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.
Deborah Koidahl, CPA
A PNW native, Deborah left Tacoma to attend the University of Washington in Seattle. She graduated with a BA in Accounting including a concentration in Marketing. She earned her CPA license performing internal audits for two national banks focusing on Trust and Capital Markets divisions. During that time, she held an active Certified Trust Auditor designation and Series 7 (General Securities Representative) license.
Taking advantage of Seattle’s role in the dot-com boom and the new widespread popularity of Apple computers, Deborah became a principal and Chief Financial Officer of Westwind Computing. She wore many hats during this time fulfilling her responsibilities in the areas of accounting, finance, human resources, contracts, legal, insurance and managing external audits (including the Washington Department Revenue and IRS).
During her career pause to raise two boys, Deborah held positions as Treasurer and Board Member for both Roosevelt High School Boys’ Lacrosse and North Seattle Lacrosse.
Acting on a friend’s suggestion when her boys reached college age, Deborah entered the field of tax preparation. She enjoys the variety and seasonality of the work and interactions with clients. She believes that her diverse background helps her bring a unique perspective to her work.
When not at work, she spends as much time as possible at her cabin on Mason Lake enjoying time with family and friends.
“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.