Howard Choder, EA
In 1982 I moved to Seattle (from Pittsburgh, PA) and fell into a job at the Internal Revenue Service quite by accident. I thought it was going to be a temporary stop, but remained there for 15 years holding various positions in the Downtown Seattle office.
I discovered that tax law was a good match for me as it blends numbers with law. After 15 years, I had risen to the top of my profession and my only promotion available to me was going into management at the IRS. That’s when I left to start my own practice.
I initially started working out of my house and met clients in coffee houses around Seattle. My business continues to grow every year with many professional and client referrals.
In addition to providing Tax Accounting, IRS Problem Solving, and other general tax solutions, I have also added Financial Planning to my practice. I have passed all of the preliminary exams and now just need to sit for the final board exam in order to become a Certified Financial Planner.
When I’m not at the office, I love being with my family and kids, playing and coaching ice hockey, riding my bike and to travel as much as time allows. I also enjoying helping with good causes such as the Blue Earth Alliance, Paws, and Full Circle Leadership.
“The Tax Wizard”
Matt was born and raised in Kansas, which he remembers fondly now that he doesn’t have to spend much time there. He started working for Taxman in 2011, shortly after arriving in Seattle. First as Howard’s assistant, then helping with tax preparation, and in 2014 he became an Enrolled Agent, allowing him to prepare tax returns and represent clients dealing with all kinds of IRS issues. Prior to moving to the west coast, Matt spent several years in Washington DC lobbying and working in the finance and accounting department of a large national non-profit. This provided a non-traditional but effective training for both tax preparation and in dealing with the government. Whether you need assistance with your tax return, surviving an audit, or dealing with IRS collection issues, Matt is here to help!
When away from the office Matt enjoys spending time outside exploring the Pacific Northwest, or inside watching basketball.
“The Balance Sheet Queen”
Growing up in Eastern Washington, Carey attended Washington State University – originally for a hospitality degree, but she soon realized working for the travel industry meant watching everyone else travel while you man the fort. She switched to accounting and graduated with a B.A. in Business Administration and a Masters in Accountancy. After all, you can count beans anywhere in the world. While attending WSU, Carey rowed for the nationally ranked crew team.
After graduation, she had had enough of the wheat fields and joined the Peace Corps, where she spent 2 years living and volunteering in Ukraine. A love of beets, pelmeni and cross-stitch was discovered. Returning to the states via the Trans-Siberian railway to Beijing and a flight back to Washington, she started working part-time for Taxman as an accounting assistant/administrator, where she discovered a love of taxes. She then moved to a CPA firm in Redmond, where she worked on a number of tax, accounting and finance projects. After 4 years of taxes and financial statements, Carey is excited to be back and focusing on Tax work only.
When not working, Carey enjoys traveling (an unused passport is a wasted opportunity), exploring Seattle’s music scene (listener only), and exploring the PNW.
Joe Allen, CPA
Joe attended Central Washington University and graduated with a B.S. in Accounting and minor in Economics. He has worked in public accounting since 2014 and holds a CPA designation. Joe is passionate about investing and is the founder and president of a local investment club.
Outside of work Joe enjoys hiking, video games, and playing sports with friends.
Patty Kelley, CPA
“Return of the (Tax) Jedi”
Patty, originally from Massachusetts, has been living in Seattle for the past 20 years. She is a CPA with an undergraduate degree in Accounting from the University of Massachusetts (Lowell) and a Masters in Taxation from Northeastern University in Boston. Prior to working for Taxman, Patty spent five years in tax with a Big Four firm focusing on entities and high net worth individuals. After diverting to banking to work on investments and derivatives, she returned to tax work part-time while she raises her daughter. Patty’s tax experience includes compliance and consulting for high net worth individuals and pass-through business entities.
When not at work, Patty enjoys spending time with her family.
Allison was born and raised in Central California where she comes from an accounting family. During high school, she worked in accounting with her mother in a private firm. Once arriving at California State University, Fresno, she decided accounting was not for her. She went into her first year of college as a pre-med Biology major, later to change to Linguistics, then Archeology before realizing Accounting was the path she was meant to walk. She graduated with an Associate of Science in Accounting from College of Sequoias and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Accountancy option from California State University, Fresno.
After graduating from CSU Fresno, she began working at a regional CPA firm where she worked for six years. She worked in tax, audit and bookkeeping areas for many different types of companies and entities. She soon realized tax was her passion and when she decided to move to the cooler climates in Seattle, she was thrilled to join the team at Taxman and Associates.
When she is not working on taxes, she likes to spend time with her dog exploring the great city of Seattle, playing video games, and binging her favorite TV shows. She is also working on becoming an Enrolled Agent.
Katherine grew up in Seattle, WA, and in 2007 graduated from Western Washington University with an undergraduate degree in Communication Theory and French. Upon graduating, she moved to southern France for a year to teach English, yes, it was as dreamy as it sounds. When she returned to the states, she decided it was her in best interest to get a business degree. In 2013, she graduated from Seattle University with an MBA with emphasis in accounting. She has 11 years of experience working at a small tax firm specializing in high net worth individuals and their closely held entities. Katherine joined the Taxman team in 2022 as a part-time team member.
Katherine and her young family live in Kingston, WA. In her free time she enjoys chasing around her toddler son, exploring the beaches and mountains of the peninsula during all seasons and working in her ever growing cut-flower and veggie gardens.
Rachel Larson (previously Mears)
“The Portal Master”
In 2015, Rachel moved to the west side of the state to go to college after growing up in Yakima, Washington. She attended UW and confirmed to herself that her heart belonged in the city. After graduation, Rachel decided to stay in Seattle permanently. She loves helping others, solving problems, and making sure all of our Taxman clients know that we have their back.
In her free time, Rachel loves thrift shopping, making her own cold brew, and finding new parks in Seattle to explore.
“The Secret Agent”
Originally from North Carolina, Anna has an information technology background and was a manager in an electronic funds transfer company until a little over 2 years ago. She always had been interested in taxes and took her first H&R Block tax course 20 years ago. She began her employment again for H&R Block 2 years ago before starting to work for Howard.
Anna has a range of hobbies including: volunteering, being a docent at the Woodland Park Zoo, hiking, snowshoeing, and anything outdoors.
Nikki moved to the Pacific Northwest with her husband in 1998. She worked in the advertising industry until 2004 and became a full time mom to her son Calvin. At age 3, her daughter said that she should probably go to work, as she was in preschool so Nikki took a part time job with The Taxman in 2007.
Nikki worked as Howard’s assistant until the close of tax season in 2009 and became a personal trainer to other moms she knew from the neighborhood. This season Nikki’s back with the Taxman to help in the “busy season” and still works early mornings as a personal trainer doing strength training and cardio exercise.
Nikki’s interests are skiing, hiking, running in Ragnar relays with friends and volunteering at her son’s school. This year she joined a book club in hopes of actually reading a book.
“Can’t Claim Her As A Dependent”
Originally from Tacoma, Washington, listed for free on Craigslist, we knew we had to act immediately to rescue our new dog, Shady Jane (formerly known as Sadie Jane). Shady’s best friend is any tennis ball connected to a chucker. Yes, she adores her human family, but would ditch us in a second for a job chasing tennis balls! She is a mutt with some funny mannerisms (she can smile and sneer at the same time!), but we are sure she has border collie running through her veins. She is smart, loves to crunch numbers, sniff new friends and scare the hell out of our letter carrier.
*In addition to these wonderful attributes, she plays well with others and has never bitten an IRS worker. Although, with trying to figure out the new tax law, all bets are off.