INTRODUCTION

 Brian Strahle, Your State Tax Partner

Brian Strahle, Your State Tax Partner

"I don't do anything casually" is a quote I came up with as I was responding to my teenage daughter regarding some trivial matter. My family describes me as "intense." I concede, I can be 'wound a little tight.' I am a detailed, organized person that doesn't like clutter. However, my tendency towards perfectionism (or 'not mediocrity') is balanced by my determination to only focus on the things that matter and live the concept that "less is better." 

Another key character trait about myself is that I like to fix things. I describe myself as a "fighter" and "fixer." When someone tells me a problem (any problem), I am not just listening to gather all of the information, I am thinking of how to solve the problem - where I will look, possible options. When I hear someone describe their problem, I take it on as my own. I want to fix it. I must fix it. 

Both of these traits (i.e., intensity and fixer) drive me and have served me well to achieve results.

I started LEVERAGE SALT, LLC in 2013 after working in public accounting firms and corporate tax departments for almost 20 years. During my career, I have worked in a variety of environments and industries, with both large and small companies. My experience includes income tax, gross receipts tax, sales and use tax, and franchise tax in almost every state. I also have federal income tax experience with specific expertise in accounting methods and inventory. 

During my 20+ year career, I have written 60+ articles, including my column (The SALT Effect) for Tax Analysts State Tax Notesand delivered 50+ presentations. As a result, I have developed a process for conducting research and providing guidance to help companies achieve their business objectives in a state tax-efficient manner. 

My favorite part of working in the tax field has always been conducting research to answer complex questions and helping clients develop positions and support when the conclusions aren’t quite clear.  

I also enjoy following the ever-changing world of taxation on a daily basis and writing blog posts, articles, alerts, etc. attempting to explain complex matters in an easy-to-understand format while identifying the issues and potential action steps clients should take. In 2009, I started writing my blog, "leverage salt," to help businesses and other tax consultants with 'turning the technical into the practical." Today, the blog has over 1,000 posts on a variety of state tax topics (blog posts starting in April 2015 are posted here).

If you want to learn more about my perspective on blogging, check out my interview with Bloomberg BNA: Expert Insight: Brian Strahle on Blogging, Creativity, and Coping with SALT Celebrity 

I currently serve as the subject matter expert for Bloomberg BNA's State Tax Analyzer productand have served as an author/reviewer for Bloomberg's BNA Tax and Accounting Center State Tax Navigators. 

Mission: I hate the status quo and believe conformity breeds mediocrity. I want to make life easier for companies operating in multiple states. I want to help accounting firms, law firms and corporate tax departments be proactive. I want to change the tax profession, influence tax policy, and build better tools. Mission Impossible?

Background

I have 20+ years of tax experience working in public accounting firms (Big 4, national, regional) and industry (Fortune 500 tax departments). My experience encompasses federal and state income tax, franchise tax, gross receipts tax, sales and use tax in almost every state.

My clients have included large C corporation affiliated groups, S corporations, limited liability companies, single-member limited liability companies, Q-subs, and partnerships. I have also helped individual taxpayers with residency audits. In one of my roles, I helped manage state taxation for a large group (over 500 entities) of pass-through entities, so I know the pain of entity-level taxes, non-resident withholding and composite reporting for pass-through entities.

My clients have been in several different industries such as manufacturing, professional services (including technical, financial, advertising, legal, etc.) retail, technology (including software-as-a-service), real estate development and construction, transportation, auto dealerships, etc.

At one point in my career, I worked in the national tax office of a large accounting firm. That’s when I started doing webinars and seminars. I later started writing my blog, which led to more article writing and my column in Tax Analysts State Tax Notes. As a result, I have a great deal of experience analyzing current developments and transforming them into alerts, articles, whitepapers, presentations and blog posts. To date, I have written 1,000+ blog posts, 60+ articles, and delivered 50+ presentations.

Biography

I started my career (in 1995) working at a Fortune 500 company managing the state income tax function (provision, planning, compliance, and controversy) for a large consolidated group of companies operating in almost every state. I then gained federal tax experience working at another Fortune 500 company and regional accounting firms. I eventually became the accounting methods and inventory technical leader in the national tax office of a national accounting firm.

After gaining in-depth experience on the federal tax side, I ventured back into the state tax area by creating and leading an internal state and local tax group at a national real estate developer/construction contractor. I also served as a state and local tax office leader at a large regional firm in Minnesota and Big 4 accounting firm in Virginia. Prior to starting LEVERAGE SALT, LLC, I served as a state and local tax practice leader in Washington D.C. for a large regional firm with offices in the Midwest and East Coast.

I hold a Masters of Science in Taxation from the Washington School of Law and a Bachelors of Science in Accounting from Millikin University. I am also an enrolled agent and a graduate fellow of the National Tax Practice Institute.

I leave you with this quote:  

"Don't look back and ask why. Look forward and ask why not."