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Núñez part of Tessera’s tax service offering

By Kevin Milliken, La Prensa Correspondent


Jan. 20, 2014: This is the sixth year that Tessera Associates has had a presence in the neighborhood, offering bilingual tax and related services—the third at the Sofia Quintero Arts & Cultural Center (SQACC).


Abigail Núñez will meet with potential clients. This is her second year preparing taxes at SQACC. Ms. Núñez, of Puerto Rican descent, sees her bilingual skills as an asset for Spanish-speaking persons who are in need of tax and related services.

Abigail Núñez


“I think it offers an opportunity for the Hispanic community to reach out and have someone who understands them and not have it translated for them,” she said. “We can do this directly without a middleman.”


Ms. Núñez, who resides in East Toledo, is engaged to be married. She has a four-year old daughter and three-year old son, so she understands where families are coming from. Many rely heavily on a tax refund to get caught up on bills or make ends meet each year.


While she did not know exactly how many Spanish-speaking families used the services of Tessera Associates last year, Ms. Núñez   expects to be busy right through the tax deadline of April 15. Trust and familiarity are recognized as big issues for Latino families when it comes to financial companies—even a fee-for-service tax preparation agency.


“We did have quite a few people who came through and they have their friends and family excited they can come in (knowing someone who speaks their language),” said Ms. Núñez.


Tessera Associates expects to cater especially to Toledo’s population of undocumented immigrants—which she called an underserved community. The firm’s bilingual skills and cultural competence is hoped to offset an inherent fear of anything related to the federal government—especially the IRS and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).


The Quintero Center tax office will be open and operating by the end of the month. Clients can just walk in during operating hours, from noon to 5PM. Or, appointments are available outside operating hours by calling 419.407.4142.


The firm is urging Latino families to file their federal income taxes as soon as practical, in order to obtain their refund more quickly, especially if they do qualify for the earned income tax credit (EITC). Since the Old South End contains two of the most poverty-stricken zip codes in Toledo, many families will rely on that tax refund to make needed big-ticket purchases they normally cannot afford.


It is especially important for families with a high school senior who may want to attend college to file their tax returns as soon as possible. Even with electronic filing, there is a two-to-three-week turnaround period before their tax information filters into the FAFSA online database for purposes of filing for financial aid. The deadline for most colleges and universities to file a FAFSA falls in February. Many parents of first-generation college students are unaware of such deadlines.


Tessera Associates is a full-service accounting firm with its home office on Sylvania Avenue, near Secor Rd, and another office located in Temperance, MI. Tessera provides financial accounting and tax services to more than 100 small and medium-sized businesses in the Toledo metro area, including non-profit groups.



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Revised: 01/22/14 06:10:08 -0800.




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