H&R Block tax pro and minister Joyce Taylor serves Bronx community
According to Joyce Taylor, the most common things people pray about are their health and their money. As an H&R Block tax professional and an ordained minister, she would know. If those two things are taken care of, people have a lot of weight off their minds.
A self-proclaimed math fan from the Bronx, Taylor’s life and work is about more than math and numbers: her fondness for people is prominent in Taylor’s life. She leads a group of tax professionals, helps clients with tax situations year-round, ministers to her congregation and volunteers in her childhood neighborhood.
Taylor has preached for weddings, baby dedications, graduations and funerals: the happiest of times and the saddest days. She has preached at more than 30 funerals and works to help the families bridge from life to eternity leading up to the funeral and in the following year.
She has performed happier services, including three weddings. In 2012, H&R Block tax professional Christy Ann King asked Taylor to marry her. Taylor got the text at her desk at the tax office saying King’s fiancé was ready for a wedding ceremony. The couple had been to city hall and gotten the license days before. Taylor wasn’t dressed for the occasion, but she picked up her bag that always includes a Bible and headed to the couple’s home. Taylor assembled the groom’s stepson and a neighbor as witnesses and started the ceremony.
“Joyce, or Aunt Joyce, has been a mentor to me. She is our marriage counselor, friend, part of the family, and attends family gatherings. She is important in our lives and our family,” said King.
Shepherding her flock; parishioners and students alike
Taylor claims being a minister helps her be a better manager and being a manager helps her be a better minister. Not only is Taylor an H&R Block tax pro, but she also manages a team of tax pros and teaches and trains others about the tax code. She has learned patience from her Bible studies that she has applied to her team in the tax office.
“With my staff, I see them individually. My ministry helps me appreciate my staff. It builds my desire to pull my team and get them to their capacity of what they can do and encourage them to gain confidence and achieve more and more,” said Taylor.
Her teaching approach is to bring along the entire flock of sheep and not lose anyone at any point in learning the materials. In 2007, after seven years of teaching the income tax course in H&R Block offices, Taylor started teaching the course at local colleges. She helped students who were passionate about numbers turn their interest into a position as a tax professional. Her success rate is high; in more than 10 years of teaching, she had only three students not pass. She credits that to her willingness to support students, teach and reteach and spend the time with students.
Taylor has also served on finance committees and supported the operations of food pantries. She believes her business skills brought a higher level of performance to those functions.
“My role as a tax professional has helped my church and every area that I have volunteered, I have been able to improve with some skill I have gained at H&R Block,” said Taylor.
While her work spans the spiritual to the financial, she’s ministered and worked in her childhood neighborhood. In her 24-year career at H&R Block, Taylor has almost always worked from the same office in the Bronx. She’s been to other offices to learn new skills or help for a period of time, but she’s worked on Southern Boulevard for 24 years and has clients that have stayed with her from the beginning, spanning generations.
“I’ve been shopping or in the hair salon and at church and kids say ‘that’s the tax lady,” said Taylor. “The children are an amazing thing because over the years, my clients’ children have grown and now I work with them. Helping get them to college, teaching them how to save money because this not just a tax part but a financial balance that I try to show.”
Becoming a local tax preparer
Her start in the tax business was about learning more. She was working part-time for an individual tax preparer. As her work progressed, she had more questions for the preparer. Frustrated and out of resources to provide Taylor, he sent her to the H&R Block Income Tax Course. Her course instructor liked her attitude and her near-perfect exam score. The instructor hired her to work for H&R Block. She worked evenings and weekends with clients while working a daytime accounting position in the insurance industry for the next few years. In 1999, the insurance company relocated and Taylor, with a son still in high school, did not. It was the same year “stormy” year when she first heard the call to the ministry and became ordained.
“I was headed back to college for a few courses while my son finished school,” said Taylor of her plans after the relocation announcement.
Within weeks of her company leaving the area, Taylor got a call from her manager at H&R Block asking her to teach classes, both introductory and advanced tax courses. She was working full-time within days.
Tax professionals caring for people in every interaction, conversation and in every community are part of H&R Block. It is how H&R Block has its clients’ back. For individuals with a passion for people and helping others, enrolling in the H&R Block’s Income Tax Course could be a connection to more people. Enroll online or call 1-800-HRBLOCK.
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