Our Spotlight series highlights the careers and lives of tax professionals around the world. This week’s Spotlight is on Sahar Zomorodi, an Iranian-American attorney who is a partner in Baker McKenzie’s North America Tax Practice Group in New York.
She focuses on a wide range of US and international taxation matters, including tax planning and transactions, transfer pricing, and audit defense and controversy for multinational corporations. She is also an active member of Baker McKenzie’s Pro Bono and Diversity Committees.
She spent a year at the firm’s Amsterdam office, where she provided US tax advice to European based clients. Before joining Baker McKenzie, she was an economist and team leader with the IRS’s Advance Pricing and Mutual Agreement Program in Washington, D.C.
In her spare time, she enjoys listening to audiobooks during workouts, spending time with friends and family, watching “Emily in Paris,” and planning her next sailing trip on the Mediterranean.
What’s your official title and what does it mean? As a partner, I provide clients with comprehensive, business-focused solutions in structuring, managing, and implementing global projects. These often require coordinating cross-disciplinary advice across multiple jurisdictions. I am the point of contact for my clients for all of their legal or business needs, and it is my job to use my firm’s network to come up with workable solutions for them in a timely manner.
Free time: book, audiobook, or podcast? Audible! I love listening to books while working out in the mornings as maintaining a healthy body and mind is important to me.
Tax is a huge subject. What’s your area of special interest? Transfer pricing, with a focus on IP planning and cost sharing.
What’s the last movie or show that you watched and loved (DVD, Netflix, or in the theater)? “Emily in Paris!” Her journey living abroad reminds me of my experience when I lived in Amsterdam.
What college did you attend and what did you study? George Washington University in Washington, D.C. I double majored in economics and international affairs.
Go-to pick-me-up: Coffee or tea? Coffee.
What’s the best tax or financial advice that anyone ever gave you? Buy bitcoin! If only I took that advice seriously 10 years ago.
If you weren’t working in the tax profession, what would your dream job be? I would probably be an event planner. I love interacting with people and organizing memorable events to bring people closer together. Back in college, I was the president of the Iranian-American student organization and planned numerous events throughout the years. I have found my closest friends through these planning activities.
If you had the opportunity to make one change in the tax world—an extra credit, a disallowed deduction, whatever—what would it be? Remove the limitation on state and local tax deduction.
Favorite food, snack, or candy during tax season or other busy time? Lavashak—it’s the Iranian version of Fruit Roll-Ups, except it’s all natural and super sour.
What tax news or move made the most impact on your practice or clients this past year? Almost all of my clients are preparing to deal with Pillar Two.
If you received a big tax refund check right now, what would you do with it? Since I usually owe a large sum to Uncle Sam, it’s hard to imagine getting a refund. But if I can only dream, perhaps I would use it to plan a week of sailing on the Mediterranean this summer!
You can find out more about Zomorodi on Linkedin.
You can learn more about Zomorodi’s firm, Baker McKenzie, on its website.
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