December 28th, 2020
From time to time, we like to shine a spotlight on a tax professional who is active in the Tax School community. Meet Elizabeth!
Hi, I’m Elizabeth Stock. I’m an Enrolled Agent and an avid traveler who is in love with the mountains. I’m a photographer, a wife to a patient man, and a mom to two lazy cats and a mischievous puppy. Oh, and I do taxes.
Q. What does a typical day look like for you?
A. At tax time, it’s hectic as usual at Taxlink Incorporated in Chicago, the firm I started in 2000. Since the pandemic, I’ve been hybrid working at the office and from home. We are going entirely paperless this year, and all appointments will be done over Zoom and/or the phone. So a typical day is really just answering email, attending to appointments, reviewing returns, solving world problems.
Q. Why did you get into the tax/accounting field?
A. I went to art school, so naturally I jumped into accounting.
I actually did put myself through art school while working in the financial industry, full-time at a brokerage firm and part-time at a tax office. I became discouraged by the job opportunities offered once I graduated, so I decided to pursue a career in taxation, started my business, and became an enrolled agent.
Q. What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
A. Interestingly enough, I didn’t have a mentor and never received much advice – it was usually baptism by fire with how to handle sticky situations – like, how to handle angry clients and bad employees.
But one thing I did learn was that unhappy clients are usually unhappy about their tax situation, and so long as I’ve done everything I can to walk them through the how and why, I’ve helped them to make educated decisions in the future (and alleviate some of that tax time stress).
Q. What do you like about Tax School seminars/webinars/workbook?
A. Every year there is the “how long have you been coming to Tax School” contest and I was so looking forward this year to being able to stand up and be one of the final long-time tax school participants (of 27 years, I only missed one Fall Tax School).
I really appreciate the content that is taught, the knowledge of the instructors, and the material that I can refer back to. This year being online was great, but I do hope we can get back to meeting in person again. Not that I like getting up so early, but seeing people in person…you know. I didn’t know how much I would miss that.
Q. Has Tax School helped you in your job and/or to serve your clients in any way?
A. Tax School has been so helpful in guiding me through difficult tax situations – the question & answer segments have helped to make me look like a hero to clients (or at the very least, extremely smart).
Q. What are your favorite ways to get tax information?
A. The day I realized I could ask complicated questions (or even no-brainer questions with no judgement) through the Tax School Facebook group was a wonderful day. Super helpful. I expect to be very active, asking even more questions this coming season with all the fun changes in the tax arena.
Interview edited for content and clarity.
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