Effective: February 7, 2022
Your Stuff & Your Permissions
When you use our Services, you provide us with things like your files, content, messages, contacts, and so on ("Your Stuff"). Your Stuff is yours. These Terms don’t give us any rights to Your Stuff except for the limited rights that enable us to offer the Services.
We need your permission to do things like hosting Your Stuff, backing it up, and sharing it when you ask us to. Our Services also provide you with features like eSign, file sharing, email newsletters, appointment setting and more. These and other features may require our systems to access, store, and scan Your Stuff. You give us permission to do those things, and this permission extends to our affiliates and trusted third parties we work with.
Sharing Your Stuff
Our Services let you share Your Stuff with others, so please think carefully about what you share.
You’re responsible for your conduct. Your Stuff and you must comply with applicable laws. Content in the Services may be protected by others’ intellectual property rights. Please don’t copy, upload, download, or share content unless you have the right to do so. We may review your conduct and content for compliance with these Terms. With that said, we have no obligation to do so. We aren’t responsible for the content people post and share via the Services.
Help us keep you informed and Your Stuff protected. Safeguard your password to the Services, and keep your account information current. Don’t share your account credentials or give others access to your account.
You may use our Services only as permitted by applicable law, including export control laws and regulations. Finally, to use our Services, you must be at least 13, or in some cases, even older. If you live in France, Germany, or the Netherlands, you must be at least 16. Please check your local law for the age of digital consent. If you don’t meet these age requirements, you may not use the Services.
Some of our Services allow you to download client software (“Software”) which may update automatically. So long as you comply with these Terms, we give you a limited, nonexclusive, nontransferable, revocable license to use the Software, solely to access the Services. To the extent any component of the Software may be offered under an open source license, we’ll make that license available to you and the provisions of that license may expressly override some of these Terms. Unless the following restrictions are prohibited by law, you agree not to reverse engineer or decompile the Services, attempt to do so, or assist anyone in doing so.
We sometimes release products and features that we are still testing and evaluating. Those Services have been marked beta, preview, early access, or evaluation (or with words or phrases with similar meanings) and may not be as reliable as other non-beta services, so please keep that in mind.
The Services are protected by copyright, trademark, and other US and foreign laws. These Terms don’t grant you any right, title, or interest in the Services, others’ content in the Services, CountingWorks and our trademarks, logos and other brand features. We welcome feedback, but note that we may use comments or suggestions without any obligation to you.
We respect the intellectual property of others and ask that you do too. We respond to notices of alleged copyright infringement if they comply with the law, and such notices should be reported to legal@CountingWorks.com. We reserve the right to delete or disable content alleged to be infringing and terminate accounts of repeat infringers. Our designated agent for notice of alleged copyright infringement on the Services is:
You’re free to stop using our Services at any time. We reserve the right to suspend or terminate your access to the Services with notice to you if:
We won’t provide notice before termination where:
Discontinuation of Services
We may decide to discontinue the Services in response to unforeseen circumstances beyond CountingWorks control or to comply with a legal requirement. If we do so, we’ll give you reasonable prior notice so that you can export Your Stuff from our systems.
Services “AS IS”
We strive to provide great Services, but there are certain things that we can't guarantee. TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, CountingWorks AND ITS AFFILIATES, SUPPLIERS AND DISTRIBUTORS MAKE NO WARRANTIES, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, ABOUT THE SERVICES. THE SERVICES ARE PROVIDED "AS IS." WE ALSO DISCLAIM ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, AND NON-INFRINGEMENT. Some places don’t allow the disclaimers in this paragraph, so they may not apply to you.
