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Spotlight on CPA Brad Garland

Aug. 6, 2021, 1:01 PM

Our Spotlight series highlights the careers and lives of tax professionals across the globe. This week’s spotlight is on Brad Garland.

Garland jokes that in a year when Covid-19 meant not attending Auburn football games, not seeing new Marvel movies in the theater, and not getting to help individuals and businesses in person, he was the human on the other side of the video call steering peers, associates, and clients through federal and state pandemic relief. Now, vaccinated and ready for a vacation, he says he’s prepared for the “new and weird normal.”

What’s your official title and what does it mean? CPA.

Free time: book, audiobook, or podcast? Nothing beats reading a book and being able to flip back a few pages, jump ahead, or share it with friends.

Tax is a huge subject. What’s your area of special interest? Small business and nonprofit—the need for help here is outstanding.

What’s the last movie or show that you watched and loved (DVD, Netflix, or in the theater)? “The Mitchells vs the Machines” was a great film to watch with the kids from the comfort of the couch!

What college did you attend and what did you study? I attended undergrad at Auburn, majoring in accounting but with a minor in Spanish and equivalency of a minor in geology. I also received my Master of Accountancy from Auburn University.

Go to pick-me-up: Coffee or tea? Coffee, preferably nitro, black.

What’s the best tax or financial advice that anyone ever gave you? Don’t buy a house yet (circa 2008).

If you weren’t working in the tax profession, what would your dream job be? Cyber-paleontologist. Like a paleontologist, but indoors.

If you had the opportunity to make one change in the tax code—an extra credit, a disallowed deduction, whatever—what would it be? Renew the EV tax credit for all manufacturers—which may be happening soon anyway? (Editor’s note: A reduced version of the credit is included in the Senate’s recent infrastructure bill. More here and here.)

Favorite food, snack, or candy during tax season (or other busy time)? Dark chocolate, preferably with almonds.

What tax news or move made the most impact on your practice or clients this past year? ALL OF IT. I’m used to being able to put my head down when tax season starts and then check for updates after April, but instead, a continuous stream of updates, changes, announcements, and more made having to keep up with tax news a challenge.

If Uncle Sam handed you a big tax refund check right now, what would you do with it? After adjusting my tax withholding so it wouldn’t happen again, I would spend it locally at a farmers market, artist fair, or other small business.

You can find Brad on Twitter (@taxpoetic) and LinkedIn. You can check out his company’s website at https://brandblackwell.com.

If you’d like to recommend a tax pro to be featured, send your suggestion to kerb@bloombergindustry.com with the subject: Spotlight. Please include the following information: tax professional’s name, title, email address, and geographic area (city/state/country).

To contact the reporter on this story: Kelly Phillips Erb in Washington at kerb@bloombergindustry.com

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