Our doors opened in 1996. Kathy Hendrickson started it all by working out of the home in 1987 as Key Peninsula Tax Service. For several years she worked while taking care of her two children, but by 1996 the business was getting too big to operate out of a basement and it was time to move to a separate office.
Kathy's husband, John, found a building they could afford. A small concrete box once used for storage by a telephone company. Kathy took one look at the place and said "This is nothing but a shack!" John told her "You're right. It's The Tax Shack." They cleaned it up, painted it, and found some second-hand office furniture. The doors opened and they had a real tax office!
Their children, Tara and Andy, had been helping them all through their childhood with the business. They were often tasked with things like folding and stuffing the annual newsletter or putting together tax folders for the upcoming season. When the Tax Shack opened, Tara and Andy would frequently walk down after high school and help out with filing, shredding, and phones. John took the tax classes and started working with Kathy. It was a real family affair.
By the time Tara was a senior in high school, she was helping with bookkeeping and payrolls and simple tax returns. In 2000 Tara took certification classes and started doing taxes full time. The business grew little by little every year. The running joke was that Tara was the employee of the month EVERY month. John and Kathy even posted her picture on the wall.
2005 came around and John and Kathy decided it was time to semi-retire. They sold the business to their best employee, but continued to work for her during tax seasons. Officially on January 1st, 2006, Tara took over as the owner. Tara has now owned the Tax Shack longer than her parents did. She updated the building, the furniture, and the technology. She got the Tax Shack online with a web site and a MySpace page (when that was a thing). She expanded the services offered and grew the clientele. She also expanded her education, becoming an Enrolled Agent and a Certified Tax Coach. The business truly has Tara's flare now.
In 2007 Tara hired Brandy Ellzey as a bookkeeper and office assistant - the best decision Tara ever made. Brandy quickly became a part of the family and has worked for the Tax Shack off and on since then, learning more and growing in the field. Brandy returned to the Shack full time in 2013 when John and Kathy fully retired and she worked incredibly hard to become an Enrolled Agent herself.
Brandy and Tara have become very close. Many people mistake them for sisters and they might as well be. Tara has come to rely on Brandy in all aspects of the business. In this way, it still is a family affair even after all of these years.
And so we are here, nearing three amazing decades later. We've had our ups and downs as all family businesses do. We've met wonderful people and made life-long friends. This business has seen us through some pretty hard personal times and helped us to create some of the best memories of our lives. We are eternally grateful for being able to continue on and are excited to see what the future holds in all the years to come.