By James Clingman
When the tax man cometh, Black dollars “goeth.” Where will they goeth? Down a myriad of paths in pursuit of new items such as furniture, cars, clothing, and other niceties. But first, unless you do your own tax return or get it done for free by someone, Black dollars goeth to tax preparation firms, the vast majority of which are not owned by Black people. I can hear the two excuses right now: “I don’t know where to find a Black tax firm;” and “I don’t want ‘them’ to know my business.” The first one I can deal with, but the second excuse just blows my mind.
Nonetheless, let’s see if we can get the conscious ones out there to give a Black-owned company some business. There are many independent Black-owned and operated tax preparation firms, and we should seek them out, especially if they exist locally. But, there is one I have written about for years now that I strongly encourage you to support. With more than 200 offices in various cities, Compro Tax is the oldest and largest Black-owned tax/financial assistance firm in the country. Go to the website, comprotax.net, and find the office closest to you, which eliminates the first excuse for some of you.
As for the second excuse, and those among us who are still suffering from psychological enslavement, thinking Black businesses are somehow less competent and beneath the businesses of others, you need serious help. Knowing your business is exactly what you want in a tax firm. The better they know what you are doing, the better they can serve your needs. After all, unless you prepare your own tax return, you are going to have to tell your business to somebody. Why not Compro Tax or some other Black-owned tax business? Whether you file a personal return or a business return, complete with all the forms for rental expense, capital gains, or real estate transactions, Compro Tax professionals can and will provide you with complete and expert service.
In business for more than 30 years and headquartered in Beaumont, Texas, Compro Tax is dedicated to helping its employees and franchise owners obtain the training they need to provide great service to their customers; it also offers great incentives that result in entrepreneurship and wealth-building opportunities. Compro Tax owners believe in giving back; they built their own convention center (Compro Event Center) in which to hold annual events and training, and they rent space to other local and national groups for their conferences and events, thus, creating jobs and business opportunities in the Beaumont community.
Compro Tax, founded by Mr. Jackie Mayfield, is well ahead of the consciousness curve and has set a great example for other Black businesses to follow; but more importantly, it has built a viable, sustainable, and needs-based business, one that millions of people can use throughout the year, not just during tax filing time. It doesn’t open a storefront in your neighborhood in December and close down in April. It is always there, and its offices are committed to and engaged in their respective communities.
In keeping with my theme of economic empowerment, this is about Black business in general, not just one individual business. This is about doing what every other group in this country does in a “competently unconscious” way. They support one another and grow their businesses to the point of being able to provide jobs for their own children. What many of us do is simply get mad and complain about them instead of doing what they are doing.
The more we pass our dollars around to one another, the more empowered we become and the stronger we will be, even to the point of building and maintaining a solid unshakeable economic foundation for our young people. We will also provide them with the proper examples of what they, in turn, should do.
So, while this is not entirely about Compro Tax, I do encourage you to seek them out, as well as other Black-owned tax preparation firms in your city. You will develop relationships with some great people, and you will be exposed to an opportunity to open your own tax preparation business. Taxes comprise a recession-proof industry, as you well know, because no matter what the economy does, the tax man will cometh; and your tax dollars, preparation fees and refunds, will goeth to someone. Make every effort to make them goeth to a Black business.
(Note: Ironically, while writing this I received a call from a White friend of mine asking for the number of “that tax firm you told me about.” It was Compro Tax in Cincinnati, Robin Lewis, Owner. I encourage everyone to use Black-owned businesses; their success is America’s success.)
Jim Clingman, founder of the Greater Cincinnati African American Chamber of Commerce, is the nation’s most prolific writer on economic empowerment for Black people. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati and can be reached through his Web site, blackonomics.com.