For business owners struggling with basic tax questions, a new certified public accountant in the area is offering some free help.

USA Income Tax relocated to Ahwatukee Foothills from California in June. Now, as a way to build lasting relationships with businesses and to help out those who need some quick help, the company is offering a free 20-minute tax clinic for small business owners in the Ahwatukee Foothills area.

"So many business owners know how to run their business and they're very good at running their business, but they're not very good at book keeping," said Richard Lake of USA Income Tax Services. "They either try to do it themselves or they try to have their spouse do it. Invariably, they're not doing things correctly. They're trying to take expenses they can't really take. I thought it was an opportunity for us to get some basic accounting and income tax business information out there. In this economy no one can afford $200 an hour for a CPA, so why not give them a brief bit of time when they can get the basic things answered to get them on the straight and narrow."

The clinic is open Tuesdays from 4 to 5 p.m., Wednesdays from noon to 2 p.m., and Thursdays from 9 to 11 a.m. in January. That means only a few days are left to take advantage of the offer.

Lake has 18 years of experiences doing taxes, book keeping, pay roll and accounting for businesses. He believes by just taking a few moments to answer questions many problems business owners usually run into can be resolved.

"Many times, by answering just a handful of general questions, our tax professionals can find possible ‘blind spots' business owners are unaware of, which leave them vulnerable to untimely and expensive IRS audits," Lake wrote in an email. "Also, we know business owners do not like surprises (especially financial ones), so providing a baseline of quality financial stewardship services on a year-round basis makes for a healthy business community."

Lake recommends business owners bring a list of their questions and any records they may have to the office, located at 1238 E. Chandler Blvd., Suite 103. He can be reached by phone at (480) 409-0829.

Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or

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