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Client Spotlight: Author Deborah Rodriguez

This post is the first in a regular series of posts spotlighting some of our clients with a brief account of their business planning or budgeting pains and their success story.

We hope you find these stories and transformations inspirational.

Today's story involves:

Deborah Rodriguez, (Deb) 

Deb is the author of the nonfiction New York Times bestseller KABUL BEAUTY SCHOOL and the internationally bestselling novels THE LITTLE COFFEE SHOP OF KABUL and MARGARITA WEDNESDAYS. She is also a hairdresser, motivational speaker and was a cofounder/director of the first modern beauty academy in Afghanistan, and also founded the nonprofit Oasis Rescue. She lives in Mazatlán, Mexico, where she founded Tippy Toes salon and spa. Her latest book is: RETURN TO THE LITTLE COFFEE SHOP OF KABUL.  Currently Deb is currently working on her fifth book THE ZANZIBAR WIFE and is traveling to Rwanda to visit the gorillas known for being in “Gorillas in the Mist”.

Soon after the fall of the Taliban, in 2001, Deb went to Afghanistan as part of a group offering humanitarian aid to this war-torn nation. Surrounded by men and women whose skills–as doctors, nurses, and therapists–seemed eminently more practical than her own, Deb, a hairdresser and mother of two from Michigan, despaired of being of any real use. Yet she soon found she had a gift for befriending Afghans, and once her profession became known she was eagerly sought out by Westerners desperate for a good haircut and by Afghan women, who have a long and proud tradition of running their own beauty salons. Thus an idea was born. 

With the help of corporate and international sponsors, the Kabul Beauty School welcomed its first class in 2003. Well-meaning but sometimes brazen, Deb stumbled through language barriers, overstepped cultural customs, and constantly juggled the challenges of a postwar nation even as she learned how to empower her students to become their families’ breadwinners by learning the fundamentals of coloring techniques, haircutting, and makeup.

When it became too dangerous for Deb to remain in Afghanistan, she moved to California.  Once there, she needed help with her International Taxes.  That is how Deb and John Dillinger met.  Since meeting, John has helped Deb with her personal and business taxes.  Moreover, when Deb’s mother thought she owed a lot of taxes to the IRS, John stepped in and helped her mother end up with a refund.

Deb moved to Mexico where she continues to write books and opened Tippy Toes Salon in Mazatlán.  As a creative and adventurous person, Deb rests assured that she doesn’t need to worry about her taxes, as John loves a tax challenge. 

Speaking of a tax challenge, Deb’s books are very popular in the UK & Australia.  Although Deb lives and works outside of the US, the IRS taxes her on her worldwide income.  However, she’s eligible for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion.  The foreign Earned Income Exclusion is a great tax deduction.  However, it becomes a problem when avoiding double taxation with the UK & Australia.  Deb’s publisher stated that he consulted with a Big Four Accounting Firm with previous clients and they had to either forgo the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion or be subject to the double taxation in the UK & Australia.

After much research reviewing tax law and tax treaties, John figured out a way for Deb to avoid double taxation with the UK and Australia, and instead of losing the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion it was increased!

Thank you, Deb for referring many new clients to DillingerCPA and making our conversations delightful.

 You can find out more about Deb at: http://www.debbierodriguez.com/