Our Spotlight series highlights the careers and lives of tax professionals across the globe. This week’s spotlight is on Adam Markowitz, EA. With a background in sports journalism, Markowitz didn’t originally have accounting on his radar: his dad was never home during tax season, and Markowitz assumed the job was incredibly boring. But his dad—who he describes as his best friend—encouraged him to give it a try and he did, joining Howard L Markowitz PA CPA in 2007. Markowitz realized that he liked helping clients, and looked forward to going to work. He became an IRS-licensed enrolled agent (EA) in 2018 and has proudly assumed the torch from his CPA father as the face of the business.
What’s your official title and what does it mean? Technically, I’m my company’s vice president, but titles mean nothing to me. I like to think of myself as a problem solver and enjoy helping people get from where they’re at to where they want to go and being a small piece of assisting in that process.
Free time: book, audiobook, or podcast? Free time? What’s free time? I was an avid reader as a kid, and it’s one of my post-tax season goals to get back into reading again.
Tax is a huge subject. What’s your area of special interest? Small business taxes are my jam, specifically small S-corps. I love showing people the benefits of the S-corp, particularly those who live here in Florida and don’t have to deal with state tax ramifications.
What’s the last movie or show that you watched and loved (DVD, Netflix, or in the theater)? We’re cooking show fans in this house. I’m way behind on Hell’s Kitchen thanks to tax season, but that’s the first stop on the TV once things return to normal.
What college did you attend and what did you study? Florida State, BAs in Music and History and without a single class in accounting, business, or finance in my entire life. The one economics course I took in college? Got a D. Real life was easily the best education.
Go to pick-me-up: Coffee or tea? Neither. I’m a hot chocolate guy for the 3 weeks a year it’s cold enough in Florida to justify hot drinks.
What’s the best tax or financial advice that anyone ever gave you? “Treat the person on the other side of the table as if they were your grandmother.” — My Dad on Day 1 of me working in accounting. It isn’t “tax advice” per se, but it’s a general lesson that could make all of us better at whatever we’re doing in life at all times.
If you weren’t working in the tax profession, what would your dream job be? I always wanted to be a meteorologist and study hurricanes—until I couldn’t pass Calculus 2 in college. Since then, I’ve fallen in love with and married who else but a calculus teacher. Go figure.
If you had the opportunity to make one change in the tax code — an extra credit, a disallowed deduction, whatever — what would it be? I only get one change? Just one? There are a billion right answers here, but the personal one to me is raising the educator expenses exclusion up tenfold at least. That $250 badly needs to be indexed for inflation, and goodness knows that teachers deserve way more in credit in terms of both money and respect than they get for helping craft our future minds.
Favorite food, snack, or candy during tax season (or other busy time)? Pretty much my favorite go-to food is whatever was just baked. I’m a sucker for pies, cookies, bread, cakes, and pretty much anything else that just came out of the oven.
What tax news or move made the most impact on your practice or clients this past year? The decision to take care of all of the Covid relief for anyone who needed it on a courtesy basis was a game-changer in so many respects. Though it has run me ragged, I feel more accomplished than ever before. Specifically, with the local county grants here in Central Florida, I was able to make such an enormous impact on the lives of so many people. Covid relief will easily be the crowning moment of my entire career.
If Uncle Sam handed you a big tax refund check right now, what would you do with it? Hand it to my wife. She’s the real MVP of this tax season for putting up with the most trying 15 months of my professional life and supporting me through the whole thing.
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