Our Spotlight series highlights the careers and lives of tax professionals across the globe. This week’s spotlight is on Enrolled Agent Manasa Nadig. Nadig has more than 20 years of experience in tax preparation and planning and is the founder-owner of MN Tax & Business Services, a virtual practice based in southeast Michigan that works with clients worldwide.
Nadig moved to the U.S. from India, where she went to school and trained to be a Chartered Accountant. She is married and has two adult children.
What’s your official title and what does it mean? My official title is “founder-owner.” Starting this tax practice has brought me immense pride and joy. It has given me the opportunity to help clients with complex tax issues. It also means that I take responsibility for all the work that goes out of my firm.
Free time: book, audiobook, or podcast? I am still that old-fashioned person who reads paperbacks—no e-books for me! You can also find me listening to podcasts: My favorites are “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me,” Guy Kawasaki’s “Remarkable People,” and “10% Happier.”
Tax is a huge subject. What’s your area of special interest? My niche is in foreign tax reporting and compliance for Individuals and Businesses with cross border operations. I started my solo practice around the same time the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA, came into being—the tax nerd in me loves this challenging work. I also write about foreign tax compliance, issues, and court cases on my Tax Blog, The Buzz About Taxes.
What’s the last movie or show that you watched and loved (DVD, Netflix, or in the theater)? During Covid, my husband & I got hooked on crime dramas. We have since binged on “Murdoch Mysteries,” “Midsomer Murders,” “Father Brown,” and “Columbo,” to name a few.
What college did you attend and what did you study? I went to St. Agnes College in Mangalore, KA, India—they celebrated their centennial year this year! I have a Bachelor’s in Commerce, majoring in Accounting, Business Law, and Economics. I also studied French as a second language.
Go to pick-me-up: Coffee or tea? I love my Masala Chai and can drink it all day long, but I am also a coffee snob and will only drink South Indian Filter coffee!
What’s the best tax or financial advice that anyone ever gave you? The best financial advice I have been given is to not time the market but to give your money time in the market. My best tax advice has been to read the law, and not just the IRS publications.
If you weren’t working in the tax profession, what would your dream job be? I would be an Indian textile and handloom designer. Or a writer.
If you had the opportunity to make one change in the tax code—an extra credit, a disallowed deduction, whatever—what would it be? Although a big part of my practice is based on this niche, if I could, I would simplify the foreign tax reporting requirements.
Favorite food, snack, or candy during tax season (or other busy time)? Cadbury’s Fruit & Nut chocolate, or apples and peanut butter when I want to be good.
What tax news or move made the most impact on your practice or clients this past year? Getting Economic Impact Payments, called EIPs or stimulus checks, for my clients who live abroad was frustrating, to put it mildly. We are also still dealing with clients for whom the IRS claims to have mailed a check or debit card, but they have not received anything. The refunds claiming these rebates continue to be stuck with the IRS. We also had a ton of folks who had been non-filers for years come forward to file for the EIPs. It was absolutely brutal. The Advanced Child Tax Credit, or ACTC, is not going to be fun either. I have a lot of high net-worth clients getting the ACTC checks, I had many un-enroll, but those who do not want to will end up owing money.
If Uncle Sam handed you a big tax refund check right now, what would you do with it? I would save it for when we can travel again.
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