Debora is a tax preparer. She lives and works in Austin. And while for some people, tax preparation may not seem like exciting work, for Debora it has become a calling to help Spanish-speaking immigrants still learning about U.S. financial and taxation systems.
“I like helping the community,” Debora said. “A lot of people, when they come to me and I explain to them: this number represents your earnings, this and these are your deductions, this is your refund or what you owe, what they tell me is that no one has ever taken the time to explain anything to them. I always try to make sure people understand what they are signing.”
Debora got the idea to become a tax preparer while she was still working at a bank as a customer service representative. Friends and acquaintances were inquiring about tax filing, so she referred them to her tax preparer, who asked Debora for assistance as an intermediary.
“I was faxing information to her and relaying information to the tax preparer, going back and forth and I stopped and thought about it,” Debora said. “And I decided that I should take some classes and learn more about tax preparation. And I made a determination that this was something I wanted to do. And my business has been growing every year.”
Debora started work as a tax preparer four years ago, opening D&C Tax Service around the time her second child was born. Becoming her own boss has afforded her more freedom to manage her time and make business decisions than working for a corporation.
“If you have a vision in your mind, you can decide for yourself after weighing the good and bad whether to take the risks,” Debora said.
Debora learned about Accion Texas Inc. when she saw an Accion vehicle in the parking lot of her bank. She went online to learn more and decided to apply for a loan to bring her business to the next level.
Debora is using her $5,450 loan for working capital, to pay for liability insurance, and professional development and training to gain certification in different areas of taxation, so she can offer new services. She has taken classes to become a notary. She is going to take classes through her professional organization to learn more about how health care reform will have an impact on taxation. She wants to learn more specifics about the Internal Revenue Service’s collections processes.
Debora said she is looking into the costs and benefits of renting office space and hiring an assistant. For the moment, she said her tax preparation service offers her the opportunity to work from home and to help the community.
LiftFund. (www.liftfund.com) is an award-winning nonprofit organization (previously known as Accion Texas) with a mission to provide credit and loans to small and start-up businesses that have limited or no access to credit from commercial sources. Established in 1994 in San Antonio, LiftFund has helped Texas and Louisiana entrepreneurs strengthen their businesses, stabilize and increase their incomes, create employment, and contribute to the economic revitalization of their communities. Learn more at www.liftfund.com.