following words and expressions have the meanings given to them below:
14.2. Expat Tax Online firm – any entity or partnership or limited liability company within the worldwide network of Expat Tax Online firms and entities;
14.3. Services – the services set out, selected, ordered and paid for on the Expat Tax Online website.
14.4. this agreement – these terms and the parts of the website to which they relate (including any schedules);
14.5. We, us or our – refers to the Expat Tax Online LLC.
14.6. You, your – the party or parties to this agreement (excluding us).
Internal Revenue Code section 7216 consents
Please read this page carefully because it explains how US data privacy rules impact how we provide tax services to you. The IRS adopted these rules and they govern how we handle your private information. Introduction Internal Revenue Code section 7216 was expanded by the IRS with the objective of giving taxpayers greater control over their private data. This was primarily for two reasons. Firstly, to stop abusive practices in the use of private taxpayer data to promote and market financial products, such as Refund Anticipation Loans, life insurance, and other investment products. As you know, Expat Tax Online never promotes or markets financial products to you as part of our services to you. Secondly, the IRS needed to bring the rules up-to-date with the significant increase in electronic handling of tax data, including tax data gathering via the internet, electronic tax return preparation, and e-filing of tax returns with the IRS. What is “disclosure” and what is “use”? A “disclosure” occurs whenever we provide your tax return information to a third party. For this purpose, a third party could include professionals employed by a member company of the Expat Tax Online network (there are independent legal entities in several countries), certain other accountants/ temporary staff engaged to assist us with administrative activities, or other firms providing your foreign (i.e. non-US) tax services. “Use” is defined as any work other than the preparation of your tax return, for example, tax consulting services. What Am I Being Asked to Do? Due to the very nature of our business, our clients live and work outside of the US. Because your tax information will, therefore, be used outside of the US, we are required to obtain your consent to transfer this information across international borders. You are being asked to review and sign two separate consents. Summary information on these consents is shown below.
Consent 1 –
Disclosure of your tax return information for the purpose of preparing your tax return In providing our services to you we may need to share your tax return information within our network. We must obtain your consent to share this information in the course of our work as we are based outside of the US. Consent 2 – Use of your tax return information for other purposes You may request that we provide advice on other US tax issues, over and above the tax return you have engaged us to prepare. We must obtain your consent to use your tax data for any purpose that is not directly related to the preparation of the aforementioned tax return. Should I be concerned about my data being shared outside of the US? Because of the international nature of the services we provide, we need to rely on the expertise and services of our network of Expat Tax Online member companies. We take your privacy and the security of your data very seriously, and we maintain strict security measures at all times. The security of your data is of paramount importance to us and we always ensure that effective safeguards are implemented.
Consent 2 –
Disclosure of your tax return information for the purpose of preparing your tax return In order to prepare your US tax returns, your tax return information (including the same information of your spouse, if applicable, and those dependent on you) may be transferred within and across international borders to either a member of Expat Tax Online’s international network of firms or to certain other accountants and administrative staff working under the direction of Expat Tax Online. Federal law requires this consent form be provided to you. Unless authorized by law, we cannot disclose, without your consent, your tax return information to third parties for purposes other than the preparation and filing of your tax return and, in certain limited circumstances, for purposes involving tax return preparation. If you consent to the disclosure of your tax return information, Federal law may not protect your tax return information from further use or distribution. You are not required to complete this form with positive consent. However, because our ability to disclose your tax return information to another tax return preparer affects the service that we provide to you and its cost, we may decline to provide you with service or change the terms of service that we provide to you if you do not sign this form. If you agree to the disclosure of your tax return information, your consent is valid for the amount of time that you specify. If you do not specify the duration of your consent, your consent is valid for one year. This consent to disclose may result in your tax return information being disclosed to a tax return preparer located outside the United States (i.e. Expat Tax Online member firms), including your personally identifiable information such as your Social Security Number (“SSN”). Both the tax return preparer in the United States that will disclose your SSN and the tax return preparer located outside the United States which will receive your SSN maintain an adequate data protection safeguard (as required by the regulations under 26 USC section 7216) to protect privacy and prevent unauthorized access of tax return information. If you consent to the disclosure of your tax return information, Federal agencies may not be able to enforce US laws that protect the privacy of your tax return information against a tax return preparer located outside of the US to which the information is disclosed. You have the ability to request a more limited disclosure than that authorized by this consent, as you may direct.
I do authorize Expat Tax Online to disclose my 2017 and all prior years tax return information, including my SSN, to members of Expat Tax Online’s network of member firms, to allow tax preparers from these organizations to assist in the preparation of or auxiliary services related to the preparation of my individual income tax return. My consent shall be valid for a period of three years from the date indicated below. I have authority to provide consent for myself, my spouse (if applicable) and those dependent on me for the purpose of preparing tax returns. If I do not consent, I understand that Expat Tax Online may decline to provide me with service or change the terms of service that they provide. I have authority to provide consent for myself, my spouse and those dependent on me for the purpose of preparing tax returns.
If you believe your tax return information has been disclosed or used improperly in a manner unauthorized by law or without your permission, you may contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration by telephone at +1 800 366 4484 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.