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Tax Expert Spotlight Interview – Ken May



At TaxConnections, we are building a panel of experts that will answer your tax questions when you need. TaxConnections tax and financial experts are available to help you! In order to find the right expert to answer your inquiry, we need to shine the spotlight on our experts. We interviewed Ken May out of Michigan.

Ken has over 30 years of experience overseeing all aspects of a tax and accounting firm, leading a team in preparing personal and business tax returns with a proven hands-on financial manager who has demonstrated improvements in operational profit through effective financial controls, cost and general accounting, reporting and analysis.

Can you tell us about your area of tax specialization and why you are so passionate about it?

I love working the small business owner market, which are underserved by most firms. The small business owner usually can’t afford the full service prices of bigger firms, but yet they encounter the same problems—if not more—than larger business owners. The small business owner really appreciates getting services which a bigger firm would typically provide, but at a price which is tailored made for their business. They also like getting two months of accounting services for free, in order to test drive my firm, and having a set monthly fee which is guaranteed for thirty six months.

What do you love teaching your clients about taxes?

I encourage my clients to ask questions about things which may affect their business, but are unsure of in dealing with these issues. I don’t believe there is such a thing as a stupid question, no matter if they think it is a stupid question. If something is keeping them up at night, they are encouraged to pursue it until they get the correct information to solve the problem.

What is the best advice you would give to a client today?

A business owner or a potential tax client must learn how to interview a professional before they hire someone. After all, this professional is supposed to be working for you and on your behalf. The client is the boss and sometimes the professional loses who is paying their fees. Also, hire someone who is relatable with on a personal level; one who you can trust talking to about anything happening in your life and can answer your questions comprehensibly.

Can you tell us a story about an audit that was most memorable to you?

I was doing an office audit for an insurance client and we had an appointment at 8:00 A.M.  at our local IRS office. I called back to the auditing section and was told to take a seat as I would be helped shortly. After waiting for a half hour, a clerk came out from the back and told me they would have to reschedule the audit since the auditor had called in sick. I asked if the clerk could find an auditor, as my drive to this office was close to an hour reschedule and rescheduling was not an option. She found an auditor who came out about 30 minutes later and we started the audit after heading to his office. The auditor was very upset with his boss for assigning my audit to him since he had a full day and now was squeezing me into his schedule.

After we got back to his cubicle, he asked me if I had any adjustments for my clients. We went through an adjustment for phone expenses which resulted in my client paying an additional $80 in income taxes when he originally owed an additional tax in excess of $3000. The auditor just wanted to close the case because he was very upset with his boss, which made this transaction a bit easy. After a pleasant exchange with the auditor, the most negative thing was waiting for an hour and thirty minutes with the auditor and the drive back.

If you could change one tax law what would it be?

The Affordable Care Act; it was passed too quickly with too many moving parts and no one really understands it especially the taxpayers of this country.

What is the number one problem faced by small business owners and/or taxpayers today?

The number one problem facing small business owners and taxpayers today is the complexity of the tax code and how it affects everybody.  Not one preparer, including myself, knows every intricacy of the tax code and how it affects your clients’ situation. The small business owner and individual taxpayers must be diligent in having confidence in the tax preparer they want to hire for their current return and for a long-term relationship.

What are taxpayers being audited on most these days in your area of expertise?

More letter audits every year are being sent out with an emphasis on business expenses being taken on Form 2106 and itemized deductions. Also, more inquiries are being made on the Affordable Care Act, especially how it relates to the Premium Tax Credit.

As TaxConnections CEO, Kat Jennings founded the leading tax services marketplace for tax consultants and corporate decision-makers online. Our mission is building strong, trusted relationships between corporate tax and financial executives and tax experts providing a wide range tax services and resources worldwide. In addition to TaxConnections online “Find A Tax Professional” and “Ask Tax Question” search features, we also provide internationally recognized retained search services to multinationals who want “best in the profession” corporate tax executives. Contact Kat@TaxConnections.com or call 858.999.0053 at TaxConnections.com

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