Terms of Engagement

These are the Terms of Engagement upon which Callaghans will agree to perform work.

The Agreement is constituted by these terms, plus any later document that we advise you becomes part of or varies this Agreement. The Agreement confirms our understanding of the nature and the limitations of the services we will provide. The Agreement has been created to ensure we follow best practice guidelines as a dedicated CPA firm.


Purpose of the Engagement and Our Responsibilities – Individuals & Sole Traders

Callaghans agrees to prepare (and lodge under their tax agent authorisation) documentation for you relating to your taxation and accounting work. The process may include the following:

  • Financial Year Income Tax Returns, including estimates of your taxation position and advice about taxation payments.

  • BAS/IAS returns as relevant for sole traders

  • Taxation advice, research and correspondence

  • Correspondence with the ATO on your behalf

Upon requesting our services (whether for income tax returns or advice) Callaghans will provide an estimate of the expected time for completion. If this period elapses, then our team will be in contact with you to advise of the delay and with an updated progress report. For individuals our standard turnaround time is 2-3 weeks. This may increase in peak demand seasons such as between August and December. This turnaround time allows for Callaghans quality procedures to be followed to help ensure the accuracy of your return and compliance to relevant professional standards. Please see our website for further information on our tax return completion process.

At any time Callaghans reserves the right to cease acting as your tax agent should our client-tax agent relationship deteriorate to a point when effective communication is no longer possible or beneficial. You will be notified formally should this occur.


Your Responsibilities as a Client

Callaghans encourages and assists our clients to complete their own basic preparation. This gives you a better knowledge of your affairs and helps reduce our cost to you. The completeness and accuracy of the information you supply will affect the relevance and reliability of the Tax Returns and other reports we prepare.

You will be responsible for:
  • Obtaining and retaining sufficient records to substantiate claims made for income tax deductions

  • Retaining copies of all financial records for a period of 5 years from lodgement or the date of your Notice of Assessment

  • Retaining all information on asset purchases for the holding period of the asset and up to 5 years after the Notice of Assessment for the financial year in which that asset was sold.

  • Providing to us all information requested within 5 business days of the request from Callaghans or contacting us if you will require a longer collection period

  • Contacting our office should you wish us to cease acting on your behalf as your Tax Agent.

  • Activate Callaghans client portal in order to view client documents online and upload/download documents securely.

Professional Fees and Payment Terms

  1. Our tax-deductible fees are based on the time required to complete your work plus any direct out of pocket expenses. The hourly rates vary depending upon the level of experience of the team member involved.

  2. The minimum fee for an Individual Income Tax Return (including sole traders) is $247.50 (GST inclusive). This fee prepares a basic tax return which consists of PAYG Payment Summaries, some interest, and limited dividend information and work-related expenses. Please note that if additional work or detailed calculations are required, fees will be increased accordingly. Further information is available on our website. All other entities are invoiced based on the time required to complete the engagement work using the hourly rates at Item 3

  3. Our current hourly rates are listed below (inclusive of GST):

    Partner: $330

    Qualified Accountant: Client Facing $200 - $302.50*

    Accountant^: Non Client Facing $110

    * Based on level of experience and qualification(s)

    ^ Generally recently graduated or close to graduating (accounting qualification).


  4. Where only advice or other services are provided (i.e. not tax returns), this advice will be charged on our hourly rates pro-rated for part hours. Chargeable advice includes time responding to any queries by email or phone and interactions with the ATO on your behalf. Where Callaghans organises ATO Payment Arrangements for you, time setting up the arrangement will be invoiced based on an administrative team charge rate of $77 per hour including GST.

  5. Our charge rates are reviewed annually and may increase over time.

  6. While our usual process is to invoice for tax returns upon completion of work, in cases where information has been requested by us and is outstanding for a significant period (with appropriate reminders for information required) Callaghans reserve the right to invoice for work to date.

  7. Where multiple returns are being completed at the same time Callaghans reserve the right to request a deposit for the work at a mutually agreed amount (generally 50% of the minimum fee per return required). This deposit amount will then be deducted from your final return fee at completion. Work will not be commenced prior to deposit being paid.

  8. Callaghans will provide our services cost effectively to you by assigning the appropriate level team member to your work. Our Invoices contain full details of the services performed.

