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Spotlight on Attorney and Tax Practice Director Mitchell Trager

Sept. 23, 2022, 1:00 PM

Our Spotlight series highlights the careers and lives of tax professionals across the globe. This week’s Spotlight is on attorney Mitchell Trager, a director in the tax practice of FORVIS, where he focuses on incentives and credits.

Trager joined FORVIS this year and works out of its Atlanta office, serving public and private clients both nationally and internationally. He spent most of his career—33 years—at Koch Companies Services, where he was senior tax counsel. He recently completed a term as president of Tax Executives Institute, an international association for in-house tax professionals.

Outside of work, you might find Trager on the hunt for Dunkin’ coffee and a slice of New York-style pizza, or dreaming of beach houses along the Florida Gulf Coast.

What’s your official title and what does it mean? Senior manager, credits and incentives at FORVIS. It means that I work with clients to identify opportunities for them related to state tax credits and incentives.

Free time: book, audiobook, or podcast? I recently reread Mitch Albom’s book, “Tuesdays with Morrie.” I love his style.

Tax is a huge subject. What’s your area of special interest? Working on opportunities for clients that are expanding their operations, considering moving to other states, or adding significant amounts of employees.

What’s the last movie or show that you watched and loved (DVD, Netflix, or in the theater)? “Schitt’s Creek” on Netflix.

What college did you attend and what did you study? I attended Queens College-City University of New York, and I was an accounting major.

Go to pick-me-up: Coffee or tea? For sure, Dunkin’ coffee.

What’s the best tax or financial advice that anyone ever gave you? My advice came from an experienced tax professional and mentor, and he taught me that when planning transactions, always plan for an exit strategy in case things don’t work as you expected.

If you weren’t working in the tax profession, what would your dream job be? I would be working at Katz’s Deli in New York on the pastrami line!

If you had the opportunity to make one change in the tax world—an extra credit, a disallowed deduction, whatever—what would it be? I would add a tax credit for being a caregiver for an aging parent, or for adopting a foster child.

Favorite food, snack, or candy during tax season or other busy time? Pizza—New York style (Original Ray’s).

What tax news or move made the most impact on your practice or clients this past year? My move to FORVIS after being in private industry for almost 40 years! It was my passion to share with prospective and existing clients how the use of state indirect tax credits and incentives can be beneficial for their operations or shareholders.

If you received a big tax refund check right now, what would you do with it? Buy a beach house on the Florida Gulf Coast.

You can find out more about Trager on LinkedIn.

You can find out more about Trager’s company, FORVIS, on its website.

If you’d like to recommend a tax pro to be featured, send your suggestion to rbaker@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: Rebecca Baker in Washington at rbaker@bloombergindustry.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kelly Phillips Erb at kerb@bloombergindustry.com