VtaxP: the Virtual Tax Partner tax consulting and support service **

Terms and conditions


This is a summary of our standard terms and conditions: they set out the basis of our working relationship including how we charge for advice..

  • We will provide you with tax, accounting or company secretarial assistance, on a pay-as-you-go basis as requested by you when you create a support ticket with our Virtual Tax Partner (VtaxP) service.
  • We are acting for you and not for any third party.
  • This engagement commences when you tick the box to say that you confirm our terms and conditions, or if you are responding via email, when you submit the code below.
  • If legal assistance is required in conjunction with tax assistance we will make recommendations suggestions and, if agreed we will then engage our legal team to draft the supporting documentation.
Basis of charging

Paid subscribers to the www.rossmartin.co.uk practical online tax service, who are accountants or lawyers working in commerce or practice, are charged at a rate of £56.25 for up to 15 minutes of our time (£225 per hour).

Our charges are otherwise £75 for up to 15 minutes(£275 per hour).

A higher hourly rate of £350 (subscribers) and £425 (non-subscribers) is applicable for high risk and complex corporate transactions, e.g. mergers and acquisitions, demergers and reorganisations, disguised remuneration etc.
A lower manager rate may apply where applicable (e.g. if you are requiring assistance with bookkeeping/accounts preparation/a relatively simple issue).

Our minimum charge is a quarter of an hour of time:

  • You will be billed once a query is marked as resolved.
  • If you have further queries open a new ticket.
  • We don't bill you until you agree a quote unless you have used a fixed price ticket.
  • We cannot act for you until we have confirmed your ID for anti-money laundering purposes.
How to obtain a price: types of ticket

1. Quote required

When you submit a query "Quote required" we will endeavour to provide an estimate of an approximate fee for a particular assignment at the outset.

  • If you require a fixed fee, please state this. It may be impossible to agree a fixed fee if there is an element of uncertainty as to how long a job will take. In these cases a fixed fee may not be appropriate and it may be more expensive for you to agree a fixed fee.
  • For any extras or time based billing our fees are charged in units of a quarter of an hour, with a minimum charge of a quarter of an hour.
2. Short chargeable query: fixed fee (budget selected)

  • If you have a short query and you wish to avoid the time delay of extra emails you may select one of the fixed fee options. These list fees by time/cost - e.g. up to 1/4 hour, 1/2 hour, 3/4 hour, or one hour.
  • If we can answer the query within the time that allows we will then go ahead and answer it and you will be billed automatically with the response.
  • If we cannot answer the query within that budget we will notify you and advise you how long we estimate.

Miscellaneous billing issues

  • All fees are subject to VAT at standard rate unless you are outside of the EU.
  • Any disbursements we incur on your behalf, and expenses incurred in the course of carrying out our work for you, will be added to our invoices where appropriate.
  • If you do not accept that an invoiced fee is fair and reasonable you must notify us within 14 days of receipt, failing which you will be deemed to have accepted that payment is due.
  • If a client company, trust or other entity is unable or unwilling to settle our fees we reserve the right to seek payment from the individual (or parent company) who has given us instructions on behalf of that client. You agree that we shall be entitled to enforce any sums due against the Group Company or individual nominated to act for you.

ADDITIONAL STANDARD TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS 1 JANUARY 2016

1. Applicable Law: without exception English law

2. Identification: the Money Laundering Regulations 2007:

If you are a registered member of an accountancy or legal institute please provide your membership number and institute.

If you are not a registered member of an institute as above, please supply a copy of your passport or photo driving licence together with a recent personal utility bill certified by a solicitor or by the Post Office.

3. Complaints

In the event of any problem please contact us. If the problem cannot be resolved, as members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, we suggest mediation via them.

4. Confidentiality

Communication between us is confidential and we shall take all reasonable steps to keep confidential your information except where we are required to disclose it by law, by regulatory bodies, by our insurers or as part of an external peer review. Unless we are authorised by you to disclose information on your behalf this undertaking will apply during and after this engagement.

5. Conflicts of interest

We will inform you if we become aware of any conflict of interest in our relationship with you or in our relationship with you and another client.

6. Data Protection

We confirm that we will comply with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 when processing personal data about you and your family.

7. Intellectual property rights

We will retain all copyright in any document prepared by us during the course of carrying out the engagement save where the law specifically provides otherwise.

8. Limitation of liability

We will provide our services with reasonable care and skill. Our liability to you is limited to the sum of £1,000,000 for any losses, damages, costs and expenses caused by our negligence or wilful default.

Exclusion of liability for loss caused by others

We will not be liable if such losses, penalties, surcharges, interest or additional tax liabilities are due to the acts or omissions of any other person or due to the provision to us of incomplete, misleading or false information or if they are due to a failure to act on our advice or a failure to provide us with relevant information.

Exclusion of liability in relation to circumstances beyond our control

We will not be liable to you for any delay or failure to perform our obligations under this engagement letter if the delay or failure is caused by circumstances outside our reasonable control.

Exclusion of liability relating to the discovery of fraud etc.

We will not be responsible or liable for any loss, damage or expense incurred or sustained if information material to the service we are providing is withheld or concealed from us or misrepresented to us.

Indemnity for unauthorised disclosure

You agree to indemnify us and our agents in respect of any claim (including any claim for negligence) arising out of any unauthorised disclosure by you or by any person for whom you are responsible of our advice and opinions, whether in writing or otherwise. This indemnity will extend to the cost of defending any such claim, including payment at our usual rates for the time that we spend in defending it.

Insurers: in accordance with the disclosure requirements of the Services Regulations 2009, our professional indemnity insurer is HCC International Insurance Co Plc of Walsingham House, 35 Seething Lane, London EC3N 4AH. The territorial coverage is worldwide excluding professional business carried out from an office in the United States of America or Canada and excludes any action for a claim bought in any court in the United States of America or Canada.

9. Limitation of Third Party rights

The advice and information we provide to you as part of our service is for your sole use.

We accept no responsibility to third parties, including any group company to whom the engagement letter is not addressed, for any advice, information or material produced as part of our work for you which you make available to them.

10. Free Quick Calls

Paid subscribers to the www.rossmartin.co.uk website are offered free tax advice by the VtaxP service if their query falls into the descriptive category of a "Free Quick call".

What is a "Free Quick call"? This is a telephone call with a duration of less than 5 minutes that does not require any research on our part or any response in writing.
Note that advice given orally is not intended to be relied upon unless confirmed in writing. If we provide oral advice (for example during the course of a meeting or a telephone conversation) and you wish to be able to rely on that advice, you must ask for the advice to be confirmed by us in writing.

11. * Please note that we are not HM Revenue & Customs: we are a private company: Ross Martin Tax Consultancy Limited.*

To signify that you have read and agree to our terms and conditions, as above, please note the following code and provide this when asked.