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Drive-thru tax prep: how a Moline tax service company is practicing social distancing

Amerifile Tax Center closed its lobby due to the outbreak, but found a new use for its old drive-thru window

MOLINE, Illinois — The coronavirus outbreak is changing how tax preparation companies operate this tax season.

In-person consultation isn't possible anymore, but with many taxpayers looking forward to a stimulus check from the government, there are more questions than ever.

"We've been around forever, we've been in this building for 20-some years," said AmeriFile Tax Center President James Fromi. "People still drive up to the drive-thru window, knocking on it, showing us their electric bill."

That's because older people remember it as the Iowa-Illinois Gas and Electric Company. For years the drive-thru window was boarded up and unused, until social distancing measures forced Fromi to close the lobby in the downtown Moline office and do some creative thinking. 

"We're communicating through glass, the only thing we're missing is the handshake at the end, really," Fromi said.