As our nation deals with the ever-present recession, economic prudence and responsibility is more vital than ever. Those in need of guidance with their taxes and other financial matters that require careful, sound decision making, can turn to professionals such as Joseph Ginn, Jr.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Ginn started Joe’s Professional Tax Service in 1991, while working with AT&T. He moved to Palmdale in 1997 and established his business as a mobile tax service until 2006, when he left the phone company altogether to pursue his dream as a sole business owner.
“I always saw myself owning my own business,” Ginn says. “I didn’t know what it would be. My first job while I was a student at Los Angeles Southwest College was as an assistant manager at McDonald’s. And then I did a lot of retail work. I knew that wasn’t for me, but I knew it would give me the experience I needed to eventually run my own business from a customer service perspective, and handling funds.”
A graduate of Reseda High School, Ginn enrolled at L.A. Southwest College then transferred to the University of Redlands. He was further inspired to become an entrepreneur by his educators at Redlands. “My professor, Paul Almond, inspired me to own my own business. “He said it is up to you to drive yourself to be self-employed.”
Additionally, Ginn was influenced by his father, Joseph Ginn, Sr., who worked as an insurance agent. Watching the elder Ginn help other people manage their insurance claims and other financial matters motivated him to focus on economic management and development. Now, he looks to advise other Blacks with economic management and development.
And this current financial crises gives him a lot of room to work said Ginn, who believes that bad loans are at the root of many of the economic ills impacting Americans. He noted that unfortunately, many Blacks have been forced to file for bankruptcy or relinquish their homes.
“A lot of people are choosing to walk away from their homes, which is a bad idea because, although the IRS is sympathetic to their debt, the state of California is not. I have many clients who have no issues on the IRS side of their tax return. However, on the state side they have bills ranging from $12,000 to $50,000.”
Although bankruptcy is often utilized as a method to save a person’s home, Ginn warned that people should examine other options before taking that step.
“In some cases, it’s the only option,” he admitted. “Especially if you are in over your head. If a person wants to keep their home, I would strongly suggest they get free consultation with an attorney to put all their marbles on the table to determine, if bankruptcy is a viable option.”
For many Blacks, Ginn insists, financial responsibility must be exercised for greater progress within the community to be made. “From a tax perspective, a lot of Blacks need to save. A lot of us don’t put our energy into saving. What I mean by that is investing in 401(k)s safely. When the market starts to fluctuate, your money needs to be directed into a safer package–an income package within the 401(k) that is not as aggressive. In most cases, if you look at your quarterly statement from your 401(k) administrator, it will show you which fund tends to be the safest.”
In addition to utilizing sound economic fundamentals to cope with the current recession, Ginn strongly encourages Black entreprenuership and support of Black businesses by Black people. “When you look at the Japanese, the Jews, the Hispanics,” he said, “they have a support system that enables their communities to be economically strong. They have their own economies. Although there are Black businesses, they need stronger support from us. And we need more Black businesses.”
Ginn said he often ventures back into Los Angeles, purchasing a car or making a major transaction to give other Black entrepreneurs his business. “I am a firm believer in what my Bishop Edwin Derenborg (pastor and founder of United Christian Fellowship of the Antelope Valley in Palmdale) says: “If you don’t give, you won’t get anything in return.’ If we don’t invest in the businesses within our own race, we shouldn’t expect them to flourish or even exist.”