RBG - Intern Post - 5 People (2)

2024 Internship Spotlight

Internships offer a dynamic avenue for expanding your network and forging valuable connections. At RBG, interns collaborate directly with industry professionals, fostering relationships that can shape their future careers.

Beyond networking, internships serve as a direct pathway to permanent positions. RBG actively cultivates talent, often recruiting interns for full-time roles, with a clear trajectory for advancement up to Partner level. Dedication and effort during an internship with RBG can significantly increase your likelihood of receiving a job offer, setting the stage for a successful career journey.

This year, we’ve had the pleasure of hosting a fantastic cohort of interns. As we spotlight their experiences, we’ve asked each of them three key questions:

  1. What have you learned so far during your time at RBG?
  2. What has been your favorite part about interning at RBG?
  3. Based on your experience, what’s your biggest piece of advice you’d give to a future intern?
See their insightful responses below:


Q: What have you learned so far during your time at RBG?

A: “While interning at RBG, I have become more familiar with the audit process and how an audit team completes its work.”

Q: What has been your favorite part about interning at RBG?

A: “My favorite part of interning at RBG has been the fact that I don’t feel as though I am just an intern. RBG has made me feel like I am part of the staff, even if I am a very inexperienced part of the team.”

Q: Based on your experience, what’s the biggest piece of advice you’d give to a future intern?

A: “My advice to future interns is to be bold and ask questions because there will always be something you need help understanding, or there may be a more efficient way to perform the work you’re doing.”

Eric Daniels
    Senior, University of Memphis

Q: What have you learned so far during your time at RBG?

A: “I have learned about the audit process for both banks and private companies. I did not realize how much teamwork was involved with accounting until I worked with the audit team. I have also learned how to fill out 1040’s and 1041’s. There is something new in almost every tax return I prepare, so it is interesting to see it and take in all that knowledge.”

Q: What has been your favorite part about interning at RBG?

A: “I have enjoyed everyone I have worked with. Everyone here wants others to learn and they want to help out anyway they can. Working here pushes me to want to learn and improve.”

Q: Based on your experience, what’s the biggest piece of advice you’d give to a future intern?

A: “I would definitely recommend coming into your internship wanting to learn. I had heard before about how everyone in accounting is always learning, but I really see it now. Don’t let that thought overwhelm you, but be excited for it.”

James Strickland
     Senior, University of Memphis

Q: What have you learned so far during your time at RBG?

A: “During my time at RBG I have learned how to prepare tax returns for individuals and trusts. I have also learned how to improve my professional communication and time management skills throughout this internship.”

Q: What has been your favorite part about interning at RBG?

A: “My favorite part of interning at RBG has been the people, everyone is so willing to help and answer any questions I may have. It feels like everyone tries their best to make others feel comfortable asking questions and receiving help.”

Q: Based on your experience, what’s the biggest piece of advice you’d give to a future intern?

A: “My biggest piece of advice for a future intern would be to not be too hard on yourself at first. Taxes are complicated, and I often felt down about myself or my work especially in the beginning. The point of an internship is to learn and grow, so as long as you are willing to ask questions and learn from mistakes, then you will do great!”

Christian Russell
    Senior, Arkansas State University

Q: What have you learned so far during your time at RBG?

A: “I have learned more about Partnership Tax and the many differences between it and an individual return.”

Q: What has been your favorite part about interning at RBG?

A: “I have enjoyed that there isn’t an overarching sense of seniority and that new hires can fit right in professionally and socially.”

Q: Based on your experience, what’s the biggest piece of advice you’d give to a future intern?

A: “Come into your internship willing to ask a lot of questions and get involved in the RBG culture!”

Ian Sharp
    Master’s Student, University of Memphis

Q: What have you learned so far during your time at RBG?

A: “Auditing is very different from the classroom. In the classroom, you’re only rewarded when you get something right. However, in the real world, much of what you do is learned by asking questions and through trial & error.”

Q: What has been your favorite part about interning at RBG?

A: “The collaborative aspect! Because I’m introverted, reaching out to clients, meeting new people, and getting to try new things is easily what I value the most out of my internship.”

Q: Based on your experience, what’s the biggest piece of advice you’d give to a future intern?

A: “RBG is filled with nice people, so if you do run into something you don’t understand, just ask! As long as you are willing to learn, they will teach you.”

Lucas Hayden
    Master’s Student, Christian Brothers University

Q: What have you learned so far during your time at RBG?

A: “I’ve gained valuable experience in setting up operations for the CAAS department through collaboration with IT. This allowed me the autonomy to implement robust data security measures like KeePass, safeguarding our clients’ sensitive information. My skills now include payroll management, e-filing of 1099s, business tax e-filing, and annual report creation. Additionally, I’ve honed my ability to conduct loan reviews and prepare tax workpapers, along with filing 1040s and 1041s. I’ve also acquired proficiency in various software applications such as Engagement, Return Manager, Client Write-Up, Document, and Yearli.”

