Intuit Tax Council
Intuit Tax Council

Intuit® Tax Council member profile: Randy Crabtree, CPA

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Randy CrabtreeWelcome to another article in an ongoing series featuring members of the Intuit® Tax Council, a group of forward-thinking tax professionals who help lead positive change in the professional tax community, and provide inputs and insights that help shape the Intuit ProConnect™ business strategy.

In this profile, meet Randy Crabtree, CPA, a partner with Tri-Merit Specialty Tax Professionals in Schaumburg, Ill.

Scott Cytron: Tell us about your practice.

Randy Crabtree: Tri-Merit supports tax preparers by serving as an extension of their advisory team to lessen the tax burden and increase cash flow for their clients. As a team, we spend more time on qualifying, quantifying, and documenting, which means we spend less time on defending credits and incentives. Tri-Merit is comprised of engineers, scientists, CPAs and attorneys, and we have offices across the country and serve clients in every state.

We do this by helping tax preparers uncover tax savings opportunities through:

  • The R&D tax credit
  • Cost segregation
  • The Work Opportunity Tax Credit
  • Section 179D – The energy efficient commercial building deduction
  • The 45L tax credit: A credit for developers of energy efficient residential property and the employee retention credit.

SC: Are there similarities between the Intuit Tax Council and your firm?

RC: Tri-Merit’s vision is very similar to the Council’s goal of helping to lead and shape positive change in the professional tax community to power prosperity for their clients. At Tri-Merit, we seek to not only better the specialty tax profession, but the accounting profession as a whole. It is a tax advisor’s job to prepare a client’s taxes honestly, while also taking advantage of as many tax breaks available as they can.  We consider ourselves an extension of the tax advisor. We support that by taking an education-based approach to our services at the preparer and client level, enabling clients to properly apply for all the incentives available to them.  By doing this, we feel we help promote change in the professional tax community to power prosperity for their clients.

SC: Does your firm provide advisory and/or tax advisory services, and if so, tell us about the kinds of services you offer. Why is it important for a firm to offer advisory?

RC: Advisory services are the key thing we do! It is easy to be a reporter of what a client has done in the past, but by being an advisor, you can actually affect the outcome of what happens for the client. By educating the professional tax community, we help them identify ways they can proactively bring tax saving opportunities to their clients.  We then support them with our expertise at tax credits and incentives, and help them to efficiently bring these services to their clients.

SC: What kind of Intuit software do you use?

RC: We use Intuit Lacerte® Tax and QuickBooks® Online.

SC: What was your very first job?

RC: My very first job was at about age 12 delivering papers, although at age 16 I started a window washing company. I ended up hiring many of my friends at school and was able to help everyone make more money than they could at the normal teenage job.

SC: How can tax professionals keep up with all the changes in tax laws and regulations?

RC: As tax professionals, we need to have a good understanding of the overall tax code, but we will never be able to become an expert at every portion of the code. I think becoming an expert at a niche portion of the tax code, like I have, or a niche industry will help you gain a overall understanding of the key areas important to you and your clients.  I would then develop a working relationship with others who have expert knowledge in areas you do not, whether that is an outsource firm or maybe by joining an association where you can lean on others for help.

SC: If you were stranded on a desert island with access to just one kind of technology, what would it be?

RC: I assume if I have access to a technology I will also have access to a power source.  If that is the case, I would select a satellite phone.  If I could call someone, I wouldn’t be stranded for long ….

SC: Thanks Randy!

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