Privacy laws have been established by the Internal Revenue Service and we are now prohibited from providing confidential information or copies to anyone other than you without your specific, written authorization. In an effort to safeguard all of your personal and business information, the firm has adopted a policy whereby we will release copies of financial statements, tax returns, and other documents we have prepared only to you. We will not send these items to your bank, mortgage broker, attorney, etc. even if you specifically request us to do so. By only releasing these items to you we have avoided any chance to inadvertently, disclose any personal information to anyone other than yourself. We hope you understand our rather harsh policy. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause; however, we also know you understand the importance of such a stance.
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. 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 information to a third party.
We retain records relating to professional services that we provide so that we are better able to assist you with your professional needs and, in some cases, to comply with professional guidelines. In order to guard your non-public personal information, we maintain physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards that comply with our professional standards. It is our policy to keep records for five years after which they are destroyed. Most information that is retained in the firm is information that is confidential in nature. As we dispose of this information we will shred everything that contains either social security numbers or financial information. Most of our records, however, are retained electronically in this office. On October 15th of each year, the firm deletes all electronic file folders that are five years old. If you should need anything that is older than five years, you will need to refer to your own copy of that information. 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. Prior to each tax filing season we send client organizers to most of our clients as a convenience to assist them with gathering their tax information. If you move or do not wish to receive an organizer, please notify us or we will send the organizer to the address we used on your prior years tax return.
In the interest of facilitating our services to you, we may communicate by facsimile transmission or send electronic mail over the Internet. Such communications may include information that is confidential to you. While we will use our best efforts to keep such communications secure in accordance with our obligations under applicable laws and professional standards, you recognize and accept that we have no control over the unauthorized interception of these communications once they have been sent and consent to our use of these devices during this engagement.