Your privacy is important to us. We are committed to your privacy and retaining your trust. We respect your right to keep your personal information confidential and to avoid unwanted solicitations. Please read this to learn how we handle your personal information.
Types Of Information We Collect:
We collect nonpublic personal information about you that is provided by you or obtained by us with your authorization to prepare your personal income tax returns and provide personal financial planning to you.
We collect nonpublic personal information about you that is provided by you or obtained by us with your authorization to prepare your personal income tax returns and provide personal financial planning to you. This includes your name and e-mail address, in order to subscribe to our newsletter, receive our content, participate in surveys, and/or purchase services. There is also other personal data we may collect detailed herein.
We collect data from you directly when you fill out a form, purchase a service, or communicate with us via email or social media. We also collect data from you when you use our Website. We may collect personal data from third parties such as our payment processors, advertising networks, and/or analytics providers. Your data is stored in a secure platform. We use your personal data for processing as outlined below or a reasonably compatible purpose.
Usage Data. We may process data about your use of our Website and services. This may include your IP address, browser type, operating system, geographical location, page views, website navigation paths, and frequency and/or pattern of your use of our website. This data is collected through our analytics tracking systems. This data is used to analyze the use of our Website, to deliver relevant content and advertising, and understand our users. The legal basis for processing is our legitimate interest, namely monitoring and improving our website, marketing, and services.
Customer Data. When you register for our Service, we will receive and store certain personal information that you provide to us in the registration process, whether through our Website or by email. This information may include your name, address, telephone number, social security number, credit card information, birth date, gender, occupation, marital status, email address, and other similar personal or preference data that you provide to us. Whether or not you provide such information to us is completely your own choice. However, you understand that due to the nature of our Service, we cannot provide our Service to you if you do not provide use with such information. We process this data to supply services to you, as well as to market other relevant goods and services to you. The legal basis for processing is consent and your affirmative action to enter into such contract with us and/or the purchase and delivery of the contract between you and us.
User Data. We may process personal information, including name, email, geographical data, personal preferences, and other data you provide us for the purpose of participating in surveys, subscribing to our email notifications, free content, and/or newsletters, as well as communication data that you send to us either through email, social media, or other posting and/or communication methods. We process this data for the purposes of communicating with you, to deliver relevant website content, and for the purposes of sending you marketing, content and/or emails. The legal basis for this process is consent or our legitimate interests, which is to grow our business and keep records which may be needed to pursue or defend a legal action.
Examples Of Sources From Which We Collect Information:
CLIENT INTERVIEWS, TAX RETURN ORGANIZERS, FINANCIAL PLANNING ORGANIZERS, AND FINANCIAL HISTORY QUESTIONNAIRES
To properly prepare your income tax return or provide financial planning services, we receive information from you to complete your tax return or financial plan. This information is collected from you in written form, by phone, on line, by mail and in personal interviews and consultations conducted by us, as well as by information we collect from others with your authorization.
This is information about your transactions with us and includes information necessary for billing and payment for our income tax preparation and financial planning services, as well as all correspondence between you and us. Transaction information would also include your payment history with us, billing records and any collection effort engaged in by us for payment of services rendered to you.
Parties To Whom We Disclose Information:
We do not disclose any nonpublic personal information about our clients or former clients to our affiliates or to nonaffiliated third parties except as permitted by law, the Code of Professional Conduct of the Oregon Society of Certified Public Accountants (OSCPA) and Ethics Rulings of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
Nonpublic Personal Information about you and our former clients may be disclosed to both our affiliates and nonaffiliated third parties as permitted by law, our Code of Professional Conduct, and Ethics Rulings of the AICPA, as follows: Complying with a validly issued and enforceable subpoena or summons, In the course of a review of our firm’s practices under the Oregon or California State Board’s of Accountancy authorization. Initiating a complaint or responding to an inquiry made by the Professional Conduct Committee of the OSCPA, the ethics division or trial board of the AICPA or duly constituted investigative or disciplinary body of another State CPA Society or Board of Accountancy.
A review of a professional practice in conjunction with a prospective purchase, sale, or merger of all or part of our practice, provided that we 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 us, provided we 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.
Providing information to affiliates of the firm and nonaffiliated third parties who perform services or functions for us 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 clients’ tax returns, or using a records-retention agency to store clients’ records.
General Restrictions on Disclosure of Nonpublic Personal Information to Affiliates and Nonaffiliated Third Parties As tax preparers, we are prohibited by Internal Revenue Code Section 7216 from disclosing your income tax return information without your consent, 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 member of the OSCPA engaged in income tax preparation or financial planning, we are generally prohibited from disclosing confidential client information about you to affiliates and nonaffiliated third parties without your specific consent. (See exceptions under heading “Parties to whom we disclose information”).
Confidentiality and Security of Nonpublic Personal Information We restrict access to Nonpublic Personal Information about you to those employees 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 employee code of conduct if applicable), applicable law, our Code of Professional Conduct and nondisclosure agreements where appropriate.
We also maintain physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards in compliance with applicable laws and regulations to guard your Nonpublic Personal Information.
