At 75, Ken Koslowsky has no intention of stopping preparing personal income tax returns.
“I consider it community service,” he said. “Most people could do it themselves if they really wanted to, but I’m happy to do it for them.”
Koslowsky has been preparing tax returns for over 40 years. He started in an office in a hardware store that he and his brother, Tom, owned.
When they sold the business, they purchased an adjoining building, which is now Koslowsky’s accounting department office.
He keeps records for West Wind Properties LLC, a company he and his brother own that leases storage facilities.
He also provides accounting and payroll services, but most of his work involves preparing tax returns.
Customers trickle in from about January 15, and on February 1, her working days become long for 2.5 months.
He is in the office from 9 a.m. to noon and after lunch until 5:30 p.m. He comes back after supper, often working until 11 p.m. It’s his routine six days a week. He occasionally works a few hours on Sundays.
Koslowsky has had over 500 clients over the past three or four years. He expects an increase this year.
He mainly makes simple and individual declarations, as well as some companies and partnerships.
He remembers when he was filling out paper forms. His wife, Carla, typed them up and they were mailed.
Later, the forms were still mailed, but they were computerized and photocopied.
For the past 20 years or so, the whole process has been digital.
Any tax preparer with more than 50 clients is required to file electronically, Koslowsky said.
“It’s more accurate,” he said. “If it’s mailed, someone else has to put the data into the system, so there’s more chance of error.”
He urges everyone to keep the forms they receive in the mail for tax purposes. If a form is misplaced, they have to spend time and energy figuring out how to replace it.
If a client receives a letter from the IRS questioning something after filing a return, the client should deal with it quickly, he said. An amended declaration can be filed if necessary.
“I try to avoid extensions,” Koslowsky said. “If tax is due, payment is not extended, so the taxfiler will be penalized for late payment.”
He urges everyone to file a return to avoid penalties for not filing.
The deadline this year is April 18.
Although Koslowsky has no plans to stop preparing tax returns, at age 75 he is thinking about his clients’ future.
“I sometimes wonder what they will do when I’m gone,” he says. “There are not many tax preparers. I appreciate. I feel like I’m doing good. »