Louis T. Wierenga
Louis T. Wierenga

The purpose behind the Getting To Know You Tuesday series is to emphasize that there all kinds of tax professionals. Not all tax pros prepare returns and not all tax pros go to court. Some are Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), some are Enrolled Agents (EAs), some work for Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or state and local tax agencies while some run companies and advise individuals. And, of course, some are tax attorneys. This week, I interviewed Louis Wierenga who is a tax attorney like me. Here’s what Louis had to say:
1. Where are you now?
Chicago Loop with about 14 other lawyers/CPAs, a few who I’ve heard are also former IRS agents.
2. What’s your official title and what does it mean?
Plain old lawyer, which may be useful if we end up in court?
3. What books are on your night stand?

  • Farmers and Fishermen Two Centuries of Work in Essex County, Massachusetts, 1630-1850 by Daniel Vickers.
  • Working my way through a Harvard degree via the Will Hunting reading list. (Author’s note: That sounds crazy fun!)
  • Also rereading How to get rich by Felix Dennis.

4. If you weren’t working in the tax profession, what would your dream job be?
Working with entrepreneurs in some capacity. Similar to what I am doing, but maybe more hands on.
5. What’s the last movie that you saw (DVD or in the theatre)?
The Devil Wears Prada, my fiancee calls it one of her nightly sleepers.
6. Tax is a huge subject. What’s your area of special interest?
I currently think a lot about the various retirement account options and what the best investment risk tolerances are for each.
7. What’s the best tax or financial advice that anyone ever gave you?
Identify people that have succeeded in accomplishing what you want and then work on replicating what they did to achieve it.
8. Coffee or tea?
Both.

9. Name five artists on your iPod or digital player.
I listen to Pandora, my fav. five channels; Eric Thomas, Eminem, Jay-Z, Florida Georgia Line, and Jason Aldean
10. What would I be surprised to know about you?
I originally planned to be an architect.
11. What college did you attend (in what subject)?
University of Illinois – Economics
12. If you had the opportunity to make one change in the tax code tomorrow – an extra credit, a disallowed deduction, whatever – what would it be?
I’d raise passive and long-term capital gain rates and lower earned income tax rates. The person who can make money in their sleep should not pay lower tax rates than the person who needs to be awake to earn money.
13. What’s the best thing on TV right now?
Catching a little Nature Cat and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood with my three-month old daughter these days.
14. What do you think Congress will repeal first: estate tax or AMT?
My money would be on both seeing higher initial dollar thresholds moving forward.
15. If Uncle Sam handed you a huge refund check right now, what would you do with it?
Apply the overpayment to 2017?
16. Biggest tax newsmaker: Trump, Ryan, identity thieves or the EU?
Where are those tax returns!?! Media and the masses love a nice easy story to follow.

17. And, other than taxgirl for Forbes, what’s your favorite tax related web site?
Twitter! Following so many great accounts.

Thanks, Louis! You can find out more about Louis from his website here. You can also follow him on Twitter or on Facebook (warning: adorable baby pictures on this page).

If you’d like to recommend a tax pro to be featured send your suggestions to kelly (dot) erb (at) taxgirl (dot) com with the subject: Getting To Know You Tuesday (it’s tax season: use anything else and it could get lost, you’ve been warned). Self-nominations are totally okay and, in fact, encouraged!

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Kelly Erb is a tax attorney, tax writer and podcaster.

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