Life Happens – So Do Taxes
Income Tax Course Sets Stage for Life of Mobility for Life-Long Learner
In college, Kristy Brown-Maldonado had a job working as a receptionist for H&R Block. But it wasn’t long before she set her sights on the tax desk.
“Something sparked, there was a lightbulb and I was like, ‘oh what they’re [H&R Block tax professionals] talking about is really interesting,’” said Brown-Maldonado. “I decided that the next year I was going to do taxes.”
Before next tax season rolled around, though, she had moved from Texas to Wichita, Kan. Once in her new home, she enrolled in H&R Block’s Income Tax Course, a 60-hour course designed to teach taxpayers how to prepare taxes like a professional.
“I signed up sight unseen, didn’t know my instructor, didn’t know anybody else in the city and I signed up to take my tax course.”
Drive to learn – and serve
Brown-Maldonado, who had “always been the kid that loved math” saw her new tax career as an opportunity to use her math skills and continue learning. H&R Block tax professionals have to take 18 hours of continuing education each year to keep doing tax returns for clients. But Brown-Maldonado says she has never taken fewer than 30 hours annually.
“I just find personal gain, personal knowledge, development just to be a drive of mine. I choose to just enhance my tax knowledge and try to make myself better in that realm,” said Brown-Maldonado.
She’s also enjoyed being able to help taxpayers change their lives. Taxes touch on virtually every aspect of a person’s life – from marriage, homeownership and health insurance status to moving for a job, starting a small business or saving for retirement.
“It seems so miniscule with the taxes, but it really is someone’s financial health. It’s the first step towards that,” Brown-Maldonado says of the tax planning and preparation experience.
Flexibility a perfect match for young professionals on the move
Since working at H&R Block during college, Brown-Maldonado has seen some significant life changes that have influenced her professional needs.
“It has been kind of a whirlwind. When I started at H&R Block, I was not married, I did not have any kids. I had two dogs and that was it,” said Brown-Maldonado. “Then I got married, bought a house, had a kid.”
Her career at H&R Block “let me adapt from being an office manager to an office manager who did taxes, to when I had my son, I pedaled back and did just taxes so I could spend more time with my son at home during his first year which was very important to me.”
Additionally, she has moved three times. But with an H&R Block office located within five miles of most Americans, whenever Brown-Maldonado moved, she found a local office where she could pick up her tax career.
The flexibility her career at H&R Block offered “was just a perfect match” for her and her family. “I fell in love,” she added.
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.