Mary Ann Adams

Dawn Cauthen-Thornton | November 16th, 2020
Mary Ann Adams (Photos by JLG Photography)

Mary Ann Adams (Photos by JLG Photography)

During the first quarter of the year millions of people sift through their mail to find W2 statements and other documents needed to settle the year’s income with the state and federal governments. Some welcome it if they’re expecting a refund and others dread it if they’re expecting to owe.

In 2004, Mary Ann Adams utilized the tax preparation services of a popular tax company and was surprised when she was audited later that year due to a mistake in the calculations. She likely trusted the service because of the well-known name but realized they make mistakes too.

“I asked the auditor how I could become a tax preparer so this wouldn’t happen again. And he pointed to the books on the shelf and said I needed to read all of those,” Adams laughs. She quickly enrolled in a course to become a certified tax preparer and had a secondary career the next year with the company who had prepared her taxes that triggered the audit.

In 2013, Adams decided she wanted to go through the grueling process of becoming an Enrolled Agent, which allows you to represent clients in front of the IRS should more serious matters occur.
She took a challenging course, studied for months, and submitted to a rigorous three-month background check. In 2014 she passed the exam and accomplished her goal of becoming a licensed Enrolled Agent. That same year, she decided it was time to step out and begin the process to open her own business. Months later, in 2015, Adams opened T/E Accounting & Tax Services in Greensboro. It offers a variety of services to small businesses and individual clients including bookkeeping, payroll, IRS representation, and of course tax preparation.

She purchased a franchise and renamed it Toro Taxes, Inc. in 2017, that caters to the Hispanic community with Spanish speaking preparers. Her next goal is to add an additional benefit to her Enrolled Agent certification – to be able to represent her clients in court during a tax discrepancy case. She would essentially act as her client’s lawyer. Unfortunately, the test has been postponed due to the Coronavirus.

With the pandemic causing mass unemployment and stimulus checks issued to families, Adams wants to make the community aware that filing taxes will look a little different this upcoming season. “Those who have children under the age of 17 most likely received quite a bit of money and it will definitely affect their filing next year. I don’t think a lot of people realize how it will impact them,” says Adams.

She is gearing up now for what she knows will be a busy season ahead. In fact, because Adams services businesses also, tax season is the entire year. It’s not simply January thru April as most people think.

“Tax season goes beyond the April 15th deadline. There are monthly sales and use taxes that have to be filed, some payroll taxes are monthly. There are certain deadlines for corporations on March 15th and April 15th. Then on May 15th nonprofits have a deadline. September and October there could be deadlines if an extension has been filed. So, there is a misconception that there is a tax season. But it’s all year long,” explains Adams. To stay current, Adams has to attend continuing education courses that teach her new tax laws and everything that may have been modified from the previous year. Then, every three years she must re-certify.

There is no doubt that Adams loves what she does. She has the flexibility of working from home or going into her office at her leisure. She admits that it’s hard work, but you must put in the time if you want a successful business. As much as she enjoys building her clientele, she doesn’t mind referring those she knows she can’t help. She’s witnessed other companies take advantage of customers financially then ask her to assist them in fixing their issue. It’s not about how much money she can make, it’s about how many people she can help.

Currently, Adams’ son and daughter-in-law also work for the business which makes it a family affair. She offers, the key to a family business is that you leave your drama at home. Even her grandchildren help around the office and get paid a small fee.

“If your office has a bad atmosphere, your clients can sense it. If you’re mad at me that day, stay home,” she says. “Right now, I’m sitting here with my kitchen table a mess and paperwork everywhere. I work all the time. Everyday. But I love what I do and wouldn’t change it for the world,” she beams.

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