Tax Audit Defense Membership Agreement
Tax Audit Defense ("TAD") will provide the Audit Defense Services listed below for the income tax return described on an activated membership certificate ("Registered Tax Filing") in return for the applicable membership fee paid in full and compliance with all applicable terms of this Agreement.You are purchasing a "Membership" in an "Audit Defense Plan" to protect one Registered Tax Filing.Your Membership is valid and You may call upon Us to perform the Audit Defense Services after We have: i) received Your completed application for Membership; ii) approved Your application iii) issued to You a Membership certificate identifying You and Your Registered Tax Filing; and, iv) received payment in full for Membership. [This Membership agreement is an agreement you must accept in order to use TAD's service. ARBITRATION NOTICE AND CLASS ACTION WAIVER. YOU AGREE THAT ANY DISPUTES BETWEEN YOU AND US WILL BE RESOLVED BY BINDING, INDIVIDUAL ARBITRATION AND YOU WAIVE YOUR RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE IN A CLASS ACTION LAW SUIT OR CLASS-WIDE ARBITRATION. ]
What Certain Terms Mean
In this Agreement, "You" and "Your" refer to the member(s) listed on the membership certificate. "We," "Us," "Our" and "TAD" refer to Tax Audit Defense, the company providing the Audit Defense Services. "IRS" refers to the Internal Revenue Service, and "State" refers to Your state income tax authority.
"Audit" means any IRS or State review, examination, investigation or verification of the information You entered on Your Registered Tax Filing.
"Notice" is any IRS or State communication, whether written, telephonic or electronic, indicating that one of the income tax authorities is initiating an Audit.
"Audit Defense Services" means generally that TAD will represent You through the completion of the Audit of Your Registered Tax Filing, subject to the Limitations and Exclusions, and fulfillment of Your Responsibilities, listed in this Agreement, and specifically includes the items listed under "Member Benefits – Audit Defense Services," below.
Acceptance Date: the date from which your Membership is valid that appears on the membership certificate.
Statute of Limitations is the term describing the period of time during which the IRS or State can Audit Your Registered Tax Filing; for the IRS this is generally three years from the date of filing or the due date (typically four years for States), whichever is later..
The Period of Membership begins on the Acceptance Date and ends with the expiration of the normal Statute of Limitations.
Audit Representative Team or TAD Team is the small, cohesive group of professionals and staff, led by a TAD tax professional, who will be assigned to Your Audit. A TAD Team will ordinarily be assigned to You according to its scope of expertise, subject further to TAD's evaluation to each TAD Team's experience in actual past audits.
Refund/Rescission Period is the thirty (30) calendar day period commencing on the date of initial purchase during which You may cancel Your Plan for a refund of Your purchase price. Thereafter, Your Membership is irrevocably in force, and has been in force for thirty (30) days, during and after which You are entitled to Audit Defense Services. After the Refund/Rescission Period the amount You paid for Your Membership is deemed fully earned by TAD and is non-refundable.
"Audit Starter Package" refers to the information that TAD needs from You to be able to represent You in the event You receive a Notice and consists of: i) the IRS or State Notice; ii) a completed and signed IRS Form 2848 Power of Attorney; and, iii) a signed copy of Your Registered Tax Filing, including all supporting schedules and worksheets that were filed with the IRS or Your State as part of the Registered Tax Filing.
As a Member of a TAD Audit Defense Plan, Your name, address, and any other personal information will not be disclosed or sold to any persons or firms. Only TAD's audit and technical staff will have access to Your tax information.
MEMBER BENEFITS – Audit Defense Services
TAD's CPAs, IRS Enrolled Agents, and if necessary, tax attorneys, will professionally represent You in an Audit of Your Registered Tax Filing for which You purchased a Membership in an Audit Defense Plan, for the Period of Membership, subject to You fulfilling Your Responsibilities as set forth below and the Audit Defense Plan Limitations and Exclusions described below. We will:
a. Assign the TAD Team Leader to manage Your case;
b. Develop a strategy with You for responding to the Audit;
c. Handle all communications, in any form, with the IRS or State regarding Your Audit;
d. Negotiate with the IRS or State through pre-litigation Appeals to Tax Court;
e. Settle with the IRS or State when We have Your approval to do so;
f. Educate You as to Your strategies and procedural options if Your Audit results in additional tax, and You do not have the resources to pay the obligation when due.
