Tamara Hicks

Dawn Cauthen-Thornton | January 16th, 2018
Tamara Hicks (Photo by Todd Youngblood)

Tamara Hicks (Photo by Todd Youngblood)

A year after we first introduced you to Tamara Hicks, TPR Solutions is still going strong. The owner and operator of the tax business is back to share a few thoughts on the upcoming season that could save you time, money, and a few headaches. She’s also working on enhancing her other projects.

Even though there is a ‘season’ for taxes, Tamara offers her services year-round to better serve her growing clientele. When most tax-based businesses operate during the busy season of January through April, Tamara sees the benefit in taking on the client who may be late to file, or those that simply have questions they need answered. She also makes house calls and accepts documents via email.

“People don’t know that they can file the previous year’s taxes up until mid-October. That doesn’t stop your payments if you owe, and there may be a late penalty involved, but you can still get it done,” Tamara explains.

To help prepare, here are a few do’s and don’ts to consider:


  1. Make sure to have ALL documents needed to file. Especially all W2s if you’ve had or currently have multiple employers.
  2. Confirm that your address is up-to-date with current and previous employers to ensure you receive necessary documents.
  3. If you want to claim health-related costs, provide receipts from the provider (not just bank statements) and insurance documents.
  4. Have direct deposit to avoid the hassle of waiting by the mailbox, if you’re expecting a refund.
  5. If your tax preparer offers it, and if you’re eligible, consider a loan advance (up to $1200.00).
  6. Keep previous filings for at least four years.


  1. Be in a rush to file. Again, make sure all needed documents are received before filing.
  2. Attempt to claim false deductions. Doing so can trigger an audit and cause unwanted trouble.
  3. Expect a miracle. The IRS receives the same documents from employers. Be realistic in your expectations of a refund or overages you’ve received (that you will need to pay back).
  4. Wait too late. Filing after the deadline can result in additional fees, higher penalties, and unnecessary stress.
  5. Entrust your personal information with anyone you’re unsure about or someone who doesn’t have the proper training and credentials.

With the new tax reform bill being signed into law recently, Tamara knows there will be many changes coming down the pike and waits patiently for updates to pass on to her customers. She not only takes pride in being knowledgeable about taxes, but she educates her customers and helps them understand the process. “Many business owners don’t know the things they can write-off or how to keep proper records so I try to stress the importance of those things.” To stay competitive, she uses the same top-of-the-line programs that the popular chain services use and takes update courses every year.

When Tamara isn’t crunching numbers, she works for Mecklenburg County as a Licensed Professional Counselor, upgrading from an Assistant title. In working for the county, she experienced the highly-publicized system hacking in December. “We had to resort to writing everything down, doing things over the phone, and using as little of the internet as we could. I couldn’t provide lots of clients with the benefits they receive because of it. And there was nothing we could do about it.”

Within the next few years, Tamara would like to expand her counseling services to substance abusers, trauma victims, the LGBTQ community, and other communities in need. She has a multicultural outlook on her next career move and wants to meet people where they are in their journey. In January, she’ll be working with a group home in her hometown of Winston Salem, N.C., as well as accepting clients to counsel one-on-one in Charlotte.

“I have been on both sides of the desk. That’s why I want to focus on early childhood and adult trauma. I’ve seen the benefits of it firsthand. I was an adult who needed to be heard from events that happened as a child,” admits Tamara.

In 2017, the #MeToo movement became the center of most media outlets, and Tamara understands why victims of sexual violations choose to stay silent for years. She’s glad that rights are being respected and supports those that have and will come forward with their truths. Those are the souls she wants to reach. Therapy and counseling is extremely taboo in the Black community, but can be a necessary part of coping and healing. The key is finding a stranger you can relate to and match with your personality.

Tamara Hicks has set out to do it all. From tackling your taxes one W2 at a time, to providing a piece of mind, one session at a time. Slowly but surely, she plans on making her mark.

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