As I mention on my site, I have been interviewing state tax professionals across the country and posting them on this blog to help each of us build connections and get to know each other better.

To be interviewed, all you have to do is answer the 14 questions (found here) and send them to to be published on the blog.

I have received feedback from professionals that answering the questions is a great exercise. Looking back is a good way to help you move forward.

To read prior interviews, go here.

Today's guest is Rebecca Paulsen, Vice President | Senior State Tax Director at U.S. Bank in Minneapolis. 

  1. Birthplace: Johannesburg, South Africa

  2. Education: Bachelor's degree in accounting, Saint Mary’s College; Master’s degree in taxation, University of Notre Dame

  3. Career: 10 years in public accounting; 19 years in corporate tax in financial services companies; owned my own accounting firm for a couple years early on

  4. Best Career Move: joining the US Bank Corporate Tax Department

  5. Career Goals: to shape public policy in the SALT arena – if I can work myself out of a job by making state tax simple and reasonable for both taxpayers and collectors, then I will have succeeded.  I am a realist, though, so I will be happy if I can make it a little better in my sphere of influence. 

  6. Best advice ever received: was on the golf course:  “you are not good enough to be that p___ed off.”  Best work advice – from President Ronald Reagan (not in person) “Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere as long as the policy you’ve decided upon is being carried out.” I try to do this every day.

  7. Most difficult situation faced on the job: being told about a rumor, and simultaneously being told not to refute it.

  8. Career tip for students: Listen more than you talk.  Respect your elders – experience is more valuable than book smarts.  Spend a lot less than you earn.

  9. Role models: Aside from my parents, two female attorneys, with whom I still work – one in Missouri, and one in DC.  I won’t name them, because they will probably see this, and will not want to be outed.  They are who I wanted to be when I grew up – before life came along and changed my plans.  They are smart, articulate, organized, generous, principled, and fiercely loyal.  I love them dearly.

  10. Family: A husband, three teenagers, two cats, and apparently, a skunk that lives in my barn.

  11. Pastimes: Watching my kids play hockey, competing in random tests of physical endurance (I have run a marathon, competed in a triathlon, and finished several “mud runs”), refereeing soccer games (U12 – U19), reading, cooking, brewing beer, and trying mightily to grow edible things in my garden.

  12. Most memorable book: Atlas Shrugged.  Just read it.

  13. Favorite restaurant: Hell’s Kitchen – in Minneapolis.  Get the Juevos Rancheros.  With bacon.

  14. Ideal vacation: I honeymooned in Samoa and Tonga – if I ever get the chance to go back to Tonga, I might only get a one way ticket.  

I hope you enjoyed meeting Rebecca.

Thank you Rebecca for sharing.