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A Generous Spirit

Mark Baird's drive to help benefits his clients as he finds ways they can save on their taxes

Article by Mary Ellin Arch

Photography by Caroline Martin Photography

Originally published in Midlothian Lifestyle

“In the Spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.” - Alfred Lord Tennyson

Everyone else’s turns to taxes.

And when that happens, Mark A. Baird of GRS Accounting Solutions is ready to help.

Mark is an accountant, but with an intense focus on delivering personal service and forging an individual relationship with each client.

“It’s not one-size-fits-all, not at all,” says Mark. “I’m always looking to how I can help each client.”

This means that especially for small business owners and 1099 contract workers, Mark starts each new interaction with a conversation about the client and his or her life. In addition to building a relationship and rapport, he’s also looking for clues to ways to reduce the client’s tax burden.

“Maybe they work from home, and some home expenses may be tax deductible,” he says. “Maybe they’re a 1099 delivery driver, so mileage may be deductible. I’m always looking to go the extra mile for that person to make sure they’re not overpaying their taxes.”

Mark’s clients benefit from his dedication to research. He has looked into tax regulations, tax changes, loopholes, and little-known ways to save a client’s money. For a client who regularly gets a big annual refund but admits living paycheck to paycheck, Mark will advise how to change withholdings to get the refund money spread out over the year.

Mark learned a lot in previous jobs, especially one in California, where he found bookkeeping in disarray and soon discovered tax and labor issues. After working there for about three years and putting everything in order, he knew he had enough experience to launch GRS Accounting Solutions, nearly 20 years ago. Now he offers a range of services including

  • Bookkeeping: Taxes, payroll, quarterly tax filings, and general bookkeeping.
  • Taxes: Preparation of a variety of returns including individual, corporate, partnership, trust, estate tax, exempt organizations, and payroll; also preparing business license and personal property taxes, and assistance in responding to federal and state tax notices.
  • Consulting: Researching client questions and circumstances, as well as changes in tax law and how it applies to clients’ personal or business returns.

His helpful nature extends to his community also. Mark, a former foster parent and father of eight (two biological, six adopted), has a soft spot for charities involving children. He’s involved with Cobb Imprint, which works with at-risk and impoverished youth; Mechanicsville Rotary Club, which supports many community projects including children’s causes and Hanover Safe Place, a nonprofit working confidentially with people experiencing domestic or sexual violence; and Synapse, a networking group that connects businesses with nonprofits for mutual benefits. His Synapse group currently is working with Better2gether, a nonprofit that helps families of children with uncommon health disorders find vital resources and assistance.

Oh, and he’s raising his 8-year-old grandson, Adrian.

“I like working with kids,” he says. “I want to be the person who helps out.”

grsaccountingsolutions.com | 804-387-5649

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