Local tax business prospers despite pandemic challenges

Photo by: Roxanna De La Rosa, Glendale, Ariz. (March 30, 2021/The Voice).

Untimely, on the first day of tax season, Marisol Henry, owner of Henry’s Tax Solutions contracted the COVID-19 virus.

She is now back to work in her Downtown Phoenix office after three weeks of self-isolating, just in time for the end of the tax season, April 15. All employees in the office tested negative, so Henry believe she may have caught the virus from one of her clients.

When Henry’s Tax Solutions first started, only four businesses used their services. They have since expanded to serve 28 local businesses in the surrounding Phoenix area. Their growth has been vital to their success during the lasting pandemic.

The busiest time of the year is for Henry is, of course, tax season. She has helped 1,100 clients file their taxes last year.

With the stimulus relief and unemployment benefits, Henry is extremely busy answering her clients’ questions and concerns. “Every single client has asked about the Recovery Rebate Credit. The Recovery Rebate Credit is non-taxable because it’s considered a part of disaster relief,” Henry said. She receives updates weekly because of the evolving Internal Revenue Service guidelines due to the pandemic.

She, along with other tax preparers, have had to juggle with all the changes around the federally taxed unemployment benefits. “I have many clients that are holding off on filing their taxes due to all the changes,” Henry said. The IRS stated that the first $10,000 of unemployment benefits for 2021 will not be federally taxed. Some of her clients are waiting to hear if that will be applied to unemployment benefits received for 2020.

It is also unclear to Henry on how to advise their clients on whether their Recovery Rebate Credit will be applied if an individual owes taxes and does not qualify for a refund. “The IRS has not stated or confirmed guideline procedures on how they will handle applying the stimulus if there is a tax liability,” Henry said. She is working hard to catch up on all her client’s files since she was out with the virus.

Henry’s Tax Solutions offers payroll and bookkeeping services and currently has five employees. Henry’s brother, Mark Valtierra, is in charge of working these payroll accounts. “Most of the companies we do payroll for are in the trucking or the construction business. These industries have not been affected by the pandemic.” Valtierra said.

Henry has experienced her set of challenges. She was recently forced to move her office location in Laveen, Ariz. to Downtown Phoenix. She has been in Laveen since 2018, but this was a decision that was ultimately necessary to keep her business going.

As of right now the IRS has not extended the tax deadline of Friday, April 15.