Limitation of Liability
WE DON’T EXCLUDE OR LIMIT OUR LIABILITY TO YOU WHERE IT WOULD BE ILLEGAL TO DO SO—THIS INCLUDES ANY LIABILITY FOR CountingWorks OR ITS AFFILIATES’ FRAUD OR FRAUDULENT MISREPRESENTATION IN PROVIDING THE SERVICES. IN COUNTRIES WHERE THE FOLLOWING TYPES OF EXCLUSIONS AREN’T ALLOWED, WE'RE RESPONSIBLE TO YOU ONLY FOR LOSSES AND DAMAGES THAT ARE A REASONABLY FORESEEABLE RESULT OF OUR FAILURE TO USE REASONABLE CARE AND SKILL OR OUR BREACH OF OUR CONTRACT WITH YOU. THIS PARAGRAPH DOESN’T AFFECT CONSUMER RIGHTS THAT CAN'T BE WAIVED OR LIMITED BY ANY CONTRACT OR AGREEMENT.
IN COUNTRIES WHERE EXCLUSIONS OR LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY ARE ALLOWED, CountingWorks, ITS AFFILIATES, SUPPLIERS OR DISTRIBUTORS WON’T BE LIABLE FOR:
THESE EXCLUSIONS OR LIMITATIONS WILL APPLY REGARDLESS OF WHETHER OR NOT CountingWorks OR ANY OF ITS AFFILIATES HAS BEEN WARNED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.
IF YOU USE THE SERVICES FOR ANY COMMERCIAL, BUSINESS, OR RE-SALE PURPOSE, CountingWorks, ITS AFFILIATES, SUPPLIERS OR DISTRIBUTORS WILL HAVE NO LIABILITY TO YOU FOR ANY LOSS OF PROFIT, LOSS OF BUSINESS, BUSINESS INTERRUPTION, OR LOSS OF BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY. CountingWorks AND ITS AFFILIATES AREN’T RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONDUCT, WHETHER ONLINE OR OFFLINE, OF ANY USER OF THE SERVICES.
Let’s Try To Sort Things Out First. We want to address your concerns without needing a formal legal case. Before filing a claim against CountingWorks or our affiliates, you agree to try to resolve the dispute informally by contacting legal@CountingWorks.com. We’ll try to resolve the dispute informally by contacting you via email.
Judicial forum for disputes. You and CountingWorks agree that any judicial proceeding to resolve claims relating to these Terms or the Services will be brought in the federal or state courts of Orange County, California, subject to the mandatory arbitration provisions below. Both you and CountingWorks consent to venue and personal jurisdiction in such courts. If you reside in a country (for example, European Union member states) with laws that give consumers the right to bring disputes in their local courts, this paragraph doesn’t affect those requirements.
IF YOU’RE A U.S. RESIDENT, YOU ALSO AGREE TO THE FOLLOWING MANDATORY ARBITRATION PROVISIONS:
These Terms will be governed by California law except for its conflicts of laws principles. However, some countries (including those in the European Union) have laws that require agreements to be governed by the local laws of the consumer's country. This paragraph doesn’t override those laws.
These Terms constitute the entire agreement between you and CountingWorks with respect to the subject matter of these Terms, and supersede and replace any other prior or contemporaneous agreements, or terms and conditions applicable to the subject matter of these Terms. These Terms create no third party beneficiary rights.
Waiver, Severability & Assignment
CountingWorks failure to enforce a provision is not a waiver of its right to do so later. If a provision is found unenforceable, the remaining provisions of the Terms will remain in full effect and an enforceable term will be substituted reflecting our intent as closely as possible. You may not assign any of your rights under these Terms, and any such attempt will be void. CountingWorks may assign its rights to any of its affiliates or subsidiaries, or to any successor in interest of any business associated with the Services.
We may revise these Terms from time to time to better reflect:
If an update affects your use of the Services or your legal rights as a user of our Services, we’ll notify you prior to the update's effective date by sending an email to the email address associated with your account or via an in-product notification. These updated terms will be effective no less than 30 days from when we notify you.
If you don’t agree to the updates we make, please cancel your account before they become effective. By continuing to use or access the Services after the updates come into effect, you agree to be bound by the revised Terms.
Effective: February 7, 2022
Thanks for visiting our website. Our mission is to create a web based experience that makes it easier for us to work together. Here we describe how we collect, use, and handle your personal information when you use our websites, software, and services (“Services”).
