Our Spotlight series highlights the careers and lives of tax professionals across the globe. This week’s spotlight is on Mark Gallegos, CPA, MST.
Gallegos is a tax partner on Porte Brown’s accounting and consulting services team in Elgin, Ill., with more than 20 years of experience providing tax advice. Since the pandemic began, he has been entrenched in the intricacies of Covid-19 related programs, including the Paycheck Protection Program and the CARES Act.
And while people like to say they’re one in a million, Gallegos can claim even better odds. He was bitten by a shark. In the United States, the chances of that happening are just one in 5 million.
What’s your official title, and what does it mean? Partner: I am a tax partner at Porte Brown. It gives me a leadership position, utilizes my ability to have a vision for the future of the firm and profession, and gives me the influence to make that vision a reality.
Free time: book, audiobook, or podcast? I would say podcast these days. I enjoy listening to what others have to say in tax, business, and finance, but I also like to hear podcasts on sports. We are in the process of launching my own podcast at Porte Brown titled “Level Up with MarkG.”
Tax is a huge subject. What’s your area of special interest? Besides the typical tax compliance and planning, my specialties include tax legislation, international tax, and mergers & acquisitions.
What’s the last movie or show that you watched and loved (DVD, Netflix, or in the theater)? “Game of Thrones.” It kept me engaged the entire way.
What college did you attend, and what did you study? I received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Kentucky and my Master of Science in Taxation from DePaul University.
Go to pick-me-up: Coffee or tea? Neither. I am a cold water drinker all day and love it with lemon.
What’s the best tax or financial advice that anyone ever gave you? The best advice was to not be a lone wolf but instead, work as a team, and utilize the staff with processes and procedures so that everyone can be successful and manage the large workload. Having a great team creates synergies in the firm, leads to strong growth within the employee base, and shows clients that we do what we say and deliver in a timely manner with high integrity.
If you weren’t working in the tax profession, what would your dream job be? Senator or Representative in Congress, or maybe the President of the United States.
If you had the opportunity to make one change in the tax code—an extra credit, a disallowed deduction, whatever—what would it be? I would continue to enhance the Research & Development Tax Credit so that more businesses can take advantage of it and utilize it fully. I believe that section 41 is an amazing tool to promote growth and opportunity with small businesses in our country.
Favorite food, snack, or candy during tax season (or other busy time)? Chips & salsa.
What tax news or move made the most impact on your practice or clients this past year? Covid-19 and the CARES Act. We jumped all-in with understanding the various provisions of the law and adding value to our clients through webinars, newsletters, meetings, and helping them navigate the rough waters of the year and keep them on track to manage through the pandemic.
If Uncle Sam handed you a big tax refund check right now, what would you do with it? I would use it for a nice vacation down the road since we in the tax industry have been going so strong for the past year and a half.