SWANTON VILLAGE –– This time of year is always busy for any tax office, and Tax Pros is no exception.
However, where Tax Pros does stand out, besides being locally owned, is that its entire staff is always available, not just during the annual January to mid-April crunch.
“We’re a year-round tax service,” says Nancy Clayton, of Isle LaMotte, who owns Tax Pros with her husband, John.
Rounding out Tax Pros’ three-person office on Swanton Village’s First Street is Louisette Belanger, a tax preparer with a specialty in foreign income and credits, which are mainly connected to Canada, due to Swanton’s proximity to the U.S.-Canada border.
“Some of Nancy’s clients have been with her for 20 years, so a lot of this is about trust between the client and preparer,” Louisette said, while seated with Nancy and John at Tax Pros.
“And our rates are more than competitive,” John said.
Tax Pros’ menu of services runs the gamut, from tax preparation on all levels – including farms, Nancy’s specialty – to payroll for small companies. Tax Pros also offers services in tax planning.
The Tax Pros staff also belongs to the National Association of Tax Preparers, so they are constantly keeping themselves tuned with training and education.
John is not a tax preparer. He is the customer service representative at Tax Pros and is semi-retired from the construction industry. He works at Tax Pros full-time during the busy tax season.
John is originally from Walpole, Mass.; Nancy hails from Connecticut. They both spent their summers in Grand Isle County as children but didn’t meet in Vermont until they were both living in the state as adults, in the early 1970s.
Nancy actually took her first tax course in the early 1980s so that she could help John and his brother figure out the first year of books in their new construction business. The year 1982 was Nancy’s first official tax season.
Nancy initially worked at the H&R Block office that her mother, the late Harriet Pearson, owned in St. Albans. Nancy bought that franchise in 1993.
“I still have some of her clients,” Nancy said.
Nancy sold the office back to H&R Block in 2003 and stayed there until 2008, about a year before she opened Tax Pros.
Nancy hired Louisette at her H&R Block office in 1993. They have worked together for 20 years.
“Nancy has always had a great reputation when it comes to the confidentiality you need to do this work,” Louisette said.
Tax Pros is growing, and the Claytons want to see what happens with it. If business growth requires new space, they might have to consider that option, John said, but he and Nancy would like to keep their business in Swanton.
“It’s nice that there’s not quite anyone like us in Swanton,” Nancy said.