Tax Reform Sheds Light on New Opportunity

Phil York

Tax Associate

January 19, 2018

2018 is an exciting time to be a tax accountant – no really, it is!

You may have heard that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed into law on December 22, 2017. The more than 500 page bill is a sweeping tax overhaul, the likes of which has not been seen in over three decades. It is not merely a tax cut, but a complete reform package which will fundamentally change many aspects of our current tax code. Oddly enough, Congress tends to wait precisely 32 years between major re-writes of the tax code – with previous reform packages being enacted in 1986 and 1954. In other words, it may be a long time before we see changes on this scale again!

While the public at large is trying their best to determine the impact of tax reform on their lives, we as accountants are doing much the same thing as professionals. The bill will impact corporate, partnership, individual, trust, estate, and gift taxation, all of which are areas I have had the opportunity to work on at PKM. Over the next year, we will be in an exciting period of transition, as we continue to work with the previous tax laws while anticipating the changes to come in 2018.

As a tax professional, there are two potential ways to look at tax reform. We can either view it as a challenge, or we can view it as an opportunity. While there are challenges presented by having to relearn much of what we already know, I choose to see it as an opportunity. It is undoubtedly an opportunity for those with less technical experience to close the gap with other CPAs and firms. It is also an opportunity for our practice as a whole to leverage our traits (e.g. flexibility, communication, initiative) and provide superior client service. At PKM, we are encouraged to take ownership of our work and to take the initiative to learn and improve –a mindset that will help our practice respond flexibly to the coming changes. We are a close-knit group of people in which information travels quickly, and we can rely on one another to be proactive. These traits will serve us well over the next couple of years as we wrap our heads around the new tax laws and the impact that will have on our clients.

All of that being said, I feel fortunate to work with a group of people who are passionate and driven about what we do. Tax reform is a reminder that we will always need to grow and evolve throughout our careers, and I think starting my career at PKM has given me the tools and mindset to do so and be successful.