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Liberty Tax opens in Jeannette

| Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, 8:58 p.m.
Liberty Tax has opened on Harrison Avenue in Jeannette. PHOTOS:Margie Stanislaw | The Jeannette Spirit
Tom Deluise, Kathy Balsamico and Margaree Pertle talk during an open house at Liberty Tax.
Brooke Oakes dressed as the Statue of Liberty during the open house and greeted guests with the help of Mia 'the tax dog.'
Liberty Tax Service staff members include, in front, from left, Kathy Balsamico and Margaree Pertle. In back, from left, are Sheila Rothwell, Tony Deluise, Kris Lingsh, Michele Shandor and Kelly Oates. PHOTOS:Margie Stanislaw | The Jeannette Spirit

Harrison Avenue continues to grow as a business corridor with the addition of Liberty Tax Service.

Harrison City area resident Margaree Pertle, a well-known area business woman, has expanded her Irwin area franchise by opening an office at 504 Harrison Ave.

Pertle worked for 20 years for Schneider Downs, a tax accounting and business advisory company with offices in Pittsburgh and Columbus. She left that work to help her aging mother who needed help with her two special needs brothers.

After leaving Schneider Downs, she worked as the president of the Norwin Chamber of Commerce for five years and then worked for a sales company where she did territorial sales training.

During that time, she learned that her love was working with small businesses.

In 2007, she purchased the Liberty Tax Service territory and opened shop on Route 30 in Irwin. For the past few years, she has been considering opening an office in Jeannette and began searching in earnest for space.

“I liked the people that I had met from Jeannette when I was working with the Chamber,” Pertle said. “I knew there were a lot of small businesses and walk-in tax returns, and I thought we would be a good fit.”

Pertle describes Liberty Tax as an a la carte service for businesses. She and her staff train business owners to do what they can to save costs and she advises them on what they cannot do and what is the best avenue for them to obtain those services.

Liberty Tax Service offers assistance with bookkeeping, QuickBooks training, payroll issues and cash flow problems along with other tax and business services.

Assisting with these issues helps Pertle build a relationship of trust with her customers which allows her to be able to assist them in filing their tax returns.

Pertle has 13 part-time employees and two full-time employees. Three of her employees have advanced degrees in accounting. In addition, all employees are extensively trained in tax theory and how to file tax returns.

Prior to even being permitted to use the computer tax program, after studying tax theory employees must file several tax returns on paper before being trained on the computer program.

After that, employees must pass testing on 18 tax return problems and complete three levels of training before being permitted to work with customers on tax returns.

Meeting with business owners and getting to know people in the community is high on Pertle's priority list now.

Hours of operation at Liberty Tax Service are Mondays through Thursdays, from 9 a.m. through 7 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Appointments can be scheduled on Sundays.

Customers can contact Pertle and her staff at 724-374-5082.

Margie Stanislaw is a freelance writer.