Aka: David, Linda, Bethany, Nancy, Steven, Angela, Grace, Wendy, and a “borrowed” Jeanne
Size: 8 people (plus the occasional Jeanne)
Habitat: A rather nomadic bunch, the team is found both on the 15th floor of the NSC in the NW corner, and poking around records boxes in other departments in search of old receipts.
Migratory patterns: When not roaming the halls of the NSC in search of old records, the team can often be found at their regularly scheduled potluck lunches (hint: they’re in the market for a new quesadilla machine).
Food: Besides the aforementioned quesadillas, the team also supplies the candy jar in front of the lobby doors on the north side of the 15th floor. “The company finds that jar helpful when hunger strikes.” Team members delights in providing sugary treats to visiting children.
Predators: Taxing jurisdictions, state/city/county tax auditors. “The California folks visit quite regularly. We give them piles of paperwork [literally filling a cube with boxes of records].”
Most active: January-March, aka tax and business license renewal season.
Daily activities/regular routines: Paying bills, preparing tax returns, and serving as a clearinghouse for random calls — everything from a Center Director wanting to know how to handle oil discovered at her center to parents who call for tax assistance regarding their child care tax credit. Although the team doesn’t actually dispense tax advice, a certain well-known tax preparation company consistently tries anyway, employing such tactics as, “You’re wrong and parents will be mad.” Says one team member with an apologetic shrug, “If they [parents] went to another tax preparer, they’d be happier.”
Longest standing team member: David Benedict, 16 years
Fun fact: No one on the team has less than five years’ experience on the KU Tax team.
Words of Tax wisdom: “Retain your records.” “Cash your checks.” “Look at your state’s unclaimed records information.” “Send it [tax questions] to us and we’ll take care of it.”
Known for: Bothering people for information, reaching out for specific receipts and records years after the money was spent.
Adaptive survival skills: Tenacity, patience, sleuthing for details, puzzling out where information is stored.
Purpose: To have the least amount of direct impact on the field as possible. “We’re most successful when we’re invisible.” Centers shouldn’t have to focus on their tax issues – that’s what the Tax team is here for.