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New owner/operator at tax preparer

After 20 years of preparing tax returns, Sheila Colpitts has retired from tax preparation, and has sold her tax business to a new concern.
A new business is taking over tax preparation services from Colpitts Agencies. Sheila Colpitts has been doing tax forms for area residents for 20 years, and while she will still be continuing her book-keeping work, the tax services will now be done by Lothian Financial. Colpitts, in a letter addressed to her former tax clients, wrote, "I loved doing tax returns and I really enjoyed dealing with all the people. I most certainly will miss it . . ."

After 20 years of preparing tax returns, Sheila Colpitts has retired from tax preparation, and has sold her tax business to a new concern.

Colpitts, who began doing taxes in 1990, is stepping aside, and now a new business, Lothian Financial, will be taking over the tax work.

"It was getting time that I wanted to slow down a bit, and the tax preparation is a really time-consuming job," Colpitts said. "I really enjoyed dealing with all of the clients over the years, but it was time to ease off."

Picking up the slack now will be husband and wife team Mike and Colleen Lothian.

"I had considered doing taxes for a few years," Mike Lothian said. "I used to do it for some of my clients when I was doing financial planning, and it was something I played with for a while."

"I guess it was this summer we found out that Sheila was debating about getting out of the tax business, and I guess I saw an opportunity," Lothian continued. "It was a chance to get into the tax business with an established business, rather than having to start from the ground up."

Mike Lothian, who with his brother and father run Carlyle Bakery, has a background in financial planning, and is in the final year of preparation for his CMA (Chartered Management Accountant) designation.

"Right now we'll just be offering the tax preparation services," Lothian said. "I can offer advice about financial planning, but I wouldn't be able to sell them any products."

"Once my CMA is done, then I can consider offering a fuller range of services," Lothian said. "For the time being though, I'm happy to talk about planning, and obviously there would be no product-biased advice."

As for Colpitts, she will be providing some support service with Lothian Financial for the first year, and she will also continue her book-keeping work.

"It isn't a retirement, just a shift in priorities," Colpitts said. "I'll still be working, just not on income taxes any more."

For Lothian, due to his involvement in the bakery, things will be starting slow at first.

"We're looking at early- to mid-February to have regular, full-time office hours set up," Lothian said. "Colleen will be there for the nine-to-five, and I'll be there whenever I can."

"I can imagine it will be a little difficult at first, getting things all balanced out, but I'm really looking forward to it," Lothian said. "This is something I've thought about for years, so I'm really excited."

All the records and past-years tax information of Colpitts clients will be transferred to Lothian, making for an easy transition for both clients and the business itself.

Lothian Financial will be taking office space at the Co-operator's Insurance Agency building at 102 Railway Ave. in Carlyle.

The phone number for the business is 453-2243.

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