Education Eases Tax Preparation Stress

Now that the 2017 tax season has come to a close, there’s good news for preparing your taxes next year – it doesn’t have to be stressful process! It’s possible to have a less worrisome tax season, it just takes education and preparation.

So says Nikia Tull, CEO of Phoenix Financial Tax Service based in Chesapeake, Virginia.

“My passion is to educate people about the thing they stress most about: taxes,” said Tull, who admits that at one time, she too dreaded income tax time. “But, as I learned and became educated about taxes, I came to love it.”

Now tax season is a breeze for her, and her goal is to make it such for her clients as well.

Tull’s change in attitude toward taxes resulted as she pursued a degree in accounting and was introduced to the topic of tax planning – she was hooked.

nikia1000x667“I have a deep passion for numbers and when I started learning more, I just became even more passionate about taxes,” she said.

Ensuring that her clients understand the tax preparation process from start to finish is her goal. Tull explains the importance of collecting and retaining of mileage, receipts, and other pertinent documentation throughout the year, and their importance in preparing and filing a tax return.

She doesn’t expect that clients will acquire her level of knowledge, but it is her hope that they will have a much better understanding of the entire process after having worked with her.
Changes in the 2018 tax code is set to bring about some changes that may be unwelcome by some. For instance, gone are deductions for mortgage interest, home owner’s insurance premiums, and real estate taxes.

“Even knowing that there will be an increase in the standard deduction by $5,000 is most likely not going to be beneficial when you have a person that is used to writing off close to $14,000 for those other items. This is really going to impact them,” said Tull, adding that she advises clients to prepare by adjusting their W-4 withholding.

For people who may be meeting with a new tax preparer for the first time, Tull suggests some basic questions to ask.

“Above anything else, ask if they have a tax preparer number and if they are registered with the IRS,” Tull said. “If they do and they are, then you know that they took the classes and are certified.”

She also suggests asking for the preparer’s official number. Professionals with an official IRS tax preparer number are authorized to deduct their fees from the client’s refund – which often is a comfort to taxpayers who are strapped for cash.

Tull also said potential clients should ask if the tax preparer is going to sign the tax return as well indicating that they professionally prepared it.

“If not, you might want to find a preparer that does,” she said.

Phoenix Financial Tax Service is owned by Tull and her husband Sean who serves as Senior Director of the firm. Together they have over 20 years of experience in the financial and tax preparation field.

Sean is a Senior Marketing Director for World Financial Group, also located in Chesapeake’s Western Branch Area. He is also a specialist in mentoring and coaching people on how to grow and expand their financial service firm. He has helped people across the east coast to create personal pension plans and protect their money from market loss, while capturing market gains and having tax free access to their money. Sean believes in showing people how to create legacies for their families.

For more information about Phoenix Financial Tax Services, visit: ytphoenixtax.com


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