What initially inspired you to become a tax consultant?
“I was looking for a change. I needed a new job at that point in my life and I signed up for an H&R Block class. I really enjoyed it and I’ve been here ever since.”
How long have you been working in the tax field?
“My first year was in 2007.”
What did the training to become a tax consultant entail?
“There’s 80 hours of education to get your initial license. It’s offered through H&R Block and also community colleges. Then there’s a continuing education each year that is 30 hours to keep up with the tax law.”
When is the peak season for filing taxes?
“The peak season will start around the end of January and continue into February.”
How many people do you typically see?
“For completed tax returns, I usually have about 400.”
Who are you typical customers?
“We get a wide range of clients. Everybody has one commonality: we all pay taxes. It can be anyone from students to small business owners.”
Is there a specific area you specialize in?
“I pretty much cover anything from small businesses, homeowners and itemized deductions.”
Is there a service or request that’s most common?
“Early in the season people want to get their refund as soon as possible.”
What are some of the common tax mistakes people make?
“Missing out on certain credits and deductions is the most common thing. It’s easy to overlook education credits.”
What part of the job do you enjoy the most?
“I like working with numbers. It’s sort of like a puzzle. I like solving it and helping people out.”
What’s the most challenging part?
“Keeping up with the tax laws.”
What were your initial thoughts on the changes to tax legislation?
“There are certain parts of it I really like. I like the doubling of the standard deduction. I like that it’s going simplify and that fewer people will have to itemize. I think it will make life easier for a lot of people. There’s a lot of moving parts to the law. We’ll have to see, but it seems like people will pay less in income tax.”
Are there any changes that people should be aware about before filing this year?
“Just some minor changes, things that are adjusted for inflation. Standard deduction goes up $50 or so.”
Starting fresh in the New Year, are there things you recommend people do to limit their tax liability?
“There are no major changes for 2017. This year things are indexed for inflation but the major changes with the new tax laws will take effect when you file your 2018 taxes. Our software is equipped to give a forecast for the changes and planning for next year. When we look at taxes this year we can look at how the changes will affect their taxes next year.”