A $1,800 CPA Error on Tax Return Led One Single Mother to the Income Tax Course, Where She Fell in Love – with Taxes
In 2003, Roshelle Fetzer was a single mother working three jobs and struggling to make ends meet. So when she felt her CPA made a mistake on her tax return, she took matters into her own hands and signed up for H&R Block’s Income Tax Course (ITC). The ITC is a 60-hour course designed to teach taxpayers how to prepare taxes like a professional.
During the course, Fetzer learned not only had the CPA made a mistake, but that it was a $1,800 one. She also learned how to fix her own return.
But the class ended up doing more than just empowering her to do her own taxes.
“I learned so much more about my financial life in general. I learned what a mortgage was. And I realized I could buy a house for less than what I was paying in rent.”
Not only that, but she started saving for retirement and went back to school. Now, she has her bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
While the ITC is not a financial planning class, the tax code touches on nearly every aspect of life – from marriage, homeownership and health insurance status to moving for a job, starting a small business or saving for retirement.
“Taxes are a big part of a taxpayer’s larger financial picture,” said Jason Mann, a regional director at H&R Block and now Fetzer’s supervisor. “And because it is connected to many important life events and milestones, I’m not surprised that Roshelle was able to take what she learned during the course to help improve her own financial situation beyond the tax event.”
But the surprises for Fetzer didn’t end there.
“I’ll never forget. The instructor came to me and said, ‘You’re really good at this. You should consider coming to work for us.’ I said, I already work three jobs. I don’t have the time to work another job,” said Fetzer.
As in any love story, Fetzer’s initial rejection soon wavered.
“Of course over the series of weeks and months as the course went on, I started to fall more and more in love with what I was learning and I couldn’t picture my life after class ending, just ending and not learning this anymore,” Fetzer said. “So I took on a fourth job working [at H&R Block] one night a week and Sundays.”
By her third year working for H&R Block, Fetzer was an office leader managing a tax office in Ohio with about five other tax professionals. That’s when she decided she no longer needed four jobs and went down to three.
“By my fourth tax season, I was able to go down to two jobs because I loved it so much here,” said Fetzer.
Now a district general manager with a 14-year career at H&R Block, Fetzer says her best recruiting pitch for ITC is her own story.
“I was a single mom struggling to get by. I couldn’t make ends meet. I was struggling from paycheck to paycheck. And I just tell them the story how I took the Income Tax Course,” said Fetzer. “I can’t even tell you how much more value I got from the course than I paid for it.”
By Annelise Wiens
As the newsroom editor, Annelise Wiens is interested in more than just tax and industry news, but the stories of H&R Block's 80,000 associates, their communities and H&R Block's world headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri. Wiens joined H&R Block in 2014 from a public relations agency, where she worked with clients in the financial services industry. Before that, she worked as a communicator for a senior member of the United States House of Representatives. She graduated from Biola University in La Mirada, CA with a degree in history.