Thomas Henggeler has owned Liberty Tax at 3414 Independence Avenue for eight years.
Growing up near Truman Road, he attended St. Stephen’s Academy (now Our Lady of Peace Parish) and the University of Central Missouri, where he studied accounting. During college, he was an intern with Liberty Tax in Blue Springs, Missouri.
After a two-year hiatus overseas, Henggeler came back to Kansas City and purchased Liberty Tax on Independence Avenue in 2012.
“I love the international flair of food, culture, language, music, and religion,” he said. “Taxes are a close second because you get to work with so many unique people.”
Liberty Tax offers a variety of services, but the main focus, Henggeler said, is individual income tax filings.
Kansas City Missouri Mayor Quinton Lucas recently extended the tax filing deadline 90 days, from April 15 to July 15 with no penalties or interest, a move Henggeler said is “very generous.”
“To me, that illustrates how serious of an issue COVID-19 is,” he said. “It emphasizes the fact that your life is being disrupted, your cash flow, your income is being disrupted, they’re taking the burden off everyday people. It allows people more time.”
Despite the extension, Henggeler said it’s important to still make filing a priority, especially if you believe you will be getting money back. Returns, he said, will still be distributed.
“If you think you are going to get money back, contact our office because whether it’s $200 or $2,000, you could use that money. In my thirteen years of doing taxes, I’ve never seen this happen.”
Right now, during Mayor Lucas’ stay-at-home order, the staff at Liberty Tax are working virtually, but customers are able to still get the same tax help they are used to.
Customers are able to call staff members for immediate assistance, file taxes online, get remote tax preparation with Virtual Tax Pro, or even drop off tax documents at a Liberty Tax location and allow experts to do the rest.
“We closed our office on Tuesday per recommendations for the health and safety of staff and customers, but we are answering phones and we are doing work,” Henggeler said.
Liberty Tax also offers a Written Guarantee of benefits by choosing Liberty Tax, including year-round support, accuracy guarantee and largest possible refund, free consultations, audit assistance, correspondence assistance, free copies of paid tax returns, and free checks of prior year returns.
Free correspondence assistance, Henggeler said, is a great benefit to customers who receive hard-to-decipher letters from the IRS.
“When people get letters from the IRS, they may as well be written in a different language because they make very little sense to the layperson,” he said. “We translate those letters and figure out the best course of action.”
Other online services available are tax resources such as frequently asked questions, online tax courses, and tax tips; tax information such as homeownership, credits, investments, and healthcare; and tax tools such as withholdings calculator, mileage calculator, tax organizer, mileage log, and tax estimator.
A new service offered by Liberty Tax is DialCare, which provides 24/7 access to board-certified healthcare practitioners via phone and video chat.
According to libertytax.com, “this modern, easy-to-use telemedicine solution is for non-emergency illnesses and general care. Members and their families are able to have direct access to state-licensed and fully-credentialed doctors via phone or video consultations to receive treatment and advice for common ailments, including colds, flu, rashes, and more.”
“With COVID-19, the last thing you want to do is increase your risk of exposure,” said Henggeler. “This gives you 24/7 accessibility.”
DialCare Physician Access has a $0 consulting fee and various billing options.
Working in the Northeast community, Henggeler said, offers him the chance to work with a variety of different cultures and people.
“I love Northeast. Ninety-nine percent of people who live here are good, hardworking, everyday people and being able to help them is what we enjoy. I love the international culture, the Burmese, Vietnamese, Somalian, people from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Hispanic population, I love it.”
As the community and staff at Liberty Tax navigate through the COVID-19 stay-at-home order, Henggeler said to contact his staff if you have any questions or need assistance.
“Don’t leave money on the table. File taxes, call us, any questions we have, we want to help you. We have people who are ready and able to help you.”
Liberty Tax in Northeast is located at 3414 Independence Avenue. To contact their office, please call 816-920-6640. Staff will be answering phones from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and responding to all voice mails. For more online resources, visit libertytax.com.