Our Spotlight series highlights the careers and lives of tax professionals across the globe. This week’s Spotlight is on Jason King, a certified public accountant and senior manager at DMJ & Co., PLLC. King, who joined the in North Carolina firm in 2011, has worked with closely held S corporations and partnerships, sole proprietorships, and high-net-worth individuals.
As a senior manager, King says one of his most important jobs is taking care of his team—particularly when it comes to having a work-life balance. “We all know the state of our profession,” he says. “The outlook isn’t great in terms of outflow versus inflow of people doing what we do.”
King manages to find time to enjoy the coastal lifestyle in Surf City, N.C., with his wife and 2-year-old daughter. The family is expecting a second child this month, “which is perfect timing for a practicing public accountant,” he says.
What’s your official title and what does it mean? Senior manager. Officially, it means old manager. Unofficially, I take it as a charge to be a good leader who facilitates a desirable environment for my team by being selective about what clients we choose to work with and encouraging them to leave at 5 p.m. on Fridays during busy season.
Free time: book, audiobook, or podcast? Book. I am a product of a generation that was rewarded with Pizza Hut personal pan pizzas for reading books as a kid in elementary school. While not the healthiest prize, it did spark a passion that almost 30 years later continues to burn.
Tax is a huge subject. What’s your area of special interest? Currently all things Employee Retention Credit. For my sanity, I hope Congress learns to legislate relief in a manner that doesn’t funnel through CPAs/tax. But it has been the highlight of my career working through these lucrative credits for clients who need them. Shout out to Dan Chodan and #TaxTwitter for the group think tank and working through the gray areas.
What’s the last movie or show that you watched and loved (DVD, Netflix, or in the theater)? My wife Emily and I watched “The Amazing Race.” The Holderness family (who were crowned Season 33’s winners) is from North Carolina, so we were rooting for them.
What college did you attend and what did you study? Campbell University. I planned to go to pharmacy school until organic chemistry brought me to my knees. I switched to accounting and the rest is history. Go Camels!
Go to pick-me-up: Coffee or tea? Tea. Bucking Southern tradition, I prefer it unsweetened on ice.
What’s the best tax or financial advice that anyone ever gave you? The wise Greg Miller, partner-in-charge of our Wilmington office, says, “You don’t make money counting paper clips.” Point being, if it makes you more efficient, invest the money in the process, technology, or the person. You will be better for it.
If you weren’t working in the tax profession, what would your dream job be? Astronaut.
If you had the opportunity to make one change in the tax world —an extra credit, a disallowed deduction, whatever—what would it be? The educator expense deduction for teachers should be 10 times the current allowed amount. I say this not only because my wife is a teacher but also because it is the least we can do for those who pay out of pocket to make sure kids learn.
Favorite food, snack, or candy during tax season or other busy time? Warm apple cake!
What tax news or move made the most impact on your practice or clients this past year? The Employee Retention Credit moved the needle more than anything else.
If you received a big tax refund check right now, what would you do with it? Buy a Grady White 23-foot center console boat and name it “Tax Sea-vasion.”
Find out more about King’s law firm, DMJ & Co. PLLC, on its website.
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