1. WE ARE A TEACHING CLINIC

1.1 The Griffith Tax Clinic is part of Griffith University.

1.2 The Griffith Tax Clinic is a teaching clinic which is staffed by students enrolled in a range of programs managed by the Griffith Business School. Student participating in the Griffith Tax Clinic are not registered tax agents.

1.3 All advice and assistance is provided under the supervision of a registered tax agent.

2. OUR SERVICES

2.1 We will provide taxation assistance and/ or advice to you, subject to this Client Agreement and our agreed scope of work. You acknowledge that we do not provide financial planning advice.

2.2 We must act in your best interests, but we are not required to do anything which is unethical or unlawful.

3. INSTRUCTIONS

3.1 You must provide us with prompt and accurate instructions and relevant documentation relating to the matter being undertaken, when requested.

3.2 You must, at the earlier convenience, inform us of any changes to your circumstance or to the facts relevant to your matter.

4. CONFIDENTIALITY AND PRIVACY

4.1 The services of the Griffith Tax Clinic are confidential.

4.2 Your client file and details may be disclosed:

  • (a) to Griffith students participating in the Griffith Tax Clinic who have agreed in writing to keep clinic information confidential; or
  • (b) where the law requires us to do so.

4.3 Your taxation matter may be used by us for educational purposes. If your file is going to be used in this way, it will be de-identified by removing of all names, addresses and other identifying details before it is provided to students.

4.4 The services, advice and assistance which we provide to you are provided solely for your benefit and may not be used, or relied upon, by any other person.

4.5 The Griffith Tax Clinic collects, stores and uses personal information in accordance with Griffith’s Privacy Plan, as amended from time to time. A copy of the plan can be found at: www.griffith.edu.au/about-griffith/corporate-governance/plans-publications/griffith-university-privacy-plan.

5. COST OF OUR SERVICES AND OTHER EXPENSES

5.1 Our services are provided to you free of charge on the basis that you have assured us that you are an unrepresented taxpayer.

5.2 You remain responsible for paying all other expenses which may arise in relation to your matter.

6. WHAT WE CAN DO

6.1 Taxation Assistance

The Griffith Tax Clinic will provide assistance to unrepresented taxpayers who:

  • (a)are uncertain about how to respond to a notice from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO);
  • (b) are dissatisfied with a tax return and want information about their rights relating to returns;
  • (c) have ongoing issues with the ATO, which fall within the scope of the Griffith Tax Clinic; or
  • (d) need general advice relating to particular low value transactions and simple affairs.

6.2 Representation at Court or before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal

  • (a) The Griffith Tax Clinic does not provide legal representation. This means that we do not go to court or tribunal hearings on your behalf.
  • (b) You will have to attend and appear in court or tribunal hearings yourself.
  • (c) This means that all correspondence we assist you with will be carried out in your own name.
  • (d) Although we do not provide representation, we may be able to refer you to other organisations which may be able to help you with such matters.

6.3 Representations to the ATO

We may, at our discretion, deal with the ATO on your behalf in a particular dispute, but may do so subject to limitations.

6.4 Advocacy

The Griffith Tax Clinic may advocate for you in your on-going dealings with the ATO, but may do so subject to limitations.

6.5 Education

As well as providing assistance, the Griffith Tax Clinic aims to educate clients in the taxation process, so as to provide a greater understanding of the tax system.

7. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT REGARDING EXPECTED CARE AND SKILL

7.1 Although we will use reasonable care and skill in providing advice and assistance to you, you acknowledge and accept that such advice and assistance is provided by students and not registered tax agents, lawyers or accountants. Accordingly, the degree of care and skill may be lower than if you obtained advice or assistance from a registered tax agent, lawyer or accountant.

7.2 We will not be responsible for, and you hereby release us from, any future or present liability, loss or damage caused to or suffered by you as a result of us not using the reasonable care and skill above what can be expected of a student.

8. TERMINATION BY YOU

8.1 You may choose to terminate this Client Agreement at any time giving us written notice.

9. TERMINATION BY US

9.1 We may terminate this Client Agreement and stop providing our services and assistance:

  • (a) if you do not comply with this Client Agreement;
  • (b) if we reasonably form the opinion that there is no longer mutual confidence and trust between us and you;
  • (c) if we reasonably consider that continuing to act for you may result in a breach of professional conduct rules and standards;
  • (d) if we decide that we do not have the resources or capacity to assist you;
  • (e) if we decide that continuing to act for you will not be consistent with Griffith’s statutory responsibilities or policies; or
  • (f) for any good reason held by us.

9.2 If we terminate this Client Agreement, we will advise you in writing.

10. DESTRUCTION OF FILES

10.1 After we have provided you with advice or assistance (or when this Client Agreement is terminated), we will only retain an electronic copy of your file. Any hard copy file will be destroyed shortly after our engagement comes to an end.

10.2 We are entitled to destroy the electronic copy of your Client file 7 (seven) years after the completion of your matter.

10.3 You may write to us asking us to destroy the electronic copy of your file earlier than the period mentioned above. However, it is important for you to remember that you are required by law to keep proper records of all financial, accounting, taxation and business related matters for a minimum of 5 years (or 7 years for company-related records).

11. GOVERNING LAW

11.1 If your tax matter falls under State legislation, it will be governed by the laws of the State of Queensland.

11.2 If your tax matter falls under Federal or Commonwealth legislation, it will be governed by the federal jurisdiction.

12. VARIATION

This Client Agreement is binding on both us and you. It can only be changed or varied by an agreement in writing signed by both of us.

13. CLIENT ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

13.1 You acknowledge that we have explained this Client Agreement to you.

13.2 You also acknowledge, understand and agree that:

  • (a) the Griffith Tax Clinic will not represent you in court or tribunal hearings. The Griffith Tax Clinic will only provide advice and assistance to you;
  • (b) the Griffith Tax Clinic can end this Client Agreement by written notice and in that case, will stop providing you with advice and assistance in your tax matter;
  • (c) your file may be used by the Griffith Tax Clinic for educational purposes (subject to clause 4.3);
  • (d) you remain responsible for complying with all statutory time limits;
  • (e) you have been advised to obtain independent legal advice about this Client Agreement before signing it; and
  • (f) we will not be responsible for and you hereby release us from, any future or present liability, loss or damage caused to or suffered by you as a result of us not using the reasonable care and skill above what can be expected of a student.

14. RULES FOR INTERPRETING THIS CLIENT AGREEMENT

14.1 Headings are for convenience only, and do not affect interpretation. The following rules also apply in interpreting this Client Agreement, except where the context makes it clear that a rule is not intended to apply.

14.2 A reference to:

  • (a) a party to this document or to any other document or agreement includes a successor in title, a permitted substitute or a permitted assign of that party;
  • (b) a person includes any type of entity or body of persons, whether or not it is incorporated or has a separate legal identity, and any executor, administrator or successor in law of the person; and
  • (c) anything (including a right, obligation or concept) includes each part of it.

14.3 A singular word includes the plural, and vice versa.

14.4 A word which suggests one gender includes the other genders.

14.5 If a word is defined, another part of speech has a corresponding meaning.

14.6 If an example is given of anything (including a right, obligation or concept), such as by saying it includes something else, the example does not limit the scope of that thing.

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