What & Why
We collect and use the following information to provide, improve, and protect our Services:
Account information. We collect, and associate with your account, the information you provide to us when you do things such as sign up for your account, opt-in to our client newsletter or request an appointment (like your name, email address, phone number, and physical address). Some of our Services let you access your accounts and your information via other service providers.
Your Stuff. Our Services are designed to make it simple for you to store your files, documents, comments, messages, and so on (“Your Stuff”), collaborate with others, and work across multiple devices. To make that possible, we store, process, and transmit Your Stuff as well as information related to it. This related information includes your profile information that makes it easier to collaborate and share Your Stuff with others, as well as things like the size of the file, the time it was uploaded, collaborators, and usage activity. Our Services provide you with different options for sharing Your Stuff.
Contacts. You may choose to give us access to your contacts (spouse or other company staff) to make it easy for you to do things like share and collaborate on Your Stuff, send messages, and invite others to use the Services. If you do, we’ll store those contacts on our servers for you to use.
Usage information. We collect information related to how you use the Services, including actions you take in your account (like sharing, viewing, and moving files or folders). We use this information to improve our Services, develop new services and features, and protect our users.
Cookies and other technologies. We use technologies like cookies to provide, improve, protect, and promote our Services. For example, cookies help us with things like remembering your username for your next visit, understanding how you are interacting with our Services, and improving them based on that information. You can set your browser to not accept cookies, but this may limit your ability to use the Services.
Marketing. We give users the option to use some of our Services free of charge. These free Services are made possible by the fact that some users upgrade to one of our paid Services. If you register for our free Services, we will, from time to time, send you information about the firm or tax and accounting tips when permissible. Users who receive these marketing materials can opt out at any time. If you do not want to receive marketing materials from us, simply click the ‘unsubscribe’ link in any email.
We sometimes contact people who do not have an account. For recipients in the EU, we or a third party will obtain consent before contacting you. If you receive an email and no longer wish to be contacted by us, you can unsubscribe and remove yourself from our contact list via the message itself.
Bases for processing your data. We collect and use the personal data described above in order to provide you with the Services in a reliable and secure manner. We also collect and use personal data for our legitimate business needs. To the extent we process your personal data for other purposes, we ask for your consent in advance or require that our partners obtain such consent.
We may share information as discussed below, but we won’t sell it to advertisers or other third parties.
Other users. Our Services display information like your name, profile picture, device, and email address to other users in places like your user profile and sharing notifications. You can also share Your Stuff with other users if you choose. When you register your account with an email address on a domain owned by your employer or organization, we may help collaborators and administrators find you and your workspace by making some of your basic information—like your name, workspace name, profile picture, and email address—visible to other users on the same domain. This helps you sync up with workspaces you can join and helps other users share files and folders with you. Certain features let you make additional information available to others.
Workspace Admins. If you are a user of a workspace, your administrator may have the ability to access and control your workspace account. Please refer to your organization’s internal policies if you have questions about this. If you are not a workspace user but interact with a workspace user (by, for example, joining a shared folder or accessing stuff shared by that user), members of that organization may be able to view the name, email address, profile picture, and IP address that was associated with your account at the time of that interaction.
Law & Order and the Public Interest. We may disclose your information to third parties if we determine that such disclosure is reasonably necessary to: (a) comply with any applicable law, regulation, legal process, or appropriate government request; (b) protect any person from death or serious bodily injury; (c) prevent fraud or abuse of our platform or our users; (d) protect our rights, property, safety, or interest; or (e) perform a task carried out in the public interest.
Stewardship of your data is critical to us and a responsibility that we embrace. We believe that your data should receive the same legal protections regardless of whether it’s stored on our Services or on your home computer’s hard drive. We’ll abide by Government Request Policies when receiving, scrutinizing, and responding to government requests (including national security requests) for your data:
Security. We have a team dedicated to keeping your information secure and testing for vulnerabilities. We also continue to work on features to keep your information safe in addition to things like blocking repeated login attempts, encryption of files at rest, and alerts when new devices and apps are linked to your account. We deploy automated technologies to detect abusive behavior and content that may harm our Services, you, or other users.
