The Best Tax Preparer in Iowa│Carrie Houchins-Witt
If there is one tip being an Entrepreneur aka #girlboss that I have learned, it is that you don't have to be the jack of all trades. Yes, it's essential to know how your business is running and what needs to be happening but it is also important to OUTSOURCE! If you haven't done this yet, let me tell you...it is going to rock your world!
Honestly, I like to be able to do everything in my life and have a really hard time letting go. It wasn't until I found out I had missed a tax law and ended up with some hefty fees, that I decided something needed to change. World, let me introduce you to Carrie!
Carrie is a guru when it comes to Iowa business and taxes. She helped organize my business finances and saved me months of panicking while trying to figure out future tax info. If you are going to start outsourcing, this is where you need to begin. Personally, I don't have time outside of my family and work to be staying up to date on Iowa tax laws when I can give my financial info to Carrie and count on her prepping it perfectly!
Sooooo, book a time with her, get yourself in the car, drive to Coraville, let her take care of the taxes and get a donut on your way out (yes her office happens to be above Hurts Donuts haha)! I asked Carrie to share a little bit more about her awesome business below, as well as some tips for us business owners :)
How did you get started in Tax and Financial Services? I’ve always loved numbers and taxes and found myself doing taxes (for free!) for my artist friends who hated taxes. I then realized that this was an important service I could provide, and I opened up shop in 2006.
What do you specialize in? I specialize in tax preparation for individuals and small businesses, and I love working with self-employed artists (photographers, actors, musicians, etc.). For financial planning, I focus my practice on growing families and their financial needs.
What did you do before? I was a theater major in college! I spent many years working as a professional actor, but I always gravitated toward day jobs that were challenging and numbers-related. I worked in the hotel industry as a revenue manager for many years. I also was a stay-at-home mother while I built up my practice for the first 8 years.
What is the biggest mistake you see small business owners/photographers make when it comes to finances or taxes? Not being organized. You should be keeping track of all of your income and expenses throughout the year. If you meet with me in March and realize you didn’t keep necessary receipts, we cannot deduct those expenses. You’ll end up paying way more in tax than you need to!
Do you have a couple of secrets or tips when it comes to staying organized financially etc. as a business owner? Software is great, but it’s not for everyone. There are many systems that work (software, envelopes, yellow pads!), so find the one that works best for you. But the key is, don’t wait until the end of the year to start organizing your finances. Keep good track throughout the year (weekly or monthly) to reduce the time you’ll spend. Tax time will be much easier and more pleasant!)
What should a business owner have ready when working with you? Your previous tax returns, and a full Profit and Loss report for your business. (A Profit and Loss report shows me all of your income and expenses for the year.)
How you different than say a typical tax preparer? I want my clients to be educated and in charge of their own financial life, so I don’t mind spending time with you to explain everything. I may be a little more laid-back than a typical tax preparer, and I definitely love working with artists. I speak the language!
If you could go back in time and spend the day with anyone...who would it be? My mom. I just lost my mom in December and I would give anything to have one more day with her.
What is your favorite movie? I love movies!! Especially musicals. I wish there were more movie musicals being made, but I have loved Grease, West Side Story, The Sound of Music, and Dreamgirls. But I have to say – I prefer stage to screen….
If you had one wish, what would it be? I wish I could go visit Greenland. I am fascinated with the icebergs and glaciers. I am hoping to go there in 2018!
Something most people don't know about you? I visited all 50 states before age 30!
• Caitlyn •
Pink Flower Photography based in Marion Iowa