RESPONSIBILITIES – OURS and YOURS
We are responsible for providing You with the highest caliber Audit Defense Services available as soon as You provide Us with the tax information specified in the "Help, I'm Being Audited!" web form at TaxAuditDefense.com/Audit/Help . Upon receipt of any Notice from the IRS or State, promptly contact TAD and tell Us what the problem is. Do not contact the IRS or State. The fastest way for Us to start Your case and help You deal with Your Audit is for You to go to: TaxAuditDefense.com/Audit/Help and fill out the "Help, I'm Being Audited!" form. This will help Us most quickly to give You peace of mind by assigning a TAD Team Leader who knows about Your tax problem, accelerate Our ability to respond to You with the most relevant information and start Your case. Of course, if You are unable to take the fastest route for Us to help You, please call Us at 800-410-2425.If You do not contact TAD promptly (within 15 days) upon receipt of your first Notice, You are making Your Audit more difficult to defend and impairing TAD's ability to obtain a good result for You.If You wait too long to report to TAD Your Notice and fail to respect and comply with the IRS or State Notice deadlines, You will eliminate completely Our ability to defend Your case, and with it, Our responsibility to help You. (See AUDIT DEFENSE PLAN LIMITATIONS). Until You provide Us with the tax information specified in the "Help, I'm Being Audited!" web form You can find at TaxAuditDefense.com/Audit/Help , We are NOT responsible for starting Your Audit case.This includes the Audit Starter Package and updated contact information. The IRS and equivalent State agencies require Us to obtain a printed and signed Power of Attorney so that the IRS or State will permit Us to communicate with them on Your behalf. The Power of Attorney document(s) may not be altered in any way. As Your case progresses, provide to Us in a timely manner, via upload, the information and documentation the IRS or State indicates is necessary to substantiate the various items of income and expense in question so that We can prepare and defend Your position. As would any professional tax professional, We ask that You comply with the Audit procedure, strategy and resultant actions recommended by the TAD Team working on Your behalf. If You are unable to maintain this commitment, TAD cannot be, and therefore will not be, responsible for the defense of your Audit and reserves the right to cease providing Audit Defense Services where reasonably warranted.
AUDIT DEFENSE PLAN LIMITATIONS
TAD is dedicated to protecting the rights and assets of Our members in the event of an Audit. The following defines Our service limitations:
Your purchase of a Membership in an Audit Defense Plan for a Registered Tax Filing must be made before the date of any IRS or State Notice, specifically; the Notice must be dated after the Acceptance Date listed on the Membership certificate.
• TAD does not provide legal assistance, nor represent our members in Federal or State Court, including Tax Court.
• TAD does not provide legal assistance in defending issues of civil or criminal fraud.
• TAD does not prepare or amend our members' Federal, State or Local income tax returns.
• TAD will not reconcile checkbooks, organize records or do record keeping or bookkeeping for our members.
• TAD does not provide assistance for collection notices when We did not defend the Audit. If You have a "Balance Due" or collection notice from the IRS or State, it is not considered an Audit or Notice and is not covered by Your TAD Audit Defense Plan Membership.
• TAD may deem your Membership terminated automatically, thereby relieving TAD of the obligation to provide You Audit Defense Services, if You have not submitted to TAD Your Audit Starter Package upon the later of: i) ninety (90) calendar days AFTER the date printed on your Notice, or ten (10) calendar days BEFORE the date printed on any Notice of Deficiency sent to you by the IRS or any equivalent State income tax agency.
AUDIT DEFENSE PLAN EXCLUSIONS
Certain Audits, Registered Tax Filings and associated issues of Audit will be excluded from the Audit Defense Plan:
· Pre-existing conditions — If the date on the Notice is prior to the Acceptance Date.
· Large Businesses — Business entities with gross receipts exceeding $5 million and/or 10 partners/stockholders/beneficiaries/members.
· Ownership interest in other tax entities - If You have an ownership interest in a Corporation, Partnership, LLC, LLP, Trust, Estate, or Tax Shelter that has been contacted for an Audit and that entity is not a TAD Audit Defense Plan Member.
· Late or delinquent filers – A Tax return filed later than April 15, or if a request for extension has been filed, October 15.To bring within an Audit Defense Plan a late-filed return when no Notice has yet been issued, purchase a Membership in our Gold Plan. This exclusion does not apply to Members who have purchased their Membership through TaxACT.
· Tax protestors –TAD excludes from the benefits of Membership anyone protesting the taxing of income on economic, religious, legal or constitutional grounds, or other frivolous claims.
· Criminal Investigation (CI) – TAD excludes from the benefits of Membership anyone currently under investigation by CI. TAD will cease performing Audit Defense Services on any Audit joined by CI, and will exclude from the benefits of Membership any related Audit or Member until completion of the CI. TAD will resume providing Audit Defense Services on the Audit, if possible.
· Taxes Other Than Income Tax - Your Audit Defense Plan is limited to the type of income tax return listed on the Membership certificate. Payroll tax, sales tax, property tax, gross receipts tax, duty and local tax, estate and gift tax and compliance audits of pension and profit sharing plans are excluded from the Audit Defense Plan.
TERMINATIONS OF MEMBERSHIP AGREEMENT
TAD reserves the right to terminate this Membership upon the breach of any material provision of this Agreement by the Member, in the event that an Audit, Registered Tax Filing, or issue of Audit meets the criteria of any of the "AUDIT DEFENSE PLAN LIMITATIONS" and/or "AUDIT DEFENSE PLAN EXCLUSIONS" listed above, or in the event that a condition renders the completion of TAD's responsibilities under this Agreement unreasonably difficult to fulfill. Conditions that can render completion of TAD's responsibilities unreasonably difficult include, but are not limited to, Your failure to reasonably fulfill Your responsibilities under "RESPONSIBILITIES – OURS and YOURS" above, failure to cooperate during the course of the Audit process, or repeated use of abusive, inappropriate, or unprofessional language when communicating with Your TAD Team.This Membership shall also be deemed to be terminated if the Membership fee has not been paid or has been refunded to the Member.