User Controls. You can access, amend, download, and delete your personal information by logging into your account.
Retention. When you sign up for an account with us, we’ll retain information you store on our Services for as long as your account is in existence or as long as we need it to provide you the Services. If you delete your account, we will initiate deletion of this information after 30 days. But please note: (1) there might be some latency in deleting this information from our servers and back-up storage; and (2) we may retain this information if necessary to comply with our legal obligations, resolve disputes, or enforce our agreements.
Around the world. To provide you with the Services, we may store, process, and transmit information in the United States and locations around the world—including those outside your country. Information may also be stored locally on the devices you use to access the Services.
EU-U.S. Privacy Shield and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield. When transferring data from the European Union, the European Economic Area, and Switzerland, We rely upon a variety of legal mechanisms, including contracts with our customers and affiliates. We comply with the EU-U.S. and Swiss–U.S. Privacy Shield Frameworks as set forth by the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding the collection, use, and retention of personal information transferred from the European Union, the European Economic Area, and Switzerland to the United States.
We are subject to oversight by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. JAMS is the US-based independent organization responsible for reviewing and resolving complaints about our Privacy Shield compliance—free of charge to you. We ask that you first submit any such complaints directly to us via privacy@CountingWorks.com. If you aren’t satisfied with our response, please contact JAMS at https://www.jamsadr.com/eu-us-privacy-shield. In the event your concern still isn’t addressed by JAMS, you may be entitled to a binding arbitration under Privacy Shield and its principles.
If we are involved in a reorganization, merger, acquisition, or sale of our assets, your information may be transferred as part of that deal.
Your Right to Control and Access Your Information
You have control over your personal information and how it is collected, used, and shared. For example, you have a right to:
Your personal information is controlled by CountingWorks, Inc. Have questions or concerns about CountingWorks, our Services, and privacy? Contact our Data Protection Officer at privacy@CountingWorks.com. If they can’t answer your question, you have the right to contact your local data protection supervisory authority.
Third Party Vendors
Amazon Web Services
Updated: June 2020.
strives to ensure that its services are accessible to people with disabilities. has invested a significant amount of resources to help ensure that its website is made easier to use and more accessible for people with disabilities, with the strong belief that every person has the right to live with dignity, equality, comfort and independence.
makes available the UserWay Website Accessibility Widget that is powered by a dedicated accessibility server. The software allows us to improve its compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1).
Enabling the Accessibility Menu
The accessibility menu can be enabled either by hitting the tab key when the page first loads or by clicking the accessibility menu icon that appears on the corner of the page. After triggering the accessibility menu, please wait a moment for the accessibility menu to load in its entirety.
continues its efforts to constantly improve the accessibility of its site and services in the belief that it is our collective moral obligation to allow seamless, accessible and unhindered use also for those of us with disabilities.
In an ongoing effort to continually improve and remediate accessibility issues, we also regularly scan with UserWay's Accessibility Scanner to identify and fix every possible accessibility barrier on our site. Despite our efforts to make all pages and content on fully accessible, some content may not have yet been fully adapted to the strictest accessibility standards. This may be a result of not having found or identified the most appropriate technological solution.
Here For You
If you are experiencing difficulty with any content on or require assistance with any part of our site, please contact us during normal business hours as detailed below and we will be happy to assist.
If you wish to report an accessibility issue, have any questions or need assistance, please contact customer support.
Annual Gift Tax Exemption
Lifetime Estate Tax Exemption
Qualified Tuition Plan Contributions
Spouse’s Unused Estate Tax Exclusion
States With Estate Taxes
Why Should You Be Concerned?
Gift & Estate Tax Rates
Gift and estate taxes are both part of the federal transfer tax system and are interconnected.
