Attention All Mercer County Taxpayers, Tax Season Is Here

Congratulations to the Patriots — I mean the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — for their Super Bowl victory.

Here at Stein & Provost CPAs, LLP, we don’t have a lot of time to pay much attention to such doings since tax season is here. Even though the actual submission of tax returns to the IRS is delayed until Friday the 12th, we are knee deep in correspondence, calculations, research, and preparation on behalf of our Mercer County clients.

Perhaps you’re still figuring out what you should do for your taxes? And sure, I know how alluring it might be to trust your situation to a “simple” software, just as it might be difficult to move from one solution to another.

And I’d rather not bad mouth other Mercer County tax accountants in the area, but suffice to say that we’ve had to do our share of re-doing other tax accountants’ work. In some cases, we’ve recovered significant sums during an amendment process by reviewing an old return (from the last 3 years), and taking advantage of ethical and legal tax credits and deductions that other accountants don’t utilize (or know about).

Right in line with delivering great results, here’s one of my favorite stories to share.I do love this old story, simply because it’s so resonant to what we get to do as we prepare taxes for our Princeton friends here at Stein & Provost CPAs, LLP.

There are more than a few great lessons in it …

… the importance of knowing “who to call”
… the amount of knowledge that doesn’t get passed along during staff transitions
… the value of accumulated knowledge, skill, and practice.

And more.

But I’ve saved the most pertinent lessons for the end.

You see, years ago, a large manufacturing company was facing a crisis. The central conveyor belt of its automated assembly line quit running, and it brought the entire plant to a stop.

They tried everything they could think of (brought in consultants, tried some “easy buttons”), but no one was able to get the conveyor belt running again or even to identify what caused the breakdown in the first place. This was a big company; they were in a bind and because of it, they were losing money at the rate of $1,000,000.00 a day.

Finally, after a week of this (do that math), the executives told the plant manager to call Jim — the mechanical engineer who had retired the year before after 25 years with the company. The conveyor belt had been Jim’s specialty and primary responsibility.

When Jim got the call, he caught the next flight from the city where he now lived and arrived at the plant the next day. He met with the execs and the plant manager to get as much information as he could as to what had happened and what they had tried. He then walked slowly along the belt until he came to a particular point.

He put his ear against the machine and listened. He asked for a hammer and then gave the machine a swift and forceful blow.

“Give it a try now!” he called to the foreman. The conveyor belt started right up and ran like a dream.

Jim then left and went back home, but before he did, the company vice president told him to send them a bill for what he had accomplished. Two days later, the company received Jim’s invoice for one million dollars.

Thinking that was way too high for the little time Jim had spent to solve the problem, and how he did so with just a single blow from a hammer, the company wrote back and asked Jim to provide them with an itemization. This was Jim’s response:

One hammer blow: $2.00
Knowing where to hit it: $999,998.00

They immediately issued a check to him for the full amount.

The right knowledge is everything. The company could have given hammers to every employee in the plant and even had the execs banging on the machine from sunrise to sunset, but it would have done no good … because they didn’t have the knowledge; they didn’t know where to strike.

This is an old story, told in different ways, with different names and amounts. But it’s powerful for a simple reason: labor is NOT about how much “time” is put into executing a particular solution to a problem — it’s knowing when and how to do it.

In the realm of preparing your tax return, I urge you … do NOT fall prey to the thinking that a software program or talking heads on a floating desk can suffice to enable you to preserve your resources or properly leverage the multiplicity of credits, loopholes and deductions available.

(For instance, have you heard of the Augusta Loophole? We have, and we know how to claim it.)

Give yourself the gift of financial peace of mind during tax season, and do it with someone who knows how to do it right.

And for existing Mercer County clients, a favor …?

To help earn the trust of others as we grow our client base, we have one request of you…

Well, perhaps two.

If you have filed your taxes with us before, would you:

A) Write about how our team has helped you in the past? You can find us on Google, and we’d love to have your feedback!
Make us smile with a review on Google

(And if for some reason you weren’t satisfied with our service, please write me an email by using the email us button at the top of the page. I will do everything within my power to make it right, and will make it a priority, even this week.)

B) Would you forward this note to anyone you think would benefit from help with their taxes? Especially if it’s someone you think would prefer to file with a personable touch.

You can let him or her know we are willing to review their tax return to make sure that everything was done right for them. They can call us anytime at (609) 799-1040 and mention you referred them. We’re excited to hear from some of your friends and family.

Maybe that’s you?

We can’t wait to take a look at things in your taxes … and strike in the right place, on your behalf.


Stein & Provost CPAs, LLP
(609) 799-1040


We’re here to help. Let me know if you have any questions.
(609) 799-1040 


Stein & Provost CPAs, LLP
(609) 799-1040