Life Happens – So Do Taxes
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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