H&R Block Silver Parkway Office Expanding

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H&R Block Silver Parkway Office Expanding To Better Serve Their Local Community

 
H&R Block Silver Parkway Sign 
You may know H&R Block as one of the most recognized brands worldwide, it represents value, integrity, and strong client focused service. On January 6th, just in time for the looming tax season, H&R Block's Silver Parkway Office reopened their doors to an entirely upgraded and expanded office. While the address remains the same, visitors will be greeted with a new, more convenient entrance. The office was closed for two months while significant renovations were taking place inside. While negotiating their own lease renewal, H&R Block was able to acquire the vacant retail space adjacent to their old office. A former insurance agency, the newly acquired space nearly doubled their old square footage. Once H&R Block took ownership, a complete renovation was set in motion. According to Patrick McGorisk, Franchise Owner, "The interior was completely remodeled and upgraded to include 20 private offices to serve clients. Clients' response is fantastic. We made a significant investment signing a new long term lease and upgrading the entire system, everything is new, including every client! The upgrade included new networking and computer equipment significantly increasing speed integrating with the IRS with continued focus on data protection. We also added a new larger LED sign out front, it's brighter, bigger, and saves energy!"

Patrick shares why their franchise story is unique to H&R Block and the tax services industry. "The two Fenton H&R Block offices became part of our Franchise Group in 2010. Previous to 2010 the offices were "Company" stores owned by H&R Block. About half of H&R Block offices throughout the country are franchise and half owned by H&R Block" As a successful franchisee in Michigan we were offered an opportunity to make an investment in Fenton, with the addition of the Fenton locations our Franchise Group has eight offices in Michigan. Being locally owned and operated gives us some “skin in the game” serving the community. I believe it makes a big difference in how we approach the business. "

  

This major renovation was not the first for Patrick. When corporate downsizing forced a change after 22 years in the financial service industry, this excellent opportunity emerged. Patrick recalls, "I worked for a Financial Services firm that was acquired by H&R Block in 1999. Then in 2005 I found myself on the outside looking in and needed to start the next chapter of my career. One of the driving factors in making this life changing career move was noticing the attitudes of other H&R tax professionals. In my previous career I had a chance to visit hundreds of H&R Block offices across the country and gained a great deal of respect and admiration for the tax professionals serving clients." Patrick said, "I came to find out the average tenure and experience of the tax professionals was off the charts relative to most industries. Many tax professionals had achieved the highest levels of education and spent decades working for Block. They love their job. The seed was planted that someday I could purchase a Block office as a franchise, return to my passion as a financial advisor, serve the clients financial services needs, and work with some amazing skilled individuals in the tax services industry." Much like the hundreds of clients they currently serve that have recently endured a career change, he knew almost immediately what he wanted to. His first tax season as an H&R Block owner was 2006 in Clarkston, Michigan.

He spent the first few years learning the tax business and over time has surrounded himself with a talented crew representing some of the most experienced and highest regarded tax professionals in the industry. Tax professionals and financial advisors have been jointly helping clients for many years. He says, "Some wear 'both hats' and serve clients in several capacities while most have a referral relationship with a trusted individual. I underestimated what it would take to run multiple offices in such a dynamic industry. Now that we are serving multiple communities and have such a strong team in place I have been able to focus time on the clients that need help with retirement while our core group serves tax clients."

Patrick is passionate about a business that allows him to focus on his strengths while confidently relying on his talented staff at each of his branches. Having made it through the early years, he gets to look a little farther forward now. "It’s exciting to leverage a great company like H&R Block into a community like Fenton. It’s a privilege to serve our staff and clients. I get to step away from day to day functions and look to opportunities to enhance our infrastructure and environment to help the staff serve their clients. Creating a friendly, productive environment to serve clients is a significant part of what I do and during tax season, this means being on call 24/7. There is no substitute for hands on, everything from networking and IT issues to facility repair. That said, my true passion is helping clients with the retirement planning. I let our exceptional team handle the IRS and get clients the maximum from a tax return, that’s where we really shine." They have grown all client segments over the past three years but have really made inroads into complex and small company returns. They specialize in estates, trusts, and unique returns like farming and trucking… and offer a great deal on dependent and EZ returns.

In response to being asked why he selected Fenton as a branch location, Patrick said, "Like all the communities we serve in Michigan, the economic environment has been tough. It’s reflective in every aspect of the business. From client hardship to commercial real estate. Compared to the other markets we serve in Michigan, Fenton is leading the charge as the state rebounds. The people in Fenton are great. It’s a wonderful community. While I was aware of the staff and opportunity in Fenton when I made the purchase of the Fenton offices in 2010, I really had no idea how lucky I was to have taken advantage of this opportunity. With our expansion of the Silver Parkway location this year, I now have my own desk in Fenton! I am learning what a great place it is all the time. There is so much to learn about the community, the story gets better all the time. It’s great to see new businesses opening and crowded restaurants. I have come to like Fenton so much we made an offer on a commercial building this past fall."

