Virginia Beach, VA–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–September 4, 2007–Liberty Tax Service, a retail income tax company serving the United States and Canada, announced today the rollout of a pioneer certification program for tax offices serving Hispanics. Liberty’s “Gold Seal Certification” will be awarded to its offices that complete thirty hours of intensive training and pass twenty tests in Hispanic tax preparation issues. The “Gold Seal Certification” will be officially promoted as “Busque por el Oro”, or “Look for the Gold” for customers.
Over eight hundred tax office franchisees and employees have enrolled in the certification program that began in June 2007. The training is being conducted over twenty weeks with a new topic taught twice a week. The course listings include: Hispanic Culture, Tax Preparation for the Foreign Born, Working with Interpreters, Community Outreach & Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINS).
Offices that attain the Hispanic Services Certification status are presented with a customized gold seal to display in the window. The seal attests to the number of training hours and certified employees in both English and Spanish. Recipients are also required to have full-time Spanish speakers in their offices. Offices who receive the “Gold Seal Certification” are able to enroll their bilingual employees in an innovative “Interpreter Training & Certification Program” which is expected to drastically increase bilingual staffing this year.
Liberty hired Blaire Borthayre, author of Marketing Tax Preparation Services to the Hispanic Community (published by John Wiley & Sons), to design and implement the program. Ms. Borthayre is the leading expert in Hispanic tax preparation. She appeared most recently on NBC Nightly News and National Public Radio to discuss the Hispanic tax preparation. “There seems to be a belief that translating marketing materials into Spanish is a magic bullet to reach the Hispanic consumer. The truth is that newly immigrated; Spanish-dominant Hispanics experience life in a different cultural context than mainstream America. Tax preparation offices ignore this at their own peril.”
With over 2,400 offices in the United States and Canada, Liberty actually began their Hispanic initiative in 2003 by hiring Borthayre to conduct trainings nationwide. This year, Liberty decided to take matters a step further. Martha O’Gorman, VP of Marketing, stated “The purpose of the Hispanic Services’ ‘Gold Seal Certification’ program is to ensure that Hispanics are receiving top notch services tailored to their needs in our offices. Tax preparation is only one part of the equation. Language skills, cultural competency and trust are all critical components of an office that serves the Hispanic community. The ‘Gold Seal Certification’ is a sign of our commitment to the Spanish dominant consumer.”
Borthayre, A Mexican American agrees. “This certification is going to set higher standards for the industry in general. Too many Hispanics are being served in broken English by tax preparers with no experience in foreign born taxpayer issues such as ITINS. I am grateful to Liberty for stepping up to the plate.”
Liberty Tax Service is expected to begin an intensive Spanish language media campaign in December to explain the background of Hispanic Service certified offices and to encourage Spanish speaking consumers to “look for the gold seal” when choosing a tax office.
About Liberty Tax Service:
Founded in 1997, Liberty Tax Service is the fastest growing retail tax preparation company in the industry’s history. Founder and CEO John T. Hewitt has 38 years of tax industry experience, the most of any CEO in the tax preparation business. Hewitt is also the founder of Jackson Hewitt Tax Service (NYSE: JTX).
Liberty Tax Service (http://www .libertytax.com) operates 2,400 offices throughout the United States and Canada, and has prepared over 5,000,000 individual income tax returns. The company focuses on computerized income tax preparation, electronic filing and refund loans. Emphasis on customer service including audit assistance, a money back guarantee and free tax return checking are just a few of the above and beyond features offered by Liberty Tax Service.