If you’re using the every-six-months method for paying taxes, Jerry Hardy has some advice: Stop immediately. “When I worked at the post office, the guys would recommend we pay taxes only half the year and it was better to wait for the rest. That ended with me being behind with the IRS. I want to change the culture of guessing,” he says.
Hardy founded and owns Tax Drive USA, the first black-owned mobile tax business servicing metro Detroit. He runs it with his close friends Samuel Little and Ryan Tucker. “Run” is the right word for it, since their work days often stretch into the 12-to-14-hour range. Tax Drive USA does everything by the hundreds. It’s 100% paperless, 100% black-owned and 100% mobile. Preparers drive to the client, saving everyone time and money.
Hardy say, “40% of our clients don’t have a vehicle; 15% are disabled or in a position where they really can’t go anywhere for themselves. Distance isn’t a problem – we see clients as far as Ypsilanti and Pontiac. We dress up when we drive out and treat everyone with respect, regardless of where they live.”
On average, depending on variables, Tax Drive charges $350 – about $26 less than the national average, Hardy notes, and generally less than what you’d expect from a neighborhood brick-and-mortar firm. Hardy says Tax Drive USA also aims to be transparent.
He says his training at other companies taught him the wrong way to provide honest, exceptional preparation services to Detroit citizens and beyond (he plans to expand into other states by 2025). “We as black people have a lot of distrust when it comes to money and finance,” Hardy says, exacerbated by a lack of knowledge. “We provide another option to taking the bus in the cold just to get ripped off.”