In 2020, small business owners and solopreneurs adapted to new challenges by transitioning to virtual services and finding new ways to give back to their communities. This tax season, TurboTax Live gave one innovative salon owner a little lift, with advice to help her navigate her unique tax situation and a surprise to help her uplift others!
Salon Owner Julz Gets a #LittleLift from TurboTax Live
We caught up with Julz for an update on her Little Lift from TurboTax Live.
What are some of the big life changes or challenges that you experienced in the past year, and how did they affect your taxes this year?
Julz: As a hairdresser and salon owner, 2020 was extremely challenging. The devastation of the lockdowns and closing my salon, struggling to support my staff while trying to support myself and our business. It was a lot of firsts! This was also the first time in my life I was ever going to need unemployment benefits. I had no idea how to file taxes for my business. While the whole world felt like it was on pause, there was still that looming certainty, I knew I’d have to file my taxes but had no idea where to begin.
What were some of the key pivots that you made to your business last year to adjust to a virtual world?
Julz: Being a hairdresser has historically been a recession-proof industry, but we’ve never faced global shut down due to health risks, not in my lifetime. And for the first time, hairdressers didn’t have job security! And it’s been heartbreaking to watch an industry unravel this way.
Feeling compelled to help, my business partner and I began teaching basic financial literacy to other beauty industry professionals. Many of whom learned they weren’t eligible for unemployment, and as an industry of primarily independent and self-employed stylists, many of whom didn’t have access to the necessary resources to financially succeed and thrive. So launching an online academy, Networth & Bill, has been pivotal for my company as we are now able to reach exponentially more stylists and help more people learn not only financial literacy, but now we can recommend an amazing tax solution as well.
Transitioning our business from behind the chair to an online academy was a challenge we tackled head-on so that we could move hairdressers into this new space of education, and create a more accessible curriculum to better serve our industry.
What were some of the key questions or concerns you had about filing your taxes this year?
Julz: As a new business owner, I was already worried about how to file my taxes now, let alone during a pandemic. I didn’t know how unemployment worked, whether it was taxed before I received it or not. I didn’t know how to manage the PPP loan applications and the tax documents they required! Then factoring in odd jobs throughout the year to stay afloat, it was all just too confusing and I felt lost.
How would you describe your experience with TurboTax Live Self-Employed?
Julz: I could say that it was like having a real person do your taxes…because that’s exactly what it was! I was terrified to sit at a computer and tackle this mess of receipts! But Diana was there to walk me through every step! And it was as simple as any video chat, just pressed the button and POOF! There was Diana! A real person! I could ask her for help, recommendations, and questions that were specific to me and my situation. It was great to have some virtual-hand-holding to walk me through each question. It felt more like a conversation with a friend than an exhaustive financial inquisition!
What were some of the most surprising or helpful things that you learned from your TurboTax Live expert?
Julz: I was blown away by Diana’s expertise. She enlightened me so much about how I was filing or how I could be filing to really get the most out of my tax dollars. Diana was able to show me how to monitor spending and business expenses! Then I could see where I could save or reallocate money for the future.
How did it make you feel to be able to file your taxes with a TurboTax Live expert?
Julz: Having my tax expert walk me through my taxes made it feel more personal, more effective, but most of all, I felt understood. My tax expert was knowledgeable, professional, and kept me calm as she helped me each step of the way. She was patient with me as I stumbled across my keyboard, and was genuine as she helped me. It felt like I was actually learning about taxes, which made me understand how to do it!
Would you recommend TurboTax Live to your family and friends?
Julz: I’ve already told everyone in the beauty industry to start using TurboTax Live! Now I’m bringing it up in conversation all the time just to share how easy it finally was to do my taxes!
How has the Little Lift from TurboTax Live helped you and others?
Julz: The little lift from TurboTax Live was the only thing more surprising than learning that my
tax expert was a real person! When my tax expert Diana surprised me with a little lift, I was moved to tears! With that little lift, I was able to establish a scholarship fund to help get other hairdressers the education they deserve and access to their very own TurboTax Live expert, too! Now, “The Little Lift Scholarship” is available to beauty industry professionals who apply to the Networth & Bill Academy.
TurboTax Live Self-Employed Has You Covered
If you’re self-employed, like Julz, keep in mind that TurboTax Live Self-Employed is the perfect tax solution for freelancers, independent contractors, and small business owners. No matter how you want to get your taxes done (whether that’s just a little help or fully handing your taxes off), you can feel confident your taxes are done right with help from TurboTax Live tax experts.