75-year-old provides a steady presence in a taxing job
At age 75, Ken Koslowsky has no plans to stop preparing income tax returns for people.
“I view it as a community service,” he said. “Most people could do their own if they really wanted to, but I’m happy to do it for them.”
Koslowsky has been preparing tax returns for more than 40 years. He began in an office in a hardware store that he and his brother, Tom, owned.
When they sold the business, they purchased an adjoining building, which now is Koslowsky Accounting Service office.
He keeps records for West Wind Properties LLC, a business he and his brother own that rents out storage facilities.
He also provides accounting and payroll services, but most of his work is tax preparation.
Clients trickle in starting about Jan. 15, and by Feb. 1, his workdays become long for 2 ½ months.
He is in the office from 9 a.m. to lunch and after lunch until 5:30 p.m. He returns after supper, often working until 11 p.m. This is his routine six days a week. He occasionally works a few hours on Sunday.
Koslowsky has had more than 500 clients the last three or four years. He expects an increase this year.
He does mostly simple, individual returns, plus a few corporations and partnerships.
He remembers when he used to fill out paper forms. His wife, Carla, typed them, and they were mailed.
Later, forms still were mailed, but they were computerized and photocopied.
The last 20 years or so, the whole process has been digital.
Any tax preparer with more than 50 clients is required to do electronic filing, Koslowsky said.
“It’s more accurate,” he said. “If mailed in, somebody else has to put the data into the system, so there’s more opportunity for error.”
He urges everyone to hold onto forms they get in the mail for tax purposes. If a form is misplaced, they have to spend time and energy figuring out how to replace it.
If a client gets a letter from the IRS questioning something after a return is filed, the client should deal with it promptly, he said. An amended return can be filed if necessary.
“I try to avoid extensions,” Koslowsky said. “If tax is due, the payment is not extended, so the filer will be penalized for late payment.”
He urges everyone to file a return to avoid penalties for not filing.
The deadline this year is April 18.
Although Koslowsky doesn’t plan to quit preparing taxes, at age 75, he does think about his clients’ futures.
“I sometimes wonder what they will do when I’m gone,” he said. “There aren’t many tax preparers out there. I enjoy it. I feel like I’m doing some good.”
Last modified April 7, 2022