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NATP - September 2007 Member of the Month

Tax preparer and professional singer - these are just some of the titles associated with Jaimee Hammer, our September member of the month.

Jaimee not only runs her own tax practice and serves on the NATP New Jersey Chapter Board of Directors, but she has also built a successful career from her singing talent.

She even managed to combine her two careers of taxes and singing at a past IRS Tax Forum, with surprising results (read on for the full story).

Congratulations Jaimee!

Q. How many years have you been preparing taxes?
A. 8 Years

Q. What is your business name, where is it located? Do you own it? How many additional staff members do you employ?
A. JM Taxes, 213 Clements Bridge Road, Barrington, NJ 08007
I own my business and am also the sole employee.

Q. Approximately how many returns do you file each year? What type of returns do you file?
A. I file just under 100 returns in my own business. That includes about 95% personal and 5% estates and trusts. I have also worked part time for other tax businesses. Including my other work, I prepare about 250 returns each tax season.

Q. Were you in another line of business before doing taxes?
A. No, but simultaneously I have been working as a professional singer for the same amount of time.

Q. Did you have a mentor early in your career? Do you mentor others?
A. Yes, Sherry Diamond has definitely been a mentor to me. I started preparing taxes and working for her in 1999. I learned a lot about taxes and running a business by her side. After I opened my own business, I continued to work for her part time as I grew my own business and still do.
Colette Taylor has been a great support for me in building my own successful practice. She helped me believe that I could do it. We have been sharing an office space for the past few years. We are a great resource to each during tax season for information, as well as for laughs.

Q. Are you involved in other tax-related activities?
A. I have been on the NJ NATP Board of Directors for 3 years.

Q. What brought you to NATP and what keeps you as a member?
A. I was a member of other organizations first, but when I joined NATP, at the recommendation of other tax preparers, I found that it was the best organization out there.

Q. What types of NATP activities have you participated in?
A. I have been at every local symposium and update seminar since I joined. I have attended National Conference for the last two years.

Q. Why do you recommend NATP to others? What member benefits do you find most beneficial?
A. I find that the education opportunities are the best available to tax professionals. I have also enjoyed the professional support that comes with networking at conferences and being involved with my local chapter's board of directors.

Q. What are the biggest challenges facing tax preparers today and is there anything you can see that NATP could do to better prepare them?
A. The possibility of mandatory licensing of tax professionals is growing ever closer. This issue has many pros and cons. I know that NATP supports us as both licensed and unlicensed practitioners. I feel confident that NATP will provide resources to guide members to passing any kind of licensing test that may become required in the future.

Q. Can you give a little background on your family, spouse, children, community involvement, hobbies, favorite activities, etc.?
A. I have been married since January 2006.
I work as a professional singer all year round. I work at the casinos in Atlantic City, as well as at private events such as corporate parties and weddings. I love what I do and it keeps me pretty busy!

Q. What are your goals for the future personally and for your career?
A. I am excited to grow professionally as my family grows. I would like to see my business reach 500 clients. I already provide a small amount of payroll and bookkeeping services to my clients. I would like to expand that.

Q. What kinds of things are important to you in life?
A. There is nothing more important to me than family and friends. I feel a lot of pride in my career as a tax professional as well as a singer, but love is what makes life rich.

Q. Did you ever have a "defining moment," an embarrassing moment, or another memorable experience related to your career as a tax preparer?
A. Early in my career as a tax professional, I was attending an IRS forum in Atlantic City. I was also performing in one of the casinos that week. When one of the exhibitors in the hall overheard that I was a singer, he insisted that I sing for him. He represented a tax organization. I bargained with him and said I would sing in the middle of the exhibitor hall if he gave me one year's membership free. He agreed, and I sang. The room went silent and heads turned. I got a free membership. It was definitely memorable!

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