Xochitl Güel is
the daughter of Tessera’s office manager—she has assumed
the bilingual tax preparation assistance, at least until she
gives birth to her second child. Ms. Güel called it an office in
transition, between wrapping up year-end duties for business
clients and preparing for another busy tax season.
She has some early advice for a good start to the tax
preparation process: “As soon as you get W-2’s and other related
tax documents, get them in order, keep them in a folder,…and
then come to us for final preparation,” advises Ms. Güel
But the biggest change this tax season for clients won’t be
personnel. Instead, it will be changes in services necessitated
by the coronavirus pandemic. There will be fewer, if any,
in-person client appointments to keep everyone safe. Instead,
drop-off services will be used.
“It’s unfortunate we won’t be able to take as many in-person
clients this year, but it’s a necessary precaution because of
COVID-19,” says Ms. Güel. “What we’re really going to need
is for clients to have their paperwork and proper I.D. ready and
prior to dropping-off the documents for our final tax
preparation. Because of the pandemic, we will be using telephone
communication more with the client.”
Tessera and Associates
realizes clients may be more desperate for their tax refund in
2021 as the pandemic continues to cost people jobs and income.
The $600 assist from the second federal relief package is a lot
less than the first package passed by Congress, so making ends
meet will continue to be a struggle.
“I would say it’s more crucial than in previous years, because
we don’t have the luxury of being able to be flexible in meeting
with people in person,” said Ms. Güel. “If any questions come
up, we’ll try to take them as they come. Not as easy as when
you’re not doing things face-to-face.”
Her mom María Rangel will be on hand occasionally as a
part-time bilingual tax preparer and to provide any additional
translation services. But she’ll retreat to play grandma and
daycare provider when Ms. Güel returns from a few weeks of
Ms. Güel looks forward to assisting the clients of Tessera
so that the needs of Spanish-speaking taxpayers may be realized.
EDITOR”S NOTE: As a side note, Ms. Güel and her two sisters are
named after Aztec goddesses. “Xochitl” means “flower.”
There is even a symbol on the Aztec calendar. The name is not
common in Mexico, but is well-recognized in Central America,
because it is part of the Aztec Indian language (Nahuatl),
not Spanish. Her two sisters are named after the goddesses of
the Earth and moon and stars.