At U.S. Tax Help, we offer a robust and secure client portal to permit secure communication and exchange of documents. While many of our clients are happy to use the secure client portal solution that U.S. Tax Help offers in partnership with Smart Vault, other individuals want to know more information before they submit sensitive documents.
To start, the firm’s partner and client portal solution provider are a trusted and stable company. Smart Vault has provided this service to accountants and other professionals since 2008. While 2008 may seem fairly recent, online technology has evolved rapidly over the past decade. A company able to navigate those turbulent technological and financial times is a company that you can trust to be there to protect your data not only today, but also tomorrow.
Your Data Is Encrypted and Stored in a Secured Data Center
All client data submitted through the web portal is fully encrypted using Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology. SSL technology essentially scrambles the data you send over the Internet by utilizing a secured link between you and the data center. SSL security means that hackers and scammers cannot intercept and read your communications.
Some more technical readers may wonder what happens to the data once it reaches the data center. At the CyrusOne, in Houston, Texas both physical and technological security measures are in place to protect your data. As for physical security measures, the company utilizes physical barriers, video surveillance, and a professional security staff as part of its efforts to protect your data. Furthermore, all data, including backups, is also encrypted. In fact, All documents stored in the Smart Vault data center are encrypted using AES-256. AES-256 is essentially unbreakable encryption based on current and foreseeable computing power.
Smart Vault is PCI, FINRA, and Gramm-Leach-Bliley Complaint
As such, the client portal used by U.S. Tax Help is Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS). This is the level of security used by major credit card companies to secure their data. As such, your data should be secure and you should not worry that it will be intercepted or downloaded without your permission.
Furthermore, while Smart Vault is not a financial institution, the company has implemented financial industry grade security processes and procedures that make it a GLBA compliant solution. Client portal features that are required to achieve this high level of security include:
- SSAE 16 Data Center – SSAE 16 data centers are highly secured facilities where your data is guarded around the clock by an array of security measures.
- Encryption of all data – Data is always encrypted using state of the art encryption technology. Data is encrypted when it is being transferred and when it is at rest being stored.
- Access via authenticated logins – All activity requires the user to log-in to his or her password-secured
- Activity logs and granular access – The system has the ability to grant specific levels of access to only certain files. Furthermore, all actions on the system are fully logged so there is a record of all activity.
The Smart Vault client portal is also FINRA compliant under Regulation 4370 (c)(1). Essentially, when you work with us, you will use the same technologies major banks, credit card companies, and financial institutions use to secure their data.
What Is My Role in Protecting My Account?
It is important to note that every person plays a key role in securing their account and this responsibility should not be taken lightly. Like one protects paper financial records, every user of a client portal has certain personal responsibilities to secure their account. This includes selecting a robust password and keeping that password a secret. Furthermore, users should use a unique password so that security breaches at less secure sites cannot be used to gain access to your account. Essentially, if you have any doubt about providing your credentials to a third-party, do not do it. Smart Vault employees will NEVER ask for your password.
At U.S. Tax Help, we offer our client portal because we believe that it is the most effective way to communicate with our clients and protect their sensitive documents and submissions. While the system is also extremely convenient, our foremost concern in selecting this solution is the security and integrity of your data. If you have any further questions regarding the safety, security, or usage of an online client portal, simply call U.S. Tax Help at (541) 923-0903 to discuss how you can make the client portal work for you.
The Site contains links to third party websites and resources. You acknowledge and agree that we are not responsible or liable for the availability, accuracy, content or policies of third party websites or resources. Links to such websites or resources do not imply an endorsement by or affiliation with the Company. You acknowledge sole responsibility for and assume all risk arising from your use of any such websites or resources.
Personal data that we process for any purpose shall not be kept for longer than is necessary to fulfill its collection purpose or to satisfy a legal or accounting purpose.
Our services are hosted on servers located in the United States, and we may also use service providers located in the United States to bring you our products and services. If you access and/or submit information to our Website and Services from outside the United States, you consent to the transfer of your personal information to the United States. In addition, your data may be transferred to other countries and by using the Website, you consent to the transfer of information to countries outside your country of residence.
If you are located in the European Union, we may store and share your personal data with companies located outside of the European Economic Area. We will always do our best to ensure security of your data. We aim to use US-based providers that are part of the EU-US Privacy Shield. Please be aware that the laws in the United States may not provide the same level of protection to your personal information as your home country.
If you are accessing our products or services from the European Union, you have certain rights regarding the processing of your personal data. For instance, if the information you provide contains special categories of personal data, we will only process it with your explicit consent, which can be withdrawn at any time. You have the following additional rights:
- You have the right to access and correct your information.
- You have the right to obtain erasure of your information, object to or restrict processing activities related to your information, or withdraw your consent to the processing of your information after you have provided it.
- You have the right to obtain a copy of your information in a structured, commonly used, machine readable format.
- You have the right to lodge a complaint with your local supervisory authority regarding our processing of your information.
To exercise your rights, or if you otherwise have questions about the processing of your personal data, you may contact us at [email protected].
Your rights under data protection laws include the right to access, erase, correct, restrict, and/or object to our use and processing of your personal data, as well as the right to portability of the data. You have the right to confirmation as to how and where we process your data. To the extent that the legal basis for our processing consent, you have the right to withdraw at any time.
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