My name is Laurie Yoon, C.P.A, C.A. and I am the owner of Expatax Services Ltd. My tax practice currently consists of myself year round and one part-time assistant from January to May each year. I first started working in the accounting field in high school doing bookkeeping for various companies on a self-employed contract basis which continued through university. I started working for a Chartered Accountant friend of the family in January 1996 upon graduation. I moved to Price Waterhouse in January 1998 and began preparing US personal taxes in 1999. I did not like working in the big firm atmosphere of the newly merged PriceWaterhouseCoopers so left them to join a small one-partner international tax boutique firm called CompassTax in the summer of 1999. I enjoyed working there and stayed until October 2004. My responsibilities gradually increased while there, from simply preparing various returns to supervising and training another tax preparer in the summer of 2000. After only a short while, I was put in charge of coordinating and reviewing all personal tax work and equalization calculations in the spring of 2001 for a major international engineering firm that sent employees all around the world. I typically had two co-op students each tax season that I was in charge of training.
I made the leap to starting my own practice in October 2004 and began slowly building my client base through friends and family. I did not have enough clients at first to support myself so I contracted out my review skills to Collins Barrow for two years in March and April and trained CompassTax’s co-op students. This provided additional experience in international matters as I reviewed Canadian returns for the Collins Barrow partners and trained their first year tax preparers. I also gained invaluable experience in preparing US returns for the US tax partner. By the third tax season in the spring of 2007 I had enough clients of my own to get me through without additional outside contracting. By this point I was starting to get new clients by referrals from clients I was already helping. My first child was born in December 2007 and my second in September 2009 so my practice did not grow significantly during that period as I was trying to look after two young children while still working to grow my practice. I hired my first co-op university student to help out part-time during the spring of 2009 and have had an assistant every year since then. I usually have a different assistant each year however my current assistant has indicated he will return again next tax season.
I am originally from Calgary but moved to West Kelowna, BC in the summer of 2011. I was afraid I would have to start building my practice almost from scratch again but to my pleasant surprise almost all of my clients retained my services the following year even though I could no longer meet with them face to face. Currently I deal with my clients almost exclusively by phone and email although I have picked up a number of local clients as well since then.
The original name of my practice was Laurie Mounteer Professional Corp. Mounteer is my maiden name and you will note my email is still Laurie@Mounteer.ca. I married in 2006 but continued using my maiden name as all of my clients and friends knew me that way. When we moved to West Kelowna I decided to start using my married name Yoon. I will answer to either name.
My practice has evolved over the years to be almost entirely personal tax, and I specialize in people with cross border personal tax issues. As a result I am very busy from January to late June. I have a handful of corporate returns that need to be done from the fall through January however they tend to be personal service type corporations for people that came to me originally for international issues on their personal tax returns. I am not actively seeking new corporate work and I enjoy having the summers and fall almost entirely off as my children are still young. I still respond to any emails and questions that my clients have and occasionally have new US citizens that show up in the off season needing to get caught up on their US tax returns.
For all of your tax needs, please call or email me today, and let’s talk taxes!
As always, I got everything filed that had to be filed by the deadline. It was close this year however as I was still putting the finishing touches on returns by late afternoon on May 2nd!
I filed 83 tax returns for 73 people this tax season. While this doesn't sound like a lot keep in mind that I generally do not do many of the ultra simple returns which have only a few slips and take under a half hour each. Most of the returns that I do are all day projects for each person and there are a few that are multi-day affairs.
Volunteer Tax Clinics...
I volunteer at the local seniors tax clinics on Thursday mornings from 9 am to 12 noon from the last Thursday in February to the last Thursday in April. Generally lots of fun talking to the seniors that come in to get their tax returns done and it is amazing how low their incomes are yet a lot of them still donate at least some funds to their pet causes. I did 50 returns over 9 weeks - I missed a week in March being full of cold! These are the very simplest of the simple tax returns for the most part as many of the seniors only have their OAS and CPP slips. They are not taxable and the only reason they need to file tax returns is to continue getting government benefits like the guaranteed income supplement and GST credits.
So much for posting to my blog during tax season. Amazing how fast time flies when you are busy working. I poked my head up for air and spring is in full bloom here in Kelowna. I will be more diligent in posting now that the March and April crunch time is done.
I have not had any comments on my blog posts. I tested the comment function just now and it does work - so I am guessing no one is interested enough in what I am writing to comment on it. In that case - could you please make some suggestions as to what would be interesting?
I have been watching the statistics for this site and the number of unique visitors has been ranging between five and twenty five visitors a day over the last two months. What is also interesting is that the number of unique visitors has been has been averaging 75 to 100 per week - there are some repeat visitors coming back to check out what I have to offer. It will be interesting to see what those numbers are next year after I have had a whole year to build traffic to my site. I am a numbers geek - I find things like this fascinating!
What's up next!
Now that it is May I am going to take stock of where I am (and update my on line status list) and send emails to those that have not sent me any information yet because they are so thoughtfully waiting until the worst of tax season is over to get their US returns filed.
I have very few files left to work on in May this year compared to previous tax seasons. I think I will have most of those wrapped up by early next week. I hope to have everything that I know is coming done by the end of May when my assistant goes back to his June to December full time job. I will still be available to complete anything you might require over the summer and throughout the fall however in between enjoying the sunshine, getting my garden in order and playing with my kids age 6 and 8.
Photo by Nan Lalande
Laurie Yoon, C.P.A., C.A.
My practice has evolved over the years to be almost entirely personal tax, and I specialize in people with cross border personal tax issues.