Gift tax applies to transfers of wealth during a person's lifetime. If a person gives another person a gift that exceeds the annual gift tax exclusion ($17,000 in 2023), the giver (also referred to as the donor) may have to pay gift tax. However, there is also a lifetime gift tax exemption ($12.92 million in 2023), which means that a person can give away up to that amount over their lifetime without paying gift tax. When the amount given to another person during any year exceeds the annual exclusion for that year, the donor is required to file a Gift Tax Return (IRS Form 709), even if no gift tax is owed because the donor’s lifetime exemption hasn’t been exceeded. The IRS requires this filing so that they can keep track of how much of the donor’s lifetime exclusion has been used up.
Estate tax, on the other hand, applies to transfers of wealth after a person's death. The value of the deceased person's estate is calculated, and if it exceeds the estate tax exemption $12,920,000 in 2023), the estate may owe estate tax.
The interaction between gift and estate taxes comes into play because the lifetime gift tax exemption and the estate tax exemption are coordinated. This means that any portion of the lifetime gift tax exemption that is used reduces the amount available for the estate tax exemption. For example, if a person gives away $1 million over the annual exclusions during their lifetime and dies in 2023, their estate tax exemption would be reduced to $11.92 million.
Annual Gift Tax Exemption– As of 2024, the annual gift tax exemption is $18,000 per recipient (up from $17,000 in 2023). This means that in 2024 you can give up to $18,000 to as many individuals as you want in a single year without incurring a gift tax or reducing your lifetime estate exemption. If you give more than $18,000 in 2024 to a single individual, the excess amount is subject to gift tax. Thus, for example, let’s say you have 4 children. You can gift each of them an amount equal to the annual gift tax exemption without triggering any gift tax or gift tax reporting requirements or reducing the lifetime estate tax exemption. Gifts to be counted are cash and property, including birthday and holiday gifts.
Gift Splitting - A husband and wife can each make annual exclusion gifts, thereby increasing the exclusion from $17,000 to $34,000 per year (based upon 2023 amounts). However, only one of the spouses may have available property to give. IRC Section 2513 allows the spouses to elect (on a Form 709) to treat a gift made by one spouse as being made by both spouses.
Example - Gift Splitting - John and Jane are married and have two children. In 2023 when the annual exclusion limit is $17,000, they would like to exclude $68,000 ($17,000 x 2 donors x 2 donees) in gifts. Jane received a large inheritance some years back; John has only a modest estate. Jane gives the children $34,000 each. Then the couple elects to gift split so that the $34,000 gift is treated as given one-half by Jane and one-half by John (or $17,000 each). The gifts all qualify for the annual exclusion.
Lifetime Estate Tax Exemption – As previously discussed, the lifetime gift and estate tax exemption are coordinated, meaning they apply to both gifts given during your lifetime more than the annual exception and assets left at your death. So, if you use part of the exemption for lifetime gifts, only the remaining amount is available to shield your estate from estate tax when you die. However, the lifetime estate exemption is only reduced by gifts you made during your lifetime that exceed the annual gift tax exemption. To keep track of that amount, the IRS requires Form 709, Gift Tax Return, to be filed when gifts exceed the annual exception.
Medical and Education Exceptions – In addition to the annual gift tax exception there are also medical and education exceptions included in the U.S. tax code that allow individuals to make certain types of payments on behalf of others without those payments being subject to the gift tax. They include:
Education Exception: Any payments made directly to an educational institution for someone's tuition are not considered taxable gifts, regardless of the amount. This means you could pay for a child's, grandchild's, or even a friend's tuition costs without incurring the gift tax. However, this exception only applies to tuition costs. Other expenses, such as books, supplies, or room and board, are not covered by this exception. Contributions to a Sec 529 plan don’t count for this exception but have their own rules (see below).
Medical Exception: Like the education exception, any payments made directly to a medical care provider for someone's medical expenses are not considered taxable gifts. This includes payments for procedures, treatments, and hospital stays. In both cases, it's important to note that the payments must be made directly to the institution or provider. If you give the money to the individual for them to pay the expenses, it will not qualify for the exception.
