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STAFF PHOTO/BROOKE WILLIAMS Melinda Shannon and Kevin Hallock of HallockShannon, PC have been preparing for another tax season.

Accountants everywhere are gearing up for tax season, including those at HallockShannon, PC.

The accounting firm has also moved its Tunkhannock office to a street level storefront in hopes of increasing visibility and better serving clients.

HallockShannon formerly operated above Eclectic Heart on East Tioga Street. Last week, partners Kevin Hallock and Melinda Shannon relocated just a few doors down.

“There’s more room here as we get busier,” Hallock said. “We’ll be able to hire more staff and serve our clients better. We’ll be able to be more attentive when we have more staff, and the clients will have easier access to us.”

The partners formed the firm in Wyalusing three years ago. Eventually, they opened a part-time office in Tunkhannock, which operated full-time in 2018.

Through its offices in Tunkhannock and Wyalusing, HallockShannon primarily serves clients across Wyoming, Susquehanna, Sullivan and Bradford counties.

The firm offers a variety of services for individuals, businesses, nonprofit organizations and governmental entities, including tax preparation, payroll, financial planning and more.

“Our mission is to provide the best possible accounting services to the clients that we can offer,” Hallock said. “We try to keep prices that everybody could afford.”

While successful on the business end, small business owners may lack certain skills that HallockShannon aims to supplement, he added.

“We like to be able to help them out,” he said. “When they’re successful, we’re successful.”

Between the move and the beginning of tax season, both accountants have been busy.

Toward the last week in January, people could expect to receive W-2 forms from their employers.

“February is when it really starts to pick up,” Hallock said. “All of the pass-through entities, partnerships, S-corporations, they have a deadline of March 15, so we see a huge inflow of those in March.”

Then personal tax returns are due by April 15. “We get quite a bit in April as well,” he added.

Those who filed last year may remember encountering a variety of changes.

“There’s not really any major changes that happened this year,” Hallock said. “2019 saw the major changes with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.”

However, Hallock said a lot of individuals might see a change in their withholding tables.

“The IRS is coming out with a new W-4 form and they’re trying to get people as close to breaking even on their tax returns as they can,” he explained.

Shannon added that 2018 was the final year for the Health Insurance Mandate, which penalized those without health insurance.

A significant change made with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that filers may still be getting used to is the qualified business income deduction, Hallock said. This gave business owners a deduction on their business income of up to 20 percent that they could exclude from their taxable income, with limitations.

“For non-business people, the standard deduction and the elimination of the dependency exemptions was kind of shocking to everybody,” Shannon said. “A lot less people have to itemize.”

Filers who have anything more than a W-2 form should consider using a paid preparer when filing their taxes, Hallock said.

The partners also encouraged filers to prioritize keeping important tax documents all together in a safe place.

“Try to prepare for your taxes all year long,” Hallock added.

To learn more about HallockShannon, PC, visit hallockshannon.com.