Victoria business owner stays cool despite tax deadline
April 14, 2014 at 7:04 p.m.
Updated April 13, 2014 at 11:14 p.m.
After Tuesday, Letty Juarez will have to replace the batteries in her door chime.
The chime has been slowly dying as her clients have continued to pour into her office to file taxes with Juarez & Juarez.
For nearly two decades, Juarez, 39, of Victoria, has been crunching numbers behind a large wooden desk her father once sat behind.
Tuesday marks the deadline to file taxes.
Juarez & Juarez Bookkeeping and Income Tax Service is a 40-year-old family-run business in Victoria, and up until a few years ago, it was run by her mom and dad.
Since they passed the business on to her, she works with the longtime customer base her parents built and said she adds more each tax season. It's what her parents would have enjoyed seeing, Juarez said.
"We depend on her," Shelia Edwards, of Goliad, said of the tax preparer. "We've been coming to her for years."
Monday afternoon, Edwards, 49, came in from the cold, wet weather and took a seat on the couch in the waiting room while Juarez filed away two years of tax information for another client.
Loretta Ramirez, of Cuero, sat quietly waiting to sign a few papers that were coming out of a small desktop printer within an arm's reach of Juarez.
"I didn't file last in 2012," Ramirez said. "I needed to get caught up."
Juarez, despite the heavy workload, stays cool under the demand of the tax deadline. Her hands clack across her black keyboard, much like a pianist performing on stage. Punching keys on the number pad has almost become muscle memory to Juarez, since she no longer needs to remove her gaze from her papers in her lap.
Ramirez, 47, came to Juarez & Juarez after her friends and family said she was easy to work with.
"It wasn't difficult at all," Ramirez said. "I'll be back next year."
That's what Juarez likes to hear. She doesn't want people to feel nervous about filing their taxes. That's also why she keeps the business transactions informal.
"I have to be," she said. "I don't want them to stress out."
If someone knows they're going to owe money, she still recommends they come in early so she can find deductions for them.
A lot of people wait until the last minute if they owe, Juarez said.
"There are all kinds of deductions available. Sometimes, we can find them some money," she said.
Edwards calmly walked to Juarez's desk with her neat stack of papers and got comfortable. She's been coming to the small bookkeeping office for more than 10 years, so she's accustomed to the routine, she said.
But it wasn't always this way. Juarez has always let her know what she needs to complete taxes for her and her 17-year-old son.
"She makes this so simple," Edwards said.
Once the filing is complete, Edwards tells Juarez she'll see her next year and heads out the door.
"Who's next?" Juarez asks from her desk.
Hector Rodriguez, 54, of Goliad, stood up from a chair near the doorway and walks toward Juarez. He didn't have any papers because he dropped off all his receipts and papers earlier.
"You had all these receipts, and you waited until the last minute to come in?" she asked jokingly.
It's a cycle she's happy to be part of.
"I've always known the rules," she said. "I'm glad to get them their refunds."