Tax season is a little more difficult for those who are deaf. Working with accountants who are also deaf can make things easier.
“English is my first language, so that’s why I was a little bit, like of a struggle,” said Charity Baca who is deaf.
Everything is a little different for Charity. Most people don’t realize it, but English is a second language to much of the deaf community.
That can make working with people who can hear difficult. With something as important as your taxes, it gets really tough.
“I did my taxes through a hearing provider. It was more complicated. It was more like, the questions were confusing because I wasn’t sure,” said Baca.
Luckily, she found a company that can do her taxes and speak her language.
“Doing taxes and accounting, there’s not really a big difference there, it’s just for me a way to work with the deaf community and I thought I’m going to grab this,” said Jason Gunderson, a deaf tax preparer for Deaf Tax.
Deaf Tax is deaf-owned and -operated tax and accounting firm. And it's the only deaf-owned tax firm in the country.
“I’m able to see how deaf customers, how they appreciate the information that they maybe did not have access to before, that they didn’t understand, that they weren’t willing to ask their preparers,” said Gunderson.
The services provided by Deaf Tax are very popular in the deaf community, more popular than founder Joshua Beal anticipated
“About 2015, we started putting videos up on Facebook. And at the time, it was me and my partner Charles, just two of us. We were overwhelmed we were working nonstop,” said Beal.
Beal founded Deaf Tax in 2007. Since then, its core principals have remained the same, providing a needed service to the community.
“Anytime you can communicate in your natural language, it’s always a big benefit. Another thing is a lot of clients now have access to information that they didn’t know about before. I have a great deal of pride, a great deal of respect for my community. I feel like I am doing something very important,” said Beal.
And it really is a needed service.
“This book shows that there are 12 deaf CPAs in the whole United States, only 12. Now, almost all of these CPAs, they work for a corporation or school. They’re not available to the deaf community,”
And for everyone from Josh to Charity it’s about increased access to everyday services.
“I’m trying get past just the tax, but financial information, how to save money, how to cut down your interest rate. So I feel like this is the platform to empower the deaf community financially,” said Beal.
“They are tattoo shops or art companies there are many that are just starting right now and they’re starting to grow as deaf businesses or deaf owners starting to set up their establishments and I’m really glad because we need to grow and it’s been a struggle,” said Baca.