Sitting in her Virginia office at 11:56 p.m. Monday, Monica Clarke filed a Virgin Islands resident’s United States tax return with four minutes to spare.
Certified public accountants like Ms. Clarke often work late into the night on April 15 each year, trying to beat the Internal Revenue Service’s deadline. But for the first time, Ms. Clarke, who was born on St. Thomas but grew up in Belle Vue, made a special effort to cater to VI belongers with dual citizenship and US residents living in this territory, opening up an office in Fish Bay.
“From a local perspective — and a cultural, public awareness, educational perspective — I felt like I best understood a lot of the locals who fell into situations where maybe you happened to be born in St. Thomas but have never lived there, so this is a foreign issue for a lot of folks,” she said. “I felt I could relate to the locals.”
Ms. Clarke had considered entering the VI market for many years — previously she’d heard of some residents using USVI preparers, she said — but she worried that educating taxpayers about the need to file would be too great of a challenge
“The requirement of the filing of [US] taxes is not new, but the public awareness of it, I think, is relatively new,” she said.
See the April 18, 2013 edition for full coverage.