Our Spotlight series shines a light on the careers and lives of tax professionals around the world. This week, the spotlight is on Brad Garland.
Garland jokes that in a year where Covid-19 meant not attending Auburn football games, not seeing new Marvel movies in theaters, and not helping individuals and businesses in person, he was the human across the way of video calling peers, associates and clients through federal and state pandemic assistance. Now vaccinated and ready for a vacation, he says he’s prepared for the “new and strange normal.”
What is your official title and what does it mean? CPA.
Free time: book, audiobook or podcast? Nothing beats reading a book and being able to go back a few pages, move forward, or share it with friends.
Taxation is a huge subject. What is your particular area of interest? Small businesses and nonprofits – the need for help here is exceptional.
What’s the last movie or show you watched and liked (DVD, Netflix or at the movies)? “The Mitchells vs the Machines” was a great movie to watch with the kids from the comfort of the sofa!
What college did you attend and what did you study? I did my undergraduate studies in Auburn, majoring in accounting but with a minor in Spanish and the equivalent of a minor in geology. I also got my masters in accounting from Auburn University.
Go to pickup: Coffee or tea? Coffee, preferably nitro, black.
What’s the best tax or financial advice someone has ever given you? Don’t buy a house yet (circa 2008).
If you weren’t in the tax industry, what would your dream job be? Cyber-paleontologist. Like a paleontologist, but inside.
If you had the option of making a change to the tax code — an additional credit, an unauthorized deduction, whatever — what would it be? Renewing the electric vehicle tax credit for all manufacturers, what could happen soon anyway? (Editor’s Note: A reduced version of the credit is included in the recent Senate infrastructure bill. More here and here.)
Favorite food, snack or candy during tax season (or other busy time)? Dark chocolate, preferably with almonds.
What new or tax measure has had the most impact on your firm or your clients over the past year? ALL. I’m used to being able to put my head down at the start of tax season and then check for updates after April, but instead a continuous stream of updates, changes, announcements and even more, having to follow tax news a challenge.
If Uncle Sam gave you a big tax refund check right away, what would you do with it? After adjusting my withholding tax so that it wouldn’t happen again, I would spend it locally at a farmer’s market, artists’ fair, or other small business.
You can find Brad on Twitter (@ taxpoetic) and LinkedIn. You can visit his company’s website at https://brandblackwell.com.
If you would like to recommend a tax professional, send your suggestion to [email protected] with the subject: Spotlight. Please include the following information: name, title, email address and geographic area of the tax practitioner (city / state / country).