145 N. Lakeshore Drive, Suite 9, Lake Junaluska, NC 28745

About Us

Somerset Tax Partners, LLC since 2018

Helping Individuals and small family-run businesses.

Somerset Tax Partners, LLC, is a dedicated family business led by R. Joseph Ritter, Jr., CFP®, EA, and now proudly joined by his daughter, Leah. With a passion for tax planning and financial counseling, Joe has transformed his enthusiasm into a thriving practice that serves clients across multiple states and even internationally.

Meet R. Joseph Ritter, Jr., CFP®, EA

Joe’s journey in the field of business and finance began Joe hails from Crisfield, MD, but his upbringing as a pastor’s child took him to various locations. He spent 23 years in South Florida before relocating to Waynesville, North Carolina, in 2018. Joe and his wife, married since 1999, have four children. Their move to Waynesville was driven by a desire to escape Florida’s hurricanes, heat, and traffic, and to  settle in a place they felt called to be.

He graduated from Indian River Community College in 1996 with an A.A. degree in Business Administration, followed by a B.S. degree in Business Management from Palm Beach Atlantic University in 1998. In 2013, he further enhanced his credentials with a Certificate in Financial Planning from Florida State University. Joe’s background includes advanced accounting courses and a keen interest in business finance.

Joe’s professional experience is extensive. From 1996 to 1998, he worked for Thomas N. Silverman, P.A., a Florida Bar board certified tax attorney, in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. He returned to Mr. Silverman’s firm in 2004 as a Senior Paralegal, where he conducted advanced legal research, prepared legal documents, and administered probate and trust proceedings. Joe’s expertise includes tax research, real estate contracts, probate and trust administration, managing corporate books and documents, and fiduciary accountings.

In 2012, Joe pursued the CFP® certification, achieving the Certificate in Financial Planning within one year. This milestone marked a significant step towards his goal of providing comprehensive financial counseling. He founded Zacchaeus Financial Counseling, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, to assist families in need of professional financial guidance.

In 2014, Joe transitioned to becoming an independent, self-employed professional. Since then, he has freelanced with Charles T. Weiss, P.A., a board certified attorney in wills, trusts, and estates. This collaboration has provided Joe with continuous access to one of the nation’s leading attorneys in tax matters and probate litigation.

Joe’s specialty lies in helping small family-run businesses, but Somerset Tax Partners, LLC is also equipped to handle multi-million dollar clients. His motivation to assist struggling families led him to develop a practice that is heavily focused on tax planning, while also offering financial counseling and planning through Zacchaeus Financial Counseling.

Credentials

Enrolled Agent (EA): This elite status is the highest federal license granted by the IRS, providing unlimited practice rights and setting us apart as tax specialists. The EA license permits us to represent all taxpayers on any tax matter before the IRS in all 50 states, enjoying the same privileges before the IRS as an attorney and CPA.

CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER(TM) Professional (CFP®): The gold standard in the financial planning industry.

Certified Bookkeeper: An expert bookkeeping credential granted by the Association of Independent Professional Bookkeepers.

QuickBooks Online Certified ProAdvisor: Demonstrating our commitment to professionalism and comprehensive understanding of bookkeeping and QuickBooks Online to better assist our clients.

Community

Joe is an active Advisory Board Member for the Accounting Program at Haywood Community College in Waynesville, NC, contributing his expertise and insights to the development of the next generation of accounting professionals.

Outside the Office

Joe enjoys a range of hobbies, including kayaking on Lake Junaluska, hiking, automotive mechanics, carpentry, and traveling. He is a Volvo enthusiast and a member of Volvo Sports of America and Volvo Club of America. His passion for preserving old Volvos is evident in his collection, with two of their vehicles boasting over 300,000 miles.

Our Reach

Today, Somerset Tax Partners, LLC serves individual, business, and fiduciary clients across North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky, Florida, Ohio, Arizona, Guatemala, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Virginia, Washington state, and beyond. Joe’s dedication and expertise have built a practice that clients can trust for their tax planning and financial counseling needs.

At Somerset Tax Partners, LLC, we are committed to providing personalized, professional service to help our clients achieve their financial goals.

Meet Our Team

Leah Ritter, CB

Certified Bookkeeper and QuickBooks Online Certified ProAdvisor

Tina Wright

Administrative Assistant

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