Not just the taxman

Bob Clark

Bob Clark is leading an interesting life—one he wants to start writing about soon. He ran away, at 13, from a difficult home life in Florida and headed for New York. He did odd jobs, such as sweeping floors in exchange for meals. “I was basically a street person,” he said. Eventually, he worked as a busboy and waiter. At 18, he was drafted into the U.S. Air Force, which put him through college at the University of Illinois, where he earned a meteorology degree. Then the Air Force sent him to Austin, Texas, where he earned a degree in accounting at the University of Texas. The Air Force then traded him out to the Army, and he served in Vietnam. “I was a forward air controller. I directed artillery, air strikes, and naval fire for a year during the Tet Offensive.” After returning to the States, he ended up in Chico, where he has remained for 42 years. He owns Bob Clark & Associates Financial Management Center on the north end of The Esplanade. He’s done tax preparation for 40 years, and he also provides bookkeeping, financial and investment planning, and payroll services. But that’s not all Clark does. He also owns Praise the Lord Pediatric Daycare—three houses in Chico, Orland, and Magalia that provide care for medically fragile children. “I love all kids,” he said.

What should people be thinking about now that it’s tax season?

They should be thinking about all the new changes that have happened with tax laws, and they should be getting their books and records together and making an appointment to see a tax professional. There have been a lot of changes—for example, there’s a new credit for people who have lived in their houses four or five years and buy a new home. And there are other new credits available. It’s very important that people look ahead—it’s not the same as it has been.

What else can people do to prepare for tax season?

They can read articles that are coming out about tax law changes to make themselves aware of the changes and to help them know what questions to ask when they meet with their tax preparer.

What do you do to stay up on the constantly changing tax laws?

I have taken approximately 135 continuing-ed units in the past year to maintain the different licenses I have.

What do you do when the pressure of tax season becomes intense?

I go play tennis!