Theresa Turner owns Tax Happens in Riverview, a “unique boutique-style CPA firm” offering personalized tax and accounting services to small businesses and individuals, with an emphasis on ‘honesty’ and ‘integrity.’
“Calm and tranquil office, that’s what we’re going for,” said Turner, a certified public accountant (CPA), in describing the boutique descriptor. “Dim lighting and spa music playing, I feel like I should be coming in for a massage; it’s so relaxing.”
Yet for many people, taxes are anything but relaxing. Rather, a stressful event, and especially so when deadlines pass and uncertainties are abound.
“Some people are absolutely terrified and put off their taxes for years,” Turner said. “Something has scared them, usually a life event. Once they meet with us, they get the idea that we know what we’re doing and we’re looking out for their best interests.”
Not an option is bending or breaking the rules, Turner said.
“When I worked in the public accounting realm, I found there were a lot of unethical people,” Turner said. “If you do a tax return wrong, odds are no one will know because the chances of audits are so slim, statistically speaking. But just because you can do something wrong and get away with it doesn’t mean you should do it.”
Expect “complete, accurate returns” at Tax Happens, Turner said. “We’re not pushing an agenda. We’re not trying to get away with anything. Doing what’s legal, I can defend my clients against the IRS if they’re audited.”
For Turner, “hands-on accounting” is key, noting that clients often come in without everything they need, which leads to further questions, and possibly overlooked deductions and taxable events.
Supporting your grandmother? She counts as a dependent. Sending your son, under age 13, to summer camp while you go to work? That counts as a child-care credit. Selling items on eBay? Taxable. “And the stock plan at work you didn’t realize you had to report, even though you didn’t take it out?” Turner added. “They didn’t know it was a taxable event until years later when an audit comes.”
Turner’s first tax season out of college was during 9/11 as an employee sitting at a desk. “I was in New York, three days away from deadline,” Turner said. Fast forward to 2021 and the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and Turner gives further insight into her work ethic.
“I had more work to do but less people who could pay their fees,” Turner said. “But I had clients for years and I wasn’t going to let them down because they didn’t have money during COVID. It was a very emotional time.”
Tax Happens is at 10018 Park Place Ave. in Riverview. For more information, call 813-603-2073 or visit www.taxhappens.com.