Tax Preparation with Liberty Tax Local tax professionals help navigate an increasingly complicated system
Winter brings two things to Massachusetts: snow, and tax preparation.
“Everyone can benefit from a tax professional’s help,” says Dawn Porthouse of Liberty Tax in Franklin. “This is true of individuals, but it’s even more true of small businesses.”
Tax professional and local small business owner, Dawn Porthouse opened the Franklin office of Liberty Tax in 2018 and has been helping Metrowest area families and businesses with their taxes ever since.
“It starts with a free consultation to determine a client’s needs,” says Porthouse. “Many individuals and small business owners come to me thinking we just fill out their forms, but then they realize all the other ways a tax professional can help them grow their business.”
For example, Liberty Tax can manage a business’s bookkeeping year-round, or handle payroll.
Porthouse says, “The tax code is not only complex but in the past few years it has undergone significant changes. Because of that, it’s not always apparent what a person or a business should do. Two clients can be similar in income and family size but have very different tax situations, which is why it’s so important to involve an expert.”
Liberty Tax in Franklin offers services that extend well beyond tax season such as IRS transcript monitoring, tax planning, and assistance with federal and state tax issues.
Porthouse says, “When a small business reaches a certain point, the owner wants to focus on growing the business rather than ‘working in’ the business.” Most owners begin by handling the back end work themselves, acting as the bookkeeper and payroll manager. After the first couple of years, bringing in an expert frees up the owner to do what they do best, and follow their passion. That way, their time is spent on their area of expertise, which in turn brings in more income and allows the business to flourish.
Moreover, once a business had grown to the point of hiring employees, the owner needs a plan for handling payroll and dealing with the many regulations from both Massachusetts and the federal government. “Massachusetts makes it complicated,” says Porthouse. “We’ll keep you in compliance.”
Dawn Porthouse has an MBA, MPA, and has obtained her Enrolled Agent (EA) license from the IRS. The EA allows her to represent taxpayers before the IRS. “I worked in the research industry for a long time preparing and managing federally-funded projects but was looking for something more. While I completed my MBA at Babson College, I started to work for a tax office and found that I enjoyed preparing tax returns and learning about taxes. The main thing I realized is that it’s not just about taxes, it’s about giving individuals and small business owners peace of mind when they fully understand their tax situation.”
When a taxpayer receives a letter from the IRS, before even opening the envelope, panic sets in. Porthouse says, “One of the first things I tell them when they call is to take a deep breath: we’re on their side. I will research the problem, discuss solutions, and then educate them on how to avoid similar issues in the future.”
Staying on the right side of the IRS is in every business’s best interests.
Keeping on top of changing regulations is a challenge in and of itself. “Last year, Congress altered the tax laws right in the middle of tax season. Moreover, those changes were retroactive, meaning anyone who’d already filed may have to go back and amend their returns. We handled all of that for our clients so they could rest easy. We may be looking at a similar situation this year if Congress passes legislation which includes retroactive provisions such as the Build Back Better bill..”
Since taxes are inevitable, it makes sense to have an ally who can provide a roadmap to help families and businesses navigate them. Porthouse says, “I educate my clients. I make sure they understand this year’s return and help them plan for next year’s. I’m passionate about helping clients achieve their financial goals.”
For more information, visit Liberty Tax at https://www.libertytax.com/income-tax-preparation-locations/11369 or call the office at (508) 528-6000.