– January 21, 2002
Four office openings, relocation of 2 others among signs of progress.
The recession hasn’t slowed the growth of all businesses. In fact, the economic slowdown played a key role in Chuck McCabe’s decision to expand the operations of Peoples Income Tax, Inc.
McCabe is president and chief executive officer of the tax preparation company.
Peoples has 21 locations in central Virginia, including one office in Fredericksburg. The company employs about 20 full-time employees year-round and an additional 100 seasonal tax preparers.
Thanks to a growing pool of people seeking jobs last year, McCabe said he will be able to open four new offices this year: downtown at Seventh and Franklin streets; at The Creeks shopping center across from Virginia Center Commons; at Laburnum Park shopping center; and in Charlottesville at Fashion Square Mall. The Charlottesville location opened Wednesday.
Shifted for greater visibility
McCabe also has relocated two offices for greater visibility; The Genito Forest office is now at the Commonwealth Center in Chesterfield County, and the Colonial Heights office is now at Southpark Mall.
In addition, shoppers at three Community Pride grocery store locations can receive help from Peoples. The effort started Jan. 11 and will continue until the end of February. The participating stores include those at Harrison and Grace Streets, Southside Plaza and Mechanicsville Turnpike near Interstate 64.
“The combination of Community Pride and Peoples Income Tax names produces a real synergistic effort,” McCabe said, “and enables us to capitalize on the loyalty and brand recognition of two home-grown Richmond companies.”
Started in 1987
McCabe started Peoples in 1987 and operated three offices during the 1988 tax season. He founded the company after working for H&R Block for 19 years. McCabe worked in New York and Baltimore-Washington areas and helped establish offices in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He came to Richmond in 1983 to be regional director for the company.
McCabe said the company has put a heavy emphasis on technology since its early years. Peoples was one of three tax preparation companies in the state to use E-filing for the 1988 tax season, he said.
E-filing is a method of filing tax returns on-line. Peoples acquired a trade industry newsletter, E-Filing Today, and has a partnership with the Internal Revenue Serviece to promote E-filing. The IRS has a link on its Web site to the Peoples home page.
McCabe said the goal of the E-filing concept is to have 90 percent of filers using the online service instead of mailing their returns.
He said that the advantages of E-filing include greater accuracy and quicker refunds. E-filers also receive a receipt.
If a tax balance is due, filers can find that out in January but aren’t required to pay until April 15.
McCabe’s tax services vary in price according to the complexity of the tax return. Tax preparation for full-time students can cost as little as $25, while the services for other filers can run from $50 to several hundred dollars.
Appreciate the work they do
Richmond resident Sandy Stoddart said she’s been using Peoples to file her tax returns for four years. “I really appreciate the work they do.” she said. “They take the fear and intimidation out of doing taxes. They make it a personal experience.”
Dorothy Hall, past president of Virginia Credit Union, also is a longtime customer. “They have just been so helpful,” Hall said. “Not only do they help me during tax time, but I can pick up the phone anytime during the year and get advice.”
Peoples has facets other than tax returns. One is the Income Tax School, which is licensed by the Virginia Department of Education as a private career school. The school offers correspondence courses for people nationwide.
All materials, including books and manuals needed for the school, are published by Peoples. McCabe said more than 2,000 people and companies, locally and across the country, utilize the school each year. The 10-week course costs $149 including books and materials. “The school is an integral part of our business,” he said, “but our motivation isn’t the money, it’s the people.”
Interest has been so significant that Peoples has established an interactive online curriculum which will be available to the public August 1.