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Supporter Spotlight: Mason's Business Services
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With the deadline to file income taxes just around the corner, residents looking to save money and get more personal service may want to consider Mason's Business Services.

Owner Mike Mason has more than 30 years of experience in the accounting field, and he and his dedicated team can help residents and small businesses with a variety of accounting and bookkeeping services.

Outside of income tax form preparation and filing, which represents about 75 percent of Mason's business, the company also tailors to small business, helping with payroll and other accounting services. Mason's reconciles checkbooks and bank statements, prepares quarterly payroll or estimated taxes and can even help residents with budget counseling.

Mason said the difference between his business and other larger tax companies is the attention to detail that he and his business partner, Hope Pittman, pay to customers' cases. While many companies will complete and file tax returns the same day, Mason said he makes sure that at least one other person examines each income tax return.

"A lot of the time, we'll find other deductions," Mason said.

Customers also appreciate being able to deal with either Mason or Pittman every year.

"So many folks don't like the big store type processing, they like a more personal service. That's how we've grown by offering that personal service and being able to stay up all night studying tax laws if we need to," he said.

"Our tax customers if they have questions, or have changes with income and their situation, we encourage them to make an appointment."

Mason said the vast majority of his business comes through referrals, because customers appreciate the personal service and lower prices. The average cost for a personal filing an itemized deduction federal and state return is around $95. For an EZ form the average cost to complete a state and federal return is around $30.

There is a $44 dollar charge to file electronically.

Mason said this charge is separate, so that residents can choose whether or not they want to pay for the service. He said many companies claim this is free, but they add it into their regular price. Mason gives customers the option.

Mason was born in Newton County, graduated from Oxford College in 1976 and Georgia State University in 1978, worked at Hercules for several years as a bookkeeper tracking raw materials and opened his own business full-time in 1986. He said well-known local accountant Pete Carter is one of his mentors and even sent clients to Mason during his early years.

Mason's Business Services has grown from Mason and his wife Taren handling a hundred clients out of their dining room to having a full-time location, a dedicated staff and a client base of more than 1,000.

One piece of advice Mason offers to residents is that they should call him before they pull money out of their retirement funds or make other decisions that could have tax ramifications.

"One of my favorite quotes is from Albert Einstein: ‘The hardest thing in the world to understand is the concept of the income tax.' Even Einstein thought income taxes were complicated," Mason said.