RIGHT of RESCISSION (REFUND POLICY)
You have the right to rescind your TAD Membership for the Refund/Rescission Period. Thereafter, Your Membership fee is non-refundable.
[ ARBITRATION CLAUSE AND CLASS ACTION WAIVER - IMPORTANT - PLEASE REVIEW AS THIS AFFECTS YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS.
YOU AGREE THAT ALL DISPUTES BETWEEN YOU AND US (WHETHER OR NOT SUCH DISPUTE INVOLVES A THIRD PARTY) WITH REGARD TO YOUR RLEATIONSHIP WITH US, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION DISPUTES RELATED TO THIS MEMBERSHIP AGREEMENT, YOUR USE OF TAD SERVICES, AND/OR RIGHTS OF PRIVACY AND/OR PUBLICITY, WILL BE RESOLVED BY BINDING, INDIVIDUAL ARBITRATION UNDER THE JUDICIAL ARBITRATION AND MEDIATION SERVICES ("JAMS") STREAMLINED ARBITRATION RULES AND PROCEDURES, AND YOU AND WE HEREBY EXPRESSLY WAIVE TRIAL BY JURY. DISCOVERY AND RIGHTS TO APPEAL IN ARBITRATION ARE GENERALLY MORE LIMITED THAN IN A LAWSUIT, AND OTHER RIGHTS THAT YOU AND WE WOULD HAVE IN COURT MAY NOT BE AVAILABLE IN ARBITRATION. You may bring claims only on your own behalf. Neither you nor we will participate in a class action or class-wide arbitration for any claims covered by this agreement to arbitrate. YOU ARE GIVING UP YOUR RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE AS A CLASS REPRESENTATIVE OR CLASS MEMBER ON ANY CLASS CLAIM YOU MAY HAVE AGAINS US INCLUDING ANY RIGHT TO CLASS ARBITRATION OR ANY CONSOLIDATION OF INDIVIDUAL ARBITRATIONS.You also agree not to participate in claims brought in a private attorney general or representative capacity, or consolidated claims involving another person's account, if we are a party to the proceeding. This Agreement and the rights of the parties hereunder shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of California, exclusive of conflict or choice of law rules. The parties acknowledge that this Agreement evidences a transaction involving interstate commerce. Notwithstanding the provision in the preceding paragraph with respect to applicable substantive law, any arbitration conducted pursuant to the terms of this Agreement shall be governed by the Federal Arbitration Act (9 U.S.C., Secs. 1-16).
Any dispute, claim or controversy arising out of or relating to this Agreement or the breach, termination, enforcement, interpretation or validity thereof, including the determination of the scope or applicability of this agreement to arbitrate, shall be determined by arbitration in Los Angeles, California before one arbitrator. If the parties cannot agree to an arbitrator within thirty (30) days of the date the demand for arbitration is filed, JAMS shall be empowered to make the selection.The costs of the arbitration, including the arbitrator's fees and expenses, shall be borne equally by the parties to the arbitration, unless the arbitrator orders otherwise.Each party will pay its own expenses and attorney's fees. The arbitration shall be binding with no right of appeal. The arbitration shall be administered by JAMS pursuant to JAMS' Streamlined Arbitration Rules and Procedures. Judgment on the Award may be entered in any court having jurisdiction. This clause shall not preclude parties from seeking provisional remedies in aid of arbitration from a court of appropriate jurisdiction. The purpose of this clause is to streamline and simplify the process.
The arbitration shall be commenced by filing a demand for arbitration with the administrator of JAMS and serving the demand on the opposing party. The responding party may file a response and/or a counter-claim within fifteen (15) days.If no response is filed, all the allegations of the demand shall be deemed denied.
IN NO EVENT SHALL WE, NOR OUR DIRECTORS, EMPLOYEES, AGENTS, PARTNERS, SUPPLIERS OR MARKETING PARTNERS BE LIABLE UNDER CONTRACT, TORT, STRICT LIABILITY, NEGLIGENCE OR ANY OTHER LEGAL OR EQUITABLE THEORY WITH RESPECT TO THE SERVICES (I) FOR ANY LOST PROFITS, DATA LOSS, COST OF PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES, OR SPECIAL, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, PUNITIVE, COMPENSATORY OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OF ANY KIND WHATSOEVER, SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES (HOWEVER ARISING), OR (II) FOR ANY DIRECT DAMAGES IN EXCESS OF (IN THE AGGREGATE) $500.00. ]
HOW TO CONTACT US:
Report an Audit: TaxAuditDefense.com/Audit/Help
Email Customer Service: CustomerService@TaxAuditDefense.com
Mailing Address:Tax Audit Defense, 16830 Ventura Blvd., Suite 320,
Phone number: (800) 410-2425,Fax number: (818) 935-5653