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Who's Who: Chris Fleck takes the tension out of tax season

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Herald staff
Published: Tuesday, November 29, 2011, 3:43 p.m.
  • Chris Fleck

    Chris Fleck

When he's not cheering on the Padres or traveling, Chris Fleck is helping clients navigate the numerical nightmare that can be tax season. Puget Sound Tax Services has been around since 1994, and Fleck likes to say it's peace of mind as much as money in the pocket that he provides his clients.
Q: When and where did your business open?
A: My first office was in my home in Edmonds 18 years ago. I worked there until two things happened at the same time: I married Nancy, and the business outgrew the house so it was time to find an office space.
Q: How, or why, did you decide to open your business?
A: I realized I needed to satisfy my entrepreneurial spirit – best to go out on my own.
Q: What convinced you that this was the job for you?
A: A friend who is also an enrolled agent (tax practitioners licensed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury) thought I would excel at it. I researched the profession and agreed with him. It looked like fun!
Q: What does it take to blend your passion with your livelihood?
A: I would not say taxes are my passion. I do not think anybody is warped that way. (Unless of course they make their living collecting and spending other people's taxes.)
Q: What are the crucial elements for success for your business?
A: Attention to detail, being able to change with the tax code and keep up with all the changes the other Washington mandates. Also, enjoying working with hundreds of business and individual clients and being capable of helping them.
Q: What has been your biggest challenge and how did you meet it?
A: Passing the enrolled agent exam, a four-part, 12-hour, two-day exam. I studied, studied, studied!
Q: How did your friends and family react when you told them you were getting into this business?
A: My family is full of self-employed people so this career choice was not unexpected. Also, having an EA in the family helps them since they get the family discount!
Q: What motivates you?
A: Helping my clients.
Q: What personal abilities do you think in needed to excel in this business?
A: Not being afraid of numbers or the IRS, being personable and having a sense of humor.
Q: When you're not working, how do you enjoy spending your time?
A: Reading, photography, cooking, travel and baseball – go Padres!
Learn more
Puget Sound Tax Services
514 Fifth Ave. S., Edmonds
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