Sec 529 Qualified Tuition Plan Contributions -Section 529 plans, also known as Qualified Tuition Programs, are tax-advantaged savings plans designed to encourage saving for future education costs. Contributions to a 529 plan are considered completed gifts for tax purposes and are subject to the gift tax rules.
Since under the annual gift tax exclusion an individual can give up to the annual gift tax exclusion amount to another individual without triggering gift taxes or reducing the donor’s lifetime gift and estate tax exclusion, this means that the amount of the annual gift tax exclusion can be contributed to a 529 plan for a beneficiary without incurring gift tax.
However, 529 plans have a special provision that allows for a five-year gift tax averaging. This means that you can contribute up to five times the annual gift tax exclusion amount in a single year and spread the gift evenly over five years for gift tax purposes. This allows you to make a large contribution to a 529 plan without incurring gift tax, if you don't make any other gifts to the same beneficiary during the five-year period.
If you contribute more than the annual gift tax exclusion amount or the five-year averaged amount to a 529 plan, the excess may be subject to gift tax and could also reduce your lifetime gift and estate tax exclusion.
It's also important to note that while contributions to a 529 plan are considered completed gifts and leave your taxable estate, you still retain control over the assets in the plan. You can decide when withdrawals are made and for what purpose, and you can even change the beneficiary of the plan.
Spouse’s Unused Estate Tax Exclusion – “Portability” is a provision in the U.S. tax code that allows a surviving spouse to use any unused portion of the deceased spouse's estate tax exclusion. This can effectively increase the amount that the surviving spouse can transfer tax-free at death.
As of 2023, everyone has a lifetime estate and gift tax exclusion of $12.92 million. If a spouse dies and their estate does not use up all this exclusion, the unused portion can be transferred to the surviving spouse. This is referred to as the Deceased Spousal Unused Exclusion (DSUE).
Using 2023 as an example, say the husband dies and uses $5 million of his $12.92 million exclusion. His wife could add his remaining $7.92 million exclusion to her own exclusion. Assuming she dies in 2024 when the inflation adjusted exclusion is $13.61 million, her estate tax exclusion would allow her to transfer up to $21.53 million tax-free at her death.
To take advantage of portability, the executor of the deceased spouse's estate must make an election on a timely filed estate tax return (Form 706), even if the estate is not otherwise required to file a return. The return must include a computation of the DSUE amount.
It's important to note that portability applies only to the last deceased spouse. So, if a surviving spouse remarries and is again widowed, they can use the DSUE from the most recently deceased spouse, not from both.
Having an estate tax return prepared is generally expensive and a surviving spouse may choose to forgo having one prepared thinking his or her estate will not be large enough to benefit from their deceased spouse’s unused exemption amount. That decision should be well-thought-out not knowing what the future might hold, and considering the exemption amounts can be changed at the whim of Congress. In fact, the amounts established by the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017 expire after 2025, and the exemption, without Congressional action, would revert to about $6 million.
Should the surviving spouse decide to forgo filing for the deceased spouse’s unused exemption amount, he or she should expect their tax preparer to ask them to sign a statement to that effect, so beneficiaries will not hold the tax preparer responsible should the unused exemption be needed.
Portability can be a valuable estate planning tool, especially for couples whose combined estates may exceed the individual estate tax exclusion. However, it's also important to consider other estate planning strategies, as portability does not apply to the generation-skipping transfer tax and some states do not recognize portability for state estate tax purposes.
States With Estate Taxes –As of 2023, the following states levy some form of estate tax: Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.
In addition, the following states have inheritance taxes: Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
Why Should You Should Be Concerned? Because you want as much of your estate as possible to go your designated beneficiaries rather than to government taxes. Currently, at least until the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act expires after 2025, the federal estate tax rates range from 18% to 40% with taxable amounts more than $1 million taxed at 40%.
If you have questions or would like an appointment to discuss how these issues might apply to your specific situation, please give this office a call.
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