Their H&R Branch is open year round to serve their clients. "The IRS sends letters and conducts audits year round, and clients need a local source that can provide personal help with complex issues. We often get the IRS agent on the phone with the client right here in Fenton. Whether it’s a retirement question, a 401K rollover, or the unwelcome inquiry from the IRS…we are here to help. The State of Michigan has already started to send inquiries regarding 2013 returns. We make a difference in clients lives. We will review up to three years of previous returns for free. Just bring in the tax return and supporting documentation and we’ll go to work. " Here is a link that describes the power and benefits of Second Look. Community members can begin an assessment right here. Http://www.hrblock.com/tax-offices/extended-tax-services/past-taxes.html

They believe it is their duty to get every dollar Uncle Sam owes Fenton and work hard to give their clients every chance they are legally allowed to get the maximum from their tax preparation. They enjoy sharing their many success stories including:

"A client went to one of our competitors to have her taxes prepared, that year she had over 10 cancellation of debt forms from credit card debt. The competitor company said she was responsible to pay the tax on over $100,000. The client had a gut feeling that the tax professional was wrong. She ended up calling our Fenton Office and was referred to one of our tax professionals. The result came to be that the client was insolvent meaning she had more debt than assets and was not held responsible to pay the debt on forgiven credit card debt. It saved her thousands of dollars!"

Another story from the past year was:

"A client that received a letter from the IRS questioning her 2106 un-reimbursed employee expenses for tax year 2009. This client had all of her receipts that matched the tax return perfectly, where the problem came into play was the IRS wanted the company's policy pertaining to employee reimbursement. They wouldn't even look at the receipts until they held the policy in their hands. The company filed bankruptcy and went out of business in 2010 which meant that there was no way of getting a copy. Our Tax professional worked on this over 8 months faxing copies of the w2 showing no reimbursed, writing letters, proving these expenses were legit, and finally this client received a letter in the past month saying the audit was complete. They don't owe any additional monies!"

And yet another story that is too familiar when they review clients past returns.

"A young former Military family came in with their 2 children, they were struggling to find work and Healthcare. In the past, they were stationed in 3 different states but Michigan remained their tax home. For tax years 2009 through 2012 they had never filed a State of Michigan tax return. The tax preparation company didn’t think about the fact that this family was eligible for certain credits. Our Silver Parkway Tax Professional conducted a second look and found over $3200!!! Then reviewed our Helpth healthcare website and helped them get health insurance too.

Patrick says, "Our Tax Professionals make the difference in Fenton and surrounding areas. We have six enrolled agents in Fenton. There is no substitute for the interaction of a client and a tax professional during the tax interview. Every client situation is unique to that client… and it takes an expert to relate the clients personal situation to the complex, continually changing tax code. Our staff sets the standard in the industry. We strive to create a friendly environment to offer clients a high value experience guaranteeing the maximum benefit for their household or business."

He believes,"Our customers choose to do business with our HR Block Brand because we make them feel confident that their taxes are completed accurately. We always stand behind our work. If we make a mistake or the IRS does not agree with our preparation, we will pay the penalty and interest. If the client chooses to purchase our POM product, the error or discrepancy could be covered, HR Block would pay the penalty and interest along with the additional tax up to $5500. "

They have over 275 years of tax experience between all of their tax professionals with 6 out of our 14 professionals being an Enrolled Agent registered with the IRS. Continuing Education is a significant part of what we do. The staff attends classes through Block, the National Association of Tax Preparers and universities like MSU annually.

The staff is linked directly to the community. All reside in Fenton or the surrounding area. They are active in schools, churches, kids sports, everything. This is the place they choose to live and do business. The Office Leaders have been working for Block for many years: To be sure the success of each Fenton office is a direct reflection of the team and leader. Patrick says, "The leadership we have in Fenton makes a difference every day.

The Fenton East office on Leroy Street is managed by Donna Clark. Donna has worked at this location for 7 years and HR Block 16 years now. She retired from Citizens Bank and thought this would be a great seasonal job and would keep her math skills sharp. Donna started out being a tax professional then was offered a great opportunity to write returns and manage the Fenton East office. Fenton East also has a great group of employees who take great pride in serving their clients.

The Silver Parkway office is one of the most productive offices in the Block system. Dawn Matuscak currently manages the HR Block Silver Parkway location. She has worked in this location for 9 years with a total of 13 years with the Brand. "I decided to take the class way back when because we had a CPA preparing our Personal and S-Corporation business returns and shortly after the filing dates we received a letter from the IRS showing a few mistakes and an additional balance due." She thought, “I could learn how to do these returns, understand what is needed to file a proper tax return and save us $1200 in tax preparation fees. " She signed up for the accelerated class. Dawn said as it was nearing the time to take the test, "I remember the District manager coming into one of the sessions inviting students to apply for work, but I refused to consider it until I passed the final exam. Well you probably guessed, I passed, and the rest is history. I worked as a Tax Professional the first year, but I wasn't getting enough out of the job so that summer I decided to apply for a management position at that location. It turned out that the next season I was placed at the Fenton Road location as a manager. At the end of two years, I proceeded to work my magic to be transferred to the Silver Parkway Fenton location. My wish was granted that next tax season, and since then I loved every bit of it. We're like a family, we help each other work through special tax circumstances and always put the client first. This group of ladies and gentleman are definitely a monumental piece to what makes the City of Fenton a wonderful place to work and live."

Patrick and his wife Denise live here in southeastern Michigan and are busy raising four teenagers. One at MSU, one off to Western in the fall, and two in high school. They spend as much time as possible at their cabin up north near Petoskey and Indian River on Burt Lake. They are Spartan Sports fans and attend football and basketball games. "We always Cheer for The University of Michigan except for game day when the Maize and Blue versus the Green and White……...Go Green! Michigan is a great place to live and raise a family."

As for the newly renovated H&R Block branch on Silver Parkway, Patrick says "The investment made perfect sense, it fits with our vision of what each and every client deserves. A friendly, secure, confidential environment focusing only on the client, eliminating the distractions of a busy office. We invite all the community to stop by and take a look!



17135 SILVER PKWY
FENTON, MI 48430
810-629-0707

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