By Megan Sayles, AFRO Business Writer,
Report for America Corps Member,
At one point, Baltimore native Andrea Scott was paying a small fortune to mainstream companies to handle her tax preparation. Now, she’s a tax and finance expert who owns Brownstone Tax and Financial Services, which offers more affordable options for tax preparation, bankruptcy filing, life insurance and financial planning.
“I want everyone to be able to function from point A to point Z, so they can go from understanding finances, budgeting and their tax situation to becoming homeowners or even entrepreneurship,” Scott said.
When she was a single mother in her twenties, Scott depended on H&R Block to prepare her tax return. Scott thought the company’s fees were unreasonable. After being billed hundreds of dollars, she took it upon herself to learn how to do her taxes.
After gaining a good understanding of tax law and the preparation process, Scott began helping friends and family pay their taxes. Very quickly, she extended her expertise to insurance and financial advice.
In 2007 Scott formed Brownstone LLC, now known as Brownstone Tax and Financial Services. For years, she ran the agency while maintaining a full-time job in the state of Maryland. It wasn’t until 2018 that Brownstone Tax and Financial Services became his sole career.
“I have a whole team of different people that I work with because a lot of people in African American communities don’t have access to these services or don’t realize they’re there,” Scott said.
Scott’s team includes credit specialists, real estate agents, bankers and tax specialists, and they help clients better manage their money and debt, purchase life and auto insurance, file income taxes , settle IRS debt and file bankruptcy forms.
“A legacy I want to leave for my community is to make sure it’s ready for financial stability,” Scott said. “We don’t have a lot of money, and often people don’t earn a lot, but there are ways to manage it.”
As part of his commitment to supporting entrepreneurs, Scott has also opened an insurance school in recent years at Brownstone Tax and Financial Services. It is one of five institutions in Maryland that offers hybrid and in-person courses for pre-licensing in life and health insurance, P&C.
Outside of running his business, Scott and his sister run the Green Dollar Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing middle and high school students with financial literacy. They hold seminars to help young people learn how to read their W-2s, understand payroll deductions, and prepare for a secure financial future.
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