John Cerini learned the accounting business at his father Nat’s tax office on Crescent Avenue, near Arthur Avenue. John eventually went out on his own and started Bronx Tax Man in Throggs Neck. Now, after running his own shop for 34 years, the older Cerini is rejoining his son, and both are thrilled.
“It feels wonderful,” Nat, 65, said. “We work hand-in-hand.”
Nat Cerini was born in Velletri, Italy, outside Rome. He moved to the Bronx in 1961 and graduated from Roosevelt High School. He began his accounting career working for H&R Block, eventually becoming Bronx borough manager. He started his own accounting business near Arthur Avenue in 1977.
Nat Cerini did not just serve the Bronx, however. He made house calls throughout the entire city as well as suburbs, and a young John tagged along.
“I remember being 5, 6 years old going with my dad, he did all over 5 boroughs, Connecticut, New Jersey,” John Cerini said. “I would keep him alert, because he had to drive long distances.”
John Cerini also remembers the moment he figured out he wanted to help people with their taxes as well. The pair were on a house call, and a father and mother asked Nat, “our teenage daughter made some money with a part-time job this year. Should we file a tax return for her?”
Nat told John, who was 13 at the time, “why don’t you do it?”
That was a turning point for John.
“I decided around then I wanted to go to college and do taxes. I saw my dad wears a suit gets to sit at a desk, in air conditioning, and people respect him,” John Cerini said.
“So I asked my mom, ‘what do you call what dad does?’ and she said ‘he’s an accountant.’”
Nat Cerini passed down one trait that is necessary for any accountant – a love of math.
“I love to work with numbers,” Nat said. “A lot of people tell me that’s crazy, but it’s not.”
John Cerini started working at the Crescent Avenue business when he was just 20 years old and a student at Lehman College. For years later, in 1993, they became partners. John Cerini opened Bronx Tax Man in 1999 and has run it ever since. He is also a licensed real estate agent, but taxes and accounting are still his bread and butter.
Nat Cerini officially joined Bronx Tax Man on Monday, November 7. The Crescent Avenue location will close for good on Tuesday, December 1. But he’s not complaining.
“It’s beautiful to work with my son,” Nat said. “I can’t say anything else. It’s wonderful.”
Bill Weisbrod can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (718) 742-3394.