Life Happens – So Do Taxes

September 02, 2016 : Annelise Wiens

Income Tax Course Sets Stage for Life of Mobility for Life-Long Learner

In college, Kristy Brown-Maldonado had a job working as a receptionist for H&R Block. But it wasn’t long before she set her sights on the tax desk.

“Something sparked, there was a lightbulb and I was like, ‘oh what they’re [H&R Block tax professionals] talking about is really interesting,’” said Brown-Maldonado. “I decided that the next year I was going to do taxes.”

Before next tax season rolled around, though, she had moved from Texas to Wichita, Kan. Once in her new home, she enrolled in H&R Block’s Income Tax Course, a 60-hour course designed to teach taxpayers how to prepare taxes like a professional.

“I signed up sight unseen, didn’t know my instructor, didn’t know anybody else in the city and I signed up to take my tax course.”

Drive to learn – and serve

Brown-Maldonado, who had “always been the kid that loved math” saw her new tax career as an opportunity to use her math skills and continue learning. H&R Block tax professionals have to take 18 hours of continuing education each year to keep doing tax returns for clients. But Brown-Maldonado says she has never taken fewer than 30 hours annually.

“I just find personal gain, personal knowledge, development just to be a drive of mine. I choose to just enhance my tax knowledge and try to make myself better in that realm,” said Brown-Maldonado.

She’s also enjoyed being able to help taxpayers change their lives. Taxes touch on virtually every aspect of a person’s life – from marriage, homeownership and health insurance status to moving for a job, starting a small business or saving for retirement.

“It seems so miniscule with the taxes, but it really is someone’s financial health. It’s the first step towards that,” Brown-Maldonado says of the tax planning and preparation experience.

Flexibility a perfect match for young professionals on the move

Since working at H&R Block during college, Brown-Maldonado has seen some significant life changes that have influenced her professional needs.

“It has been kind of a whirlwind. When I started at H&R Block, I was not married, I did not have any kids. I had two dogs and that was it,” said Brown-Maldonado. “Then I got married, bought a house, had a kid.”

Her career at H&R Block “let me adapt from being an office manager to an office manager who did taxes, to when I had my son, I pedaled back and did just taxes so I could spend more time with my son at home during his first year which was very important to me.”

Additionally, she has moved three times. But with an H&R Block office located within five miles of most Americans, whenever Brown-Maldonado moved, she found a local office where she could pick up her tax career.

The flexibility her career at H&R Block offered “was just a perfect match” for her and her family. “I fell in love,” she added.

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Annelise Wiens

Annelise Wiens

Editor and Producer

As the newsroom editor, Annelise Wiens is interested in more than just tax and industry news, but the stories of H&R Block's 80,000 associates, their communities and H&R Block's world headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri. Wiens joined H&R Block in 2014 from a public relations agency, where she worked with clients in the financial services industry. Before that, she worked as a communicator for a senior member of the United States House of Representatives. She graduated from Biola University in La Mirada, CA with a bachelor's degree in history.

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