  9. Where due to unforeseen circumstances, the fee is, or is likely to be, greater than anticipated or expected, Callaghans will discuss the matter with you as soon as possible.

  10. If immediate service is required (rather than your work being scheduled in the order it was received) Callaghans reserve the right to charge a 15% loading on the final tax return cost.

  11. Payment of our invoice amount (in full) must be made prior to lodgement of your return(s) or within 14 days of the date of the invoice. Lodgement may also be made by authorising us to take our fee from your ATO refund or upon agreement of a payment plan for our invoice.

  12. If payment cannot be made within the payment terms stipulated, then our office should be contacted. Any payment overdue by more than 30 days will have a cumulative administration fee of 10% p.a. applied.

  13. At any time, we reserve the right to contract out any work as we may deem necessary. This will be done to ensure that your work is done in a time efficient manner and will still be reviewed by us before the tax work is passed onto you for signing.

  14. You will always be provided with an original copy of your tax returns and financials produced by us. Should you, at any time require an additional copy we reserve the right to charge $33 per tax return and $55 per set of financials for providing these to you.

The Privacy of Your Information and Returns

In providing the above services, information acquired by us in the course of the engagement, including any information relating to your affairs whether it belongs to you or not or is provided by you or not, is subject to strict confidentiality requirements. That information will not be disclosed by us to other parties except as required or allowed for by law or regulations, or with your express consent unless, we determine that disclosure of the non-compliance or suspected non-compliance to an appropriate authority is an appropriate course of action in the circumstances.

We wish to draw your attention to our firm’s system of quality control which has been established and maintained in accordance with the relevant APESB standard. As a result, our files may be subject to review as part of the Quality Control Review Program of CPA Australia which monitors compliance with professional standards by its members. We advise you that by accepting our engagement you acknowledge that, if requested, our files relating to this engagement will be made available under this program. The Quality Review is undertaken in connection with the conduct of your affairs which may include, as part of the file review, the disclosure of your tax file number(s). Your name or any other identifying information is not included in the report or working papers of the reviewer

We may collect Personal Information about you, your representatives, your clients and others when we provide services to you. If we do, you agree to work with us to ensure that we both meet the obligations that we each may have under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (as amended) (Privacy Act). The obligations may include notifying the relevant person to whom the personal information relates who we are and how we propose to use their personal information. Where you have collected personal information, you confirm that you have collected the personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act, that you are entitled to provide this personal information to us and that we may use and disclose the personal information for the purpose/s we provide our services to you. We will handle personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act.

From time to time we will need to consult with external independent advice services such as the National Tax and Accountants Association or Aged Care Steps. Your personal information is not revealed as part of this process – only information as to the circumstances of the situation that we require advice on. Advice is sought in these circumstances to ensure that we are meeting our responsibilities to you for due care and competence in the preparation of your tax return and the provision of any advice.

Callaghans retains ownership of any internal workpapers and background documents completed as part of the engagement process. These may be made available to you on request depending on the circumstances and the nature of the enquiry. At the completion of the engagement you will provided with a full copy of your tax return/summary of advice that will show the results of the work completed through these workpapers and documents in a concise and easy to read format.


Accuracy of Returns and Period of Review/Amendment

A taxpayer is responsible under self-assessment to keep full and proper records in order to facilitate the preparation of a correct return. Whilst the Commissioner of Taxation will accept claims made by a taxpayer in an income tax return and issue a notice of assessment, usually without adjustment, the return may be subject to later review. Under the taxation law such a review may take place within a period of up to two (individuals or sole traders without GST registration) or four (non-individual entities and sole traders registered for GST) after tax becomes due and payable under the assessment. Furthermore, where there is fraud or evasion there is no time limit on amending the assessment. Accordingly, you should check the return before it is signed to ensure that the information in the return is accurate.

In preparing your Tax Returns, Callaghans will not be auditing them, and our role is one of compilation of your records. Our procedures will be limited to the collection, classification and summarisation of financial information and will not include verification or validation procedures. Therefore, we will not be expressing an opinion as to the truth and fairness of the Tax Returns. You warrant that the information provided to us will be accurate and complete, as we will rely on that information without further verification.

