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Business Beat

January 16, 2013

National tax-prep firm adds local presence

Liberty Tax, which bills itself as the fastest-grown national tax-preparation firm, now has a franchise in Oneonta.

“The addition of this franchise enable this, as a whole, to competitively serve the early filer and quick refund seekers and further broadens the services that we offer,” said Donald Benson, who is partnering with Richard Dickson in the venture at 28 Oneida St.

Benson is owner of Donald Benson CPA and a partner in Benson and Gunther Financial, both in Oneonta.

Liberty competes with other industry giants, such as H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt, but Benson said it markets itself differently. It has about 4,000 offices in the United States and Canada.

“We have more of a personal touch where go we meet people face to face,” Benson said. “We send out marketers to meet business people and promote our business that way.”

The business also has a kiosk in Southside Mall through the end of February, he said.

“This is a fairly predictable type of business,” Benson said.

“Our busiest times are probably between Jan. 15 and Feb. 16. So … as we get toward the end of February, business starts to taper off a bit, going into March 15, and then as you get toward April 15, the last-minute people come in, and it picks up again.”

The franchise has 10 tax preparers, Benson said, and will be open seven days a week.

Cobleskill fund lauded

Money magazine has named the FAM Value Fund to its Money 70 list of fund in its January edition.

The mutual fund, administered by Fenimore Asset Management of Cobleskill, is one of the mutual funds an investor should consider when assembling “a high-quality, long-term portfolio using low-cost investments,” according to the magazine.

The fund has been on Money’s list of recommended mutual funds for eight consecutive years.

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