by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVEâ€”Charles Douglas, a Sugar Grove resident who recently opened a tax business in town, said he wants to be an alternative to high-priced tax preparers.
Douglas said he can prepare federal and state (Form 1040 long form Schedule A) tax forms with itemized deductions for an average family for $99. Because he uses E-filing, he said the taxpayer can typically expect a direct deposit refund within two weeks.
â€œBetween 98 to 99 percent of the time, it happens on that timetable,â€ he said.
Douglas holds an EA, which stands for Enrolled Agent with the Internal Service. According to Douglas, the EA is actually a higher credential than the CPA, or Certified Public Accountant, when it comes to preparing taxes.
While only 20 to 30 percent of the CPA exam relates to taxes, the EA requires one to pass a two-day test administered by the IRS.
Tax laws change every year, with the government offering different incentives meant to stimulate the economy in different ways, he said. Examples of these incentives include deductions for purchasing a home, making one’s home more energy-efficient, obtaining a college education or buying a new car.
It also means he has to keep up with all the new laws in order to obtain the best possible outcome for his clients.
Although Douglas has been preparing taxes for 33 years, he does a number of other accounting and bookkeeping-related services, such as corporate partnerships, estates, corporate sales tax and others. He said he is currently working with 32 businesses.
He is also pursuing additional education, completing classes toward a B.A. in Accounting, while also taking classes toward his M.B.A. at Aurora University.
â€œAny kind of education greatly enhances your knowledge,â€ he said.
The MBA includes not only classes in accounting, but also legal, marketing, business and leadership classes, which he said will make him a more well-rounded individual. He said he hopes to open two more offices within the next year.
In the meantime, with the tax season upon us, Douglas said now would be a good time to avail oneself of his services.