By Jim Workman

Smart Tax CEO Nick Rizzi may be based in Brooklyn, but he has had his eye on West Virginia.

“We’ve been trying to expand on the east coast and the mid-Atlantic region and when we acquired Eagle Tax in Jan. 2014, Barry and Brenda Shilling were a part of that.

“We were fortunate enough to have them join us.”

The Shillings recently moved their tax preparation business from Charleston to South Charleston, at 320 2nd Ave.

They opened up an Eagle Tax franchise in 2011. In November 2013, Smart Tax and Eagle Tax merged, so the office will officially transition to Smart Tax at the end of the current fiscal year, beginning July 1.

It will become the first Smart Tax franchise in West Virginia.

“(The Shillings) definitely fit the bill for us,” said Rizzi. “They’re local, and from the area. They’ve been there and have a business that we’re hoping to grow with them. We’re looking to expand.

“The larger our system grows, the better we can service our customers. We can get our brand out, the happier our franchisees are.”

Rizzi said the idea behind Smart Tax is to offer affordable, efficient and competent tax preparation services to customers.

“We do it by only dealing with great people,” he said. “We only offer franchises to people that are existing tax preparers, CPAs or EAs. We don’t try to take someone that is not a tax preparer and try to get them in the business of tax preparation.

“For us, that doesn’t work. It doesn’t send a good message. We want our brand to be associated with professional experience.”

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