This is an interview with Jason Kovan, Managing Partner at Tax Law Expats.
Where were you at 22, and how did you get to where you are today?
I was in my first year of law school at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri learning more about what type of law I wanted to practice.
Thanks for sharing! When did you really decide to “take ownership” of your career? What inspired you to pursue your passion?
I became interested in taxation as a career during my first tax law class with Professor Peter Wiedenbeck at Wash U. At that time I also decided to concurrently obtain my MBA with an emphasis in taxation and accounting, as I would require this background to ultimately obtain my CPA license.
All good career stories include some aspect of “risk.” Was there a moment in your career where you felt that you were risking something, but looking back on it now, that move made all the difference?
I was working for Arthur Andersen during the Enron saga, and was torn as to whether I should leave the firm immediately or stick it out until the end. Ultimately, we stuck it out until the lights went off and I still value the relationships with my colleagues from that time.
Where do you find significance in your work? What gives you the most satisfaction?
Finding tax solutions for clients relocating outside the United States, including international tax structuring and solving problems with the IRS and state tax authorities. In short, we value becoming our client’s trusted tax advisor for both tax compliance and consulting needs.
How do you measure success in your role? How do you know you’re succeeding?
When my clients are happy with our professional services by providing a proactive successful solution-based outcome, that is our measure of success.
If you could offer your 22-year old self one piece of advice, what would you say?
Patience is the mother of all virtues. Success is a process, not an event.