President Obama was in Scranton, Pennsylvania today to talk about the importance of extending the payroll tax cut for all working Americans and their families, and for the strength of the overall economy. These tax cuts will also have a tremendous impact on America's small businesses, 91.5 percent of which have fewer than 5 employees. The White House Business Council spoke to the owner of one such business in Knoxville, Tennessee who says the President's plan will help her business grow by freeing up her own capital, and that of her potential and existing clients as well.
The tax code and creativity are not commonly linked in the minds of most people. Not so for Jenny Hines, President of Hines and Company Accountants, located in Knoxville, Tennessee. “I was always interested in taxation not simply because of the planning and number crunching,” says Jenny, “but because that planning required a certain level of creativity.”
After graduating from the University of Tennessee with a Masters Degree in Taxation, Hines went to work for one of the largest CPA firms in the country. But after watching many of the firm’s small business clients unable to afford its services, she decided to strike out on her own. “There was an attitude at the large firm – and it certainly wasn’t everybody, but still – that was ‘How little work can we do, and still charge the client?’ People and their businesses were too often treated like commodities."
So in 1990, Hines founded Hines and Company. Her mission was simple: provide outstanding professional services and excellent products for clients at a reasonable price. The company now provides tax, auditing, and accounting services for a diverse range of clients in the Knoxville area. “I wanted to create an atmosphere where people feel like coming to work, and are proud of what they do. Let’s be fair to our clients, and do the work well – I want every one of our employees to be happy when they walk in the door, and every one of our clients to be happy when they walk out of it.”
While owning her own firm has presented many challenges, Hines and Company is thriving. Hines projects that she will add two more positions over the next year. Those numbers could look better with the American Jobs Act. According to Hines, the payroll tax cuts and expensing provisions in the President's plan to create jobs will "provide tremendous savings for us and allow us to potentially invest in new computer equipment." More than that, according to Hines, these provisions will help her company attract new clients by freeing up the capital small businesses in the area have to invest. "It really changes the game for folks because it changes purchasing power – for a tax consulting service like ours, it might mean that more small businesses could afford our services.”
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