Q: What has been your favorite part about interning at RBG?

A: “The opportunity to experience all 3 departments (CAAS, Audit, Tax). My internship with RBG gave me the opportunity to improve my cognitive ability in the profession before deciding where my career would start as a full-time employee. Each department has diversified my intellectual portfolio. In addition to this, I appreciated the level of understanding everyone had when it came to me balancing grad school and working hours.”

Q: Based on your experience, what’s the biggest piece of advice you’d give to a future intern?

A: “Make connections your first day on the job. Interacting with all colleagues (not just in your department) could open a door of opportunities for learning and mentorship. I also recommend that you not be afraid to ask questions and keep a notebook at all times to write down the responses. This notebook will be extremely helpful down the line when you need refreshers.”

Martina Jones
    Master’s Student , Rhodes College

Q: What have you learned so far during your time at RBG?

A: “I have learned how to use tax forms before even having any of the classes. I’ve also learned how to work in an environment like RBG.”

Q: What has been your favorite part about interning at RBG?

A: “The exciting events, the kindness of the community, and the understanding of those working around you.”

Q: Based on your experience, what’s the biggest piece of advice you’d give to a future intern?

A: “When you come work at RBG, make sure you go to the events and just talk to everybody, they are all very kind.”

Carson Young
    Sophomore , University of Memphis

3d illustration of pawns over black background with one piece replaced by another one. Concept of succession planning and leader or senior manager replacement.

Securing Your Business’s Future: Mastering Succession Planning

For many business owners, the future is uncertain. Would you like to ensure the long-term success of your enterprise, reducing stress and providing peace of mind? That’s where succession planning comes in.

Every successful business gets to that point thanks to careful planning and strategic foresight. While most business owners focus on maximizing present success, it’s equally crucial to consider the future. Here, we look at the details of proper succession planning, exploring its significance, key benefits, and actionable strategies to ensure your business continues to thrive even after you’ve handed over the reins.

Understanding the Essence of Succession Planning

Succession planning is not about preparing for contingencies. It’s much more than that—it’s a proactive strategy that ensures a seamless transition within an organization’s leadership and critical positions. From identifying potential successors to nurturing their growth, this process is most effective when initiated years in advance. This allows for mentorship between outgoing and incoming leaders, allowing businesses to navigate transitions with grace and confidence.

The Benefits of Succession Planning

While many businesspeople believe succession planning is primarily about risk mitigation, this isn’t necessarily the case.  Retaining talent instills confidence in stockholders, and fostering a sense of continuity within the company are all important components of effective succession planning. By identifying and building up future leaders for years before they take control, businesses can inspire loyalty among both employees and investors.

Common Business Succession Planning Strategies

From buy/sell agreements to recapitalization, various strategies can be used during succession planning. By implementing tailored approaches that align with their goals and values, businesses can navigate succession with clarity and purpose.

It is often worthwhile to bring in a succession consultant to determine the best strategies for your business. These professionals will consider a variety of factors as they help you and your team prepare for the future.

Succession Planning and Family-Owned Businesses

In the case of family-owned businesses, Score statistics paint a sobering picture: only thirty percent (30%) survive into the second generation, twelve percent (12%) survive into the third, and forty-seven percent (47%) of family business owners expecting to retire in five years DO NOT have a successor.

This is problematic, not only for the family themselves, but for customers who may have come to rely on these family businesses for services like plumbing, appliance repair, or grocery shopping. If you own a family-run business, now is the time to beat the statistics and make sure your venture survives.

Types of Succession Plans

Succession planning for businesses can take various forms, tailored to meet the specific needs and circumstances of each organization. 

Here are some common types of succession plans – again, a succession planning expert can assist you with your strategy:

1. Internal Succession Plan:

   – Involves identifying and grooming potential successors from within the organization.

   – Current employees are trained, mentored, and prepared to take on key leadership roles.

   – Provides continuity and stability by retaining institutional knowledge and preserving company culture.

   – Typically involves promoting employees to higher positions or transitioning ownership to family members.

2. External Succession Plan:

   – Focuses on bringing in talent from outside the organization to fill key leadership positions.

   – Suitable for businesses that lack internal candidates with the necessary skills or experience.

   – May involve hiring executives from other companies or recruiting individuals with specific expertise in the industry.

3. Family Succession Plan:

   – Designed for family-owned businesses to transfer ownership and management to the next generation.

   – Involves identifying family members interested in leading the business and preparing them for leadership roles.

   – Addresses issues related to fairness, governance, and estate planning within the family.

