Rita Larkins – Taxx 1040

Dawn Cauthen-Thornton | July 16th, 2018
Rita Larkins (Photos by Chiadi Ugorji)

Rita Larkins (Photos by Chiadi Ugorji)

Rita Larkins is all about women’s empowerment and helping the African-American community succeed. One way to do that is to make dollars make sense. The Washington D.C. native, along with her business partner Daniela Sloane, owns 1040TAXX, and not only prepares taxes, but aims to educate the community on how to manage their money and build wealth.

For years, Rita worked at popular tax services while also working in the education sector as a Training and Development Leader. Every year, she noticed the same type of people frequenting the name brand tax services, but not receiving the best treatment. “They just didn’t care about the customer. They treated them all the same and would just take their money.” She grew increasingly frustrated, especially because these services are in predominately lower income areas, serving minorities.

Rita is the daughter of a Certified Professional Accountant. All her life, she saw her father serve his community and operate several businesses. After obtaining her certification and working in chain stores, she knew she could offer customers a more personalized experience and help them budget their tax refunds. Both ladies were looking to start a business and this budding idea seemed like the perfect fit. When the time was right, they struck.

“Once you have the desire to do something, you find the pieces to make it work. You find out everything that’s necessary to carry your business forward,” says Rita.

The ladies opened 1040TAXX in 2013 in Washington, D.C offering tax preparation services. By 2015, Rita had moved and opened a location in Charlotte, while Daniela opened the location in Atlanta. Since the inception, they have added credit repair and insurance services to include a full range of services.

“There is a saying that when you’re dealing with a black business you may not get the same level of service that you would get somewhere else. Well, we wanted to change that perception. We treat the person who’s getting the $10 refund the same as a $1,000 customer,” says Rita. The ladies decided they would be different by offering value-added services, highly skilled staff, an exceptional level of knowledge, and superior customer service. They revel in their customers’ results, whether it’s the ability to purchase their first home, or obtaining financing with acceptable interest rates.

While exploring entrepreneurship, Rita and Daniela, who is a project manager, noticed several other women in their same predicament. They wanted to own a business but lacked the knowledge on how to get started. Once Rita’s Charlotte location was up and running she sought other women to mentor and motivate. “In order to truly be blessed in your life, you have to be a blessing to someone else. We know that and we practice that.” Rita makes a point to work with non-profit organizations targeted at teens and young adults that teach job and life skills. “We talk to people about practical things you can do to make changes in your life and setting tangible goals,” Rita explains.

Next year, the duo will offer workshops on how to start a business, goal-setting, and a host of other topics they’re currently developing. The partners also provide franchise opportunities in Charlotte to others who are interested in the tax industry. “I liken myself to Harriet Tubman, when I break free, I feel like I need to go back and free others too,” Rita laughs

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