Any advice provided to you is also only opinion based on our knowledge of your situation as conveyed to us.

In signing this document, you acknowledge that the reliability, accuracy and completeness of the accounting records are your responsibility and that you have disclosed to us all material and relevant information.


Rights Available Under Taxation Law

If you disagree with the assessment made by the ATO or identify changes that need to be made Callaghans will assist you with guidance as to your rights, obligations and options available under the taxation law. Callaghans will also provide advice on any possible penalties and other tax consequences to allow you to make an informed decision as to the appropriate course of action to be taken.

Where the application of a taxation law in relation to your circumstances is uncertain you also have the right to request a private ruling which will set out the Commissioner’s opinion about the way a taxation law applies, or would apply, to you in those circumstances. You must provide a description of all the facts (with supporting documentation) that are relevant to your scheme or circumstances in your private ruling application. If there is any material difference between the facts set out in the ruling and what transpires the private ruling is ineffective.

If you rely on a private ruling you have received, the Commissioner must administer the law in the way set out in the ruling, unless it is found to be incorrect and applying the law correctly would lead to a better outcome for you. Where you disagree with the decision in the private ruling you can lodge an objection against the ruling if it relates to income tax, fuel tax credit or fringe benefits tax. Your time limits in lodging an objection will depend on whether you are issued an assessment for the matter (or period) covered by the private ruling.


Client Acknowledgement

I Understand that in signing this document it also applies to other entities that I have authority for as listed below (if nothing listed no other entities apply). I also confirm that I have read the additional engagement information that applies in respect to those entities below regarding the Purpose of the engagement and Callaghans’ Responsibilities.

Entity 1
Entity 2
Entity 3
Entity 4
Entity 5


I would like to receive email newsletters from Callaghans

Guarantee of Payment of Fees

I hereby agree to the payment of all fees and expenses owing to Callaghans for work performed pursuant to the terms of this Agreement, such guarantee being enforceable against myself without any need for Callaghans to first seek payment from any other individual or entity.

Client Signature

Signed and acknowledged by:

Please sign in the box - Esignature

Full Name

Please sign in the box - Esignature

Full Name

Purpose of the Engagement and Our Responsibilities – Company & Trust Entities

Callaghans agrees to prepare (and lodge under their tax agent authorisation) documentation for you relating to your taxation and accounting work. The process may include the following:

  • Annual Year Income Tax Returns, including estimates of your taxation position and advice about taxation payments.
  • Interim Year Income Tax Returns, including estimates of your taxation position and advice about taxation payments.
  • Preparation, and lodgement of your Instalment Activity Statements and/or Business Activity Statements
  • Bookkeeping services or assistance/advice with your own bookkeeping entries.
  • Taxation advice, research and correspondence including business structuring advice and advice in regards to relevant business decisions and ongoing progress.
  • Preparation and lodgement of any other documents as required by the ATO such as Taxable Payment Reports.
  • Correspondence with the ATO on your behalf

Upon requesting our services (whether for income tax returns or advice) Callaghans will provide an estimate of the expected time for completion. If this period elapses, then our team will be in contact with you to advise of the delay and with an updated progress report. Times will increase in peak demand seasons such as between August and December. This turnaround time allows for quality procedures to be followed to help ensure the accuracy of your return and compliance to relevant professional standards. Please see our website for further information on our tax return completion process.

In signing this document, you acknowledge that the reliability, accuracy and completeness of the accounting records are your responsibility and that you have disclosed to us all material and relevant information. With respect to Corporate Secretarial engagements we will be responsible for any transactions for corporate and trust setups and ongoing correspondence or updates required due to entity changes including such services, but not limited to:

Company formation

Business name registration

Change of company details

Company and personal searches

Preparation of ASIC database updates

Annual ASIC company statements


With respect to corporate secretarial engagements you will be responsible for:

Providing information to us in a timely and complete manner

Paying your ASIC fees when they fall due before payment deadlines

Advising us as soon as practicable of any changes to corporate entities including changes in the control/management of the entity or changes to the mailing address or physical location of the corporate or trust entity.


At any time Callaghans reserves the right to cease acting as your tax and or ASIC agent should our client-tax agent relationship deteriorate to a point when effective communication is no longer possible or beneficial. You will be notified formally should this occur.