Spotlight

Northside Tax Service: When clients are community

Northside Tax Service

Bellingham

http://www.nstax.net

Starting a business during a pandemic doesn’t come without challenges, but Northside Tax Service has worked hard to adapt to the times.

Since opening their doors toward the end of last year at the Park Manor Shopping Center in Bellingham’s Birchwood neighborhood, the collective of tax preparers with decades of experience between them have not only made sure clients are aware of the numerous ways staff can accommodate them during the process of filing their taxes, they’ve also put in place COVID-19 guidelines with safety in mind. Offering online tax preparation and drop-off services for individuals and businesses, limiting the amount of people in the office, and following strict cleaning protocols in between appointments are some of the ways they’re putting clients first.

According to Northside Tax Service owner Katelynn White and longtime tax return preparer Michael Langley, this priority on client satisfaction is one of the reasons they started the company in the first place.

“Everyone who works here is an established Whatcom County resident with a love for the community we live in,” they say. “We wanted to provide the area with the income tax experience of a large business, but with a friendly, small-business feel.”

To that end, other services Northside provides include an in-house notary, free consultations and assistance with IRS letters and notices, a pay-by-refund option, tax preparation with remote signing for those who aren’t able to come to the office, and a secure client portal that allows people to transfer data and review their information throughout the year.

Conveying information about tax changes related to the pandemic is currently also part of the job. The biggest filing and tax code changes people should be aware of, White and Langley say, have to do with stimulus packages, deductions and retirement accounts.
“The third stimulus program that went into effect this month instituted an unemployment exclusion of up to $10,200 per taxpayer,” they say. “Taxpayers who use the standard deduction can also take up to an additional $300 off their taxable income if they made monetary charitable contributions. Another change that affects seniors and retirees is that the required minimum distribution in 2020 was waived.”

They’re also able to answer questions about the new filing deadline that extended the tax season from April 15 to May 17, and have resource pages on their website that include pertinent details about IRS refunds, tax tips, ways to get ready to file, and what Northside can do to make the process as painless as possible.

Northside Tax Service has seen its goal of building long-lasting relationships come to fruition, mainly because they’ve made it a priority to ensure clients have a rewarding experience throughout the process.

“We send out customer service surveys to our clients—all of which have stated they were very satisfied with their experience and would recommend Northside to a friend or colleague,” White and Langley say. “It’s very uplifting to see these, along with other notes and emails from clients expressing the positive experience they’ve had with us. We’re excited to see how these relationships continue to grow.”

WHAT: Northside Tax Service
WHEN: 9am-7pm Mon.-Sat., 11am-5pm Sun.
WHERE: 1530 Birchwood Ave., Ste. D
INFO: http://www.nstax.net or www.facebook.com/northsidetaxservice

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