The tax preparation process forces you to face your failures.
“I see you have kids. Are you married?” Nope.
“Why such a big deduction for your house?” I gave it back to the bank. A gift.
“Any other losses?” Yup. My car was stolen, my boyfriend dumped me, I can’t find my earrings and several socks are also missing.
“Occupation?” Just put loser.
Watching my tax preparer, Anna Chang, input my income and expenses felt like watching the slot machine numbers spin after you pull the lever.
“I’m sorry,” she said. “You’re going to owe federal taxes,” but soon she brightened. “Look, this is great. You’re going to get money back from the state!”
She seemed to ache for my bad luck and cheer for the good. I really felt like she cared about me. I wasn’t a number to her. I was a person.
Perhaps she could see the look of panic in my eyes. Or maybe she could just read the history of losses so apparent on my return.
For whatever reason, she turned to me at the end and said, “Don’t worry.” She gave me a discount. A really good discount.
It was enough to fill my eyes with tears and make me want to hug her.
I assure you, I have never wanted to hug my tax preparer before. But then I tend to go to 70-something CPA’s, men who wheeze.
Right now, is offering a special deal. They’ll prepare your simple federal tax returns for free if you contact them before Feb. 29.
If you have another tax preparer you prefer, go ahead and have him or her prepare your taxes, but give H&R a shot at a second review—for free. You never know, a smart preparer like Anna might spot something they missed and save you money.
I went to the H&R Block at 21001 San Ramon Valley Blvd. Ask for Anna Chang. Tell her Julie Knight sent you.