Department Store Tax Preparation

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I worked my way through college. Although I was pursuing a degree in journalism and English literature, there was a tax accountant inside, trying to get out. Mostly out of curiosity, I took the tax prep class that was offered at the nearby H&R Block office, and then I spent my last few months of college juggling classes with filling out tax returns at the local Sears store in the H&R Block kiosk.

I was surprised to see people come to the store to have their taxes prepared. I think they liked the atmosphere - it's much nicer to sit down in a department store that you trust, where you can bring your kids and do a little shopping - than it is to sit in a sterile office where you would never go except for the requirement to get your taxes done. (Let me just add that, at the time, it never occurred to me that people might want to rethink having a 22-year-old college girl, who's studying for a Shakespeare exam between customers, prepare their tax returns, with no supervision in sight. I'm not saying I wasn't ace at tax prep, it just seems a bit odd in retrospect.) At any rate, the department store tax preparation model is still going strong, and now there are more players and more department stores from which to choose.


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