As Founder of The Clem Collaborative, Steven prepared his first professional tax return more than 20 years ago during his freshman year in college, when a roommate, seeing Steven prepare his own tax return, asked him how much he would charge to do his return. Steven, taken somewhat aback, paused and said “hmmm…twenty bucks?” Before he knew it, Steven was doing tax returns for friends, classmates, and even two faculty members. He didn’t know it at the time, but a career was born!
Much has changed in the years since Steven completed that first return. Prior to starting his own firm, he rose through the ranks of a company that provided Market Research services to the film industry, eventually serving as Director of East Coast Operations, then he spent several years working for H&R Block – the world’s largest retail-based tax preparation service – first in their retail division, then later in their prestigious Premium Division where he created and implemented tax strategies for high net worth individuals, corporations, partnerships, estates, and trusts. In his final three years with the company, he served as a Corporate Trainer, educating new hires in tax fundamentals and experienced tax professionals in more nuanced tax strategies.
Understanding that an ever-expanding base of knowledge is vital to providing the maximum level of service possible to his clientele, Steven devotes a substantial amount of time each year to expanding his expertise. In 2004 he sat for – and passed – the IRS-administered Enrolled Agent Exam. The EA is the highest level of tax certification one can obtain, and it is a designation held by less than three percent of tax professionals.
In founding The Clem Collaborative, Steven sought to bring a new philosophy to the tax business. He believes that the U.S. Tax Code provides us with a roadmap for personal wealth creation, and his mission is to use his knowledge of that roadmap to help his clients pursue their financial goals.
A sought-after author and lecturer, Steven is also active in his community, serving as President of the National Association of Tax Professionals – SC Chapter, Treasurer of the Charleston County Public Library Board of Trustees, and as a Former Director of the Alliance for Full Acceptance and We Are Family.
When he’s not preaching the message of “paying yourself more and paying the government less” Steven is an avid cook, oenophile, reader, and traveler. He lives with Oliver, his “furry son” on James Island.