Today’s tax pro is Manasa Nadig. Manasa is an Enrolled Agent (more on Enrolled Agents, also called EAs, here) with her own practice. She had been in the tax consulting field for almost 15 years before taking a leap of faith in 2012 to start MN Tax & Business Services with encouragement from clients, friends, family and her then mentor and now business partner at Harris Nadig, LLC, Kay Harris. Manasa says, “Being in practice is challenging and exciting, I like what I do and I look forward to many more years practicing tax.” Here’s what else Manasa had to say:
1. Where are you now?
At my desk, front of my dual monitors in my home office in Michigan, warm fall afternoon sun on my back, trying to read through GILTI calculations and wrap my head around it. Need my coffee, see #7 below!
2. What’s your official title and what does it mean?
My official title is “Owner” at MN Tax and “Partner” at Harris Nadig but I really like to call myself CFO or Chief Follow-up Officer at both entities!
3. Freetime: book, audiobook or podcast?
A good old-fashioned book in print of course–no kindle or nook for me. I just finished reading Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche and am trying to finish Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. I listen to podcasts a lot so I think that is my “all-time” activity these days.
4. Tax is a huge subject. What’s your area of special interest?
Yes, of course, tax is a huge subject, mind-boggling and complicated. We have clients from all walks of life both at MN Tax & Business and Harris Nadig. My niche is in all areas of foreign tax, US citizens living abroad and cross-border operations.
5. What’s the last movie you saw?
The Grand Budapest Hotel on an airplane, I think I need to watch this again on a larger screen–the cinematography is so fantastic!
6. What college did you attend and what did you study?
I went to St. Agnes College, a women’s college (like you did) based in Mangalore, India and soon to celebrate their centennial year. I have my Bachelor’s degree in “Commerce” which included Accounting, Economics, Business Law and Business Organization.
(Author’s note: Manasa is referring to my alma mater, women’s college, Meredith College.)
7. Go to pick-me-up: Coffee or tea?
I am originally a south Indian who grew up in north India, so I start my day with Chai much to my very south-Indian husband’s chagrin. True to my south Indian genes though, I like my pick-me-up coffee with a mix in of about 20% chicory and made with hot milk and intensely aerated the typical south Indian way! 🙂
(Author’s note: Manasa sent along this cool video.)
8. What’s the best tax or financial advice that anyone ever gave you?
No one ever sat me down and gave me tax or financial advice. But my best friend’s father once told me that you should always invest your money and not leave it sitting in a savings account which in retrospect seems like great advice. My tax advice to others is that “Cash flow is more important than tax deductions”.
9. What’s the best thing on TV right now?
I do not watch TV at all, this could also be my answer to #16. I could give you a slew of podcasts to listen to though!
10. If you weren’t working in the tax profession, what would your dream job be?
I love hand-looms and textiles, I would have done something in that area. My dream of being a writer is somewhat being realized through my tax blog.
11. If you had the opportunity to make one change in the tax code – an extra credit, a disallowed deduction, whatever – what would it be?
If I am allowed to pick only one I would say, “Repeal the Sec 965 Transition Tax for individuals and small businesses”. I am not sure if this tax is doing what it was intended to do, which is to make the big companies bring off-shored money back into the US, but it is definitely hurting individuals with investments in foreign companies and also making it harder (if that is possible) for US citizens who have been living abroad to conduct business in their countries of residence.
12. Favorite food, snack or candy during tax season (or other busy time)?
Am trying my best to have a healthy diet, so I am trying hard to lay off snacking randomly. Every time a craving hits I walk it off..and add steps to my Fitbit! An uphill task but am getting there.
13. What was the biggest surprise in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act?
The very haphazard way in which the Section 199A has been put together. I think the fall-out will be far-reaching.
14. What’s one way that the tax profession has changed since you’ve begun practicing?
No paper! I am still trying to get some die-hards to move away from paper. But this is great, I simply love the idea of a digital firm!
15. If Uncle Sam handed you a big tax refund check right now, what would you do with it?
Pay off debt and invest the rest would be the responsible thing but I might just take a nice holiday with my husband.
16. What would I be surprised to know about you?
I love Indian classical music and I sing!
17. When it comes to IRS, what’s the bigger compliance challenge: pass-through entities, cryptocurrency or offshore?
My guess is, it will be pass-through entities. With the IRS at skeletal staff and unclear guidance, there is no knowing how this will go.
18. And, other than Taxgirl, what’s your favorite tax-related resource?
I love Taxgirl, Tony Nitti and Peter Reilly both also from Forbes are very knowledgeable. I also keep up with Kay Bell’s blog, Don’t Mess With Taxes.
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