"My first year, we did 28 returns," he said between bites. "Now I am the second-largest tax preparation company in a four-county area."
Poncer is an old hat at smoothing out the minefield of credits, tax breaks and refunds. He began his company on the top of a kitchen table almost 25 years ago.
"I would work on my kitchen table. I would go to people's houses and do (taxes) on their kitchen tables," said Poncer.
New office is product of long hours, love for the business
His complete financial services company is now housed in a more permanent location on the bypass. The new office is the product of long hours and numerous fliers but also a love for the business.
"I've always been good with numbers, and working with taxes ... Taxes are kind of a gray area. It intrigues me," said Poncer.
Deciphering deductions is its own reward as well, he explained. Daily, clients leave Poncer's shoppe with substantially larger refunds than they had found themselves.
"Taxes are so complex, the average person could not possibly imagine all the credit they are entitled to, and they miss stuff," he said. "... I love it when a client comes in, and I find something they have missed. I basically pay for myself."
Poncer also offered some free advice to those who have yet to file: the sooner the better.
"As long as they're getting a refund, it's not really a problem. But if they owe, they're already in the penalty stage," he explained, with interest incurred daily.
As his burger quickly disappeared and the client list grew, Poncer offered a final piece of free tax advice: it doesn't have to be as painful as it seems. Just don't wage the tax war alone, he said. "Come to us with your W-2, spend 20-25 minutes and we know it's right."