DESANTI & ASSOCIATES PRIVACY DISCLOSURE NOTICE
All providers of personal financial services, are now required by law to inform their clients of their policies regarding privacy of client information. EA’s have been and continue to be bound by professional standards of confidentiality that are even more stringent than those required by law. Therefore, we have always protected your right to privacy.
However, in 1999, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act was passed by Congress in response to consumers’ growing concerns about potential loss of financial privacy. The Act applies to all Banks, Securities Broker-Dealers, Mortgage Brokers, Insurance Agents and other businesses to whom you furnish your personal information. In 2002 the Act became binding upon EA’s. Since the provisions of the Act are designed to protect your privacy, I fully support its objectives. As a professional licensed Enrolled Agent I am subject to many standards of ethics. The Tax Code has specific requirements for protecting your privacy
Types of Nonpublic Personal Information I Collect
I collect nonpublic personal information about you that is provided to me by you or obtained by me from third parties with your authorization to prepare your personal and business tax returns, and to provide personal tax and financial planning to you. “Non-public personal information” is non-public information about you that we obtain in connection with providing a financial product or tax or financial services to you.
Examples of types of information you make available:
· Your name
· Your address, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses
· Your social security number
· Your earnings and tax deductions
· All other information needed to prepare income tax returns, to prepare financial statements, to provide consulting and business advice, and to assist you with financial and tax information requested by other of your financial advisors (for instance, banks and mortgage companies).
This information is obtained verbally from you during client interviews and telephone, and in written form from tax return organizers, from your personal or business financial statements in whatever form, from documents which you provide to me (for instance W-2’s, 1099’s, bank statements, mortgage statements, etc.), by mail, by fax, by e-mail, or by web-file exchange. I also obtain information in the same manner from others with your authorization.
Parties to Whom I Disclose Information
-For current and former clients, I do not disclose any nonpublic personal information obtained in the course of my practice except as required or permitted by law. Permitted disclosures include, for instance, providing information to my employees and assistants, and in limited situations, to unrelated third parties who need to know that information to assist me in providing services to you. In all such situations, I stress the confidential nature of information being shared.
Nonpublic Personal Information about you and former clients may be disclosed to both affiliates and non-affiliated third parties as permitted by law, the Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics, as follows:
-Complying with a validly issued and enforceable subpoena or summons,
-Initiating a complaint or responding to an inquiry made by the Professional Ethics Committee of the State Societies.
-A review of a professional practice in conjunction with a prospective purchase, sale, or merger of all or part of my practice, provided that I take appropriate precautions (for example, through a written confidentiality agreement) so the prospective purchaser does not disclose information obtained in the course of the review.
-Participating in actual or threatened legal proceedings or alternative dispute resolution proceedings either initiated by or against me, provided I disclose only the information necessary to file, pursue, or defend against the lawsuit, and take reasonable precautions to ensure that the information disclosed does not become a matter of public record (unless required by the Court).
-Providing information to affiliates of the firm and nonaffiliated third parties who perform services or functions for me pursuant to a contractual agreement which prohibits the third party or affiliate from disclosing or using the information other than for the purposes for which the information was disclosed: for example, using an outside service bureau to process client’s tax returns, or, using a records-retention agency to store client’s records.
General Restrictions on Disclosure of Nonpublic Personal Information to Affiliates and Non-affiliated Third Parties
As a tax preparer, I am prohibited by Title 26 (Internal Revenue Code) Section 7216 from disclosing, or even using your income tax return information without your written consent, for tax planning, budgeting, tax reduction strategies or financial planning. The Tax Code prohibits all uses other than for the specific purpose of preparing, assisting in preparing or obtaining and providing services in connection with the preparation of an income tax return for you. Furthermore, as a EA licensed and governed by the Internal Revenue Service engaged in income tax preparation or financial planning, I am generally prohibited from disclosing or using confidential client information about you to affiliates and non-affiliated third parties without your specific consent. (See exceptions under heading “Parties to whom we disclose information”).
Confidentiality and Security of Nonpublic Personal Information
I restrict access to Nonpublic Personal Information about you to those employees, assistants, and other parties who must use that information to provide services to you. Their right to further disclose and use the information is limited by our code of conduct, applicable law, our Code of Professional Conduct and nondisclosure agreements where appropriate. I also maintain physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards in compliance with applicable laws and regulations to guard your Nonpublic Personal Information.
Protecting the Confidentiality and Security of Current and Former Client’s Information
I retain records relating to professional services that I provide so that I am better able to assist you with your professional needs and, in some cases, to comply with professional guidelines. In order to guard your nonpublic personal information, I maintain physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards that comply with our professional standards.
Electronic Confidentiality Measures
These procedures include firewalls, passwords, and procedural controls to prevent unauthorized access to my computer systems and maintenance of information in a separate database. Using secure portals, encoded transmission and personal passwords, it is possible for you to transmit and receive financial data, tax returns, financial statements, and other personal information electronically. It is also possible for me, with your authorization, to transmit tax returns and information to you in Adobe Acrobat formatted documents. If you request and authorize non-secure methods of transmission and file exchange, I cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information transmitted over the Internet. However, within my office I will exercise the same reasonable care in protecting your privacy as has been previously disclosed.
Paper copies of personal information are maintained in a non-public area. Backup copies are maintained – still out of public areas, electronically and physically. Since I am your EA, there is a protected client/EA communication and that is respected and protected.
Please call if you have any questions. Your privacy, my professional ethics, and the ability to provide you with quality financial services are very important to me.