Advanced Tax Services and ME & Associates

Tax prep businesses looking forward to serving the community this tax season


Marc Genson, founder and president of Advanced Tax Services, at his desk in his office at 1136 NE 8th Ave. The business began in 2010 in Orlando and specializes in electronic tax returns.

CLEVELAND TINKER/Special to the Guardian
Published: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 1:36 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 1:36 p.m.

A tax refund service that has been around for more than a decade and one that is beginning its first year of service in Gainesville are looking forward to providing quality tax advice and service to their customers.

Advanced Tax Services at 1136 NE 8th Ave. and ME & Associates at 407 SW 4th Ave. are both open for business with promises of helping each customer file their taxes correctly the first time, while also making sure customers get all of the money due to them under the law. The businesses specialize in electronic tax returns.

Advanced Tax Services

Marc Genson, 29, and Glenn Lubin, 26, both from the Orlando area, are the co-owners of ATS Tax Services. The business opened its doors on Jan. 3 after being located since 2010 in Orlando.

Genson, founder and president of the business, said he started ATS after working under another tax professional in the Orlando area for three years.

"We specialize in personal tax advising and small business tax advising," said Genson, adding that the business plans to be open throughout the year to provide bookkeeping services for small businesses and to help empower residents in the community by providing resume writing skills and help completing job applications.

"After the tax season, we still want to be here to help people write resumes, fill out job applications, and so forth, because a lot of people don't have computers to do those kinds of things."

Genson said he loves the location of the business, which is across the street from the old Army Reserve building on NE 8th Avenue, because it gives him an opportunity to meet people in the community.

"We are able to get out and talk to the people and meet the people," said Genson, who attended the University of Florida after graduating in 2003 from Orlando Edgewater High School. He later transferred to the University of Central Florida in Orlando, where he graduated in 2008 with a bachelor's degree in sociology and a minor in finance. Genson and Lubin said the business has five certified tax professionals and is looking for more to employ.

Lubin, who has 10 years experience in the tax preparation industry, graduated in 2007 with an associate of arts degree in business administration from Valencia Community College in Orlando. He worked in financial services at State Farm Insurance for 5 years and has two years of experience in the banking industry.

Lubin said the motto of the business is "Taxes Done Right" because there are so many tax preparers who don't take the time to provide each customer with the attention they need to get the most money back on their returns.

"When somebody comes into our office, we want to make sure we maximize every opportunity they can take advantage of and make sure we do it right the first time," Lubin said.

Genson said it normally takes seven to 10 business days for their customers to get their money electronically and ATS gives estimates on how much their services will cost a customer.

"If they choose not to use us, we delete all of their information right there in front of them," he said. "Everything here is done right and legally."

Hours of operation are 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1-7 p.m. Sunday. The phone number is 352-672-6638.

ME & Associates

Marcia Thurman, 37, is the owner of ME, which was founded in 1997 in Monroe, La., by Thurman and her former husband, Earl Davis. Thus, the name of the business, ME, for Marcia and Earl.

Thurman said the business has been located in the Porter's community since 2001 and has served more than 8,000 customers.

One of those customers is Lascandra Watkins, 28, who moved back to Mississippi last April after living in Gainesville for 10 years. Watkins said she will continue to have ME do her taxes because she is very comfortable with the services the business provides, even if it means mailing and faxing her tax documents to the business.

"They are friendly, of course, and they just know what they are doing and they never make mistakes," said Watkins in a telephone interview, adding that ME has been doing her family's taxes for years.

Thurman said she appreciates the loyalty of her customers and believes in giving back to the community by providing free shoes for needy children and food for the hungry.

"The people we serve are the people we give back to in order to show our loyalty to them and to thank them for helping to sustain the business throughout the years," Thurman said.

Thurman, a single mother of five, takes great pride in being able to employ and mentor other single mothers.

"We take them in and give them confidence and we make them feel like they are equipped with the tools to go into the world and better themselves," said Thurman, adding that all of the tax preparers in her office are certified by the Internal Revenue Service. She also said the business is looking to hire more certified tax professionals.

Thurman, who graduated from Interlachen High School in 1993, said Anna James is the chief operating officer of the business. James will be responsible for hiring and other human resource duties.

"This is her first year working with us and we look forward to having her be the life of the business," Thurman said.

Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. The phone number is 352-377-6116.

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