4. Emergency Succession Plan:

   – Provides a contingency plan for unexpected events such as the sudden incapacitation or death of key executives.

   – Ensures that the business can continue operations smoothly during times of crisis.

   – Includes clear guidelines for interim leadership, decision-making processes, and communication protocols.

5. Hybrid Succession Plan:

   – Combines elements of internal and external succession planning strategies.

   – Allows businesses to capitalize on the strengths of both internal talent development and external recruitment.

   – Provides flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances and address talent gaps effectively.

6. Leadership Development Program:

   – Focuses on identifying and nurturing high-potential employees at all levels of the organization.

   – Offers training, mentoring, and career development opportunities to prepare future leaders.

   – Cultivates a pipeline of talent to fill key positions over time, ensuring a smooth transition of leadership.

7. Partnership or Co-Ownership Agreement:

   – Applicable to businesses with multiple owners or partners who need to plan for ownership transitions.

   – Defines the process for buying out or transferring ownership shares among partners.

   – Addresses issues such as valuation, buy-sell arrangements, and dispute resolution mechanisms.

Each type of succession plan has its advantages and considerations, and businesses may choose to adopt a combination of approaches based on their unique circumstances and objectives.

The Imperative of Succession Planning: What It Means for You

Succession planning isn’t a luxury—it’s a strategic imperative for every business owner. By investing in proactive planning and talent development, you can safeguard your business’s future, inspire confidence among stakeholders, and preserve your legacy for generations to come.

Succession Planning: A Key to Weathering Economic Downturns

As we shared earlier in this guide, succession planning isn’t just about preparing for leadership changes and risk mitigation—it’s about future-proofing your business against economic uncertainties. By integrating succession planning into your business strategy, you can navigate economic downturns with confidence, ensuring operational continuity and long-term success.

Ready to Secure Your Business’s Future?

Securing your business’s future begins with proactive planning and strategic foresight. Whether you are navigating leadership transitions or preparing for economic downturns, succession planning is the key to long-term success. Ready to take the next step? Consult with our experts today and embark on a journey towards enduring success and prosperity.

Invest in your business’s future—start your succession planning journey today.

Businessman hold binocular sailing on navigation compass find way for business survive on storming ocean. Business vision and management problem solving from global economic crisis.

Navigating Economic Storms: 10 Strategies for Business Survival and Success

As the winds of economic uncertainty continue to blow, many businesses find themselves sailing through turbulent waters. With high-interest rates and mounting consumer debt, fears of an impending recession loom large. But amid these challenges lies an opportunity for businesses to not only survive but thrive. Here, we offer a compass to guide you through these uncertain times and help recession-proof your business.

1. Review and Reduce Expenses: In times of economic distress, tightening your purse strings should be your first move. Conduct a thorough review of your expenses and identify areas where costs can be cut without compromising essential operations. Renegotiating contracts, switching to more affordable suppliers, and optimizing staffing levels are all strategies to consider.

2. Strategic Pricing: Consider adjusting your pricing strategy to reflect changing economic conditions. A modest increase in prices can help offset rising costs and bolster your bottom line, especially for products or services deemed essential by consumers. Of course, it is important to balance price increases with sensitivity toward your customers’ economic challenges.

3. Prioritize Customer Retention: In a downturn, retaining existing customers becomes even more critical than acquiring new ones. Offer incentives, discounts, or additional services to incentivize loyalty and keep your customer base intact.

4. Diversify Revenue Streams: Relying on a single source of income can leave your business vulnerable to economic fluctuations. Explore opportunities to diversify your revenue streams through new product lines, targeted marketing initiatives, or expansion into untapped markets.

5. Invest in Strategic Marketing: While it may be tempting to scale back on marketing expenditures during tough times, maintaining a strong brand presence is essential. Invest in cost-effective marketing strategies to keep your business top-of-mind and position yourself for success when the economy rebounds.

6. Deliver Exceptional Quality: In challenging times, the temptation to cut corners may arise. However, maintaining the quality of your products and services is key to retaining customer trust and loyalty. Focus on delivering excellence in all aspects of your business, even when the economy is not on your side.

7. Build Cash Reserves: Establishing a robust cash reserve is crucial for weathering economic storms. Set aside a portion of profits each month and explore options such as business lines of credit to bolster your financial cushion.

8. Reduce Debt: With interest rates on the rise, reducing debt should be a priority for businesses and individuals alike. Implement a debt reduction plan to minimize interest payments and strengthen your financial position.

9. Explore Alternative Financing: When traditional financing options fall short, creativity can help secure the funding your business needs. Investigate alternative financing options such as SBA loans, lines of credit, or invoice factoring to bridge gaps in cash flow until the economy turns a corner.

10. Plan for Contingencies: Finally, prepare for the worst-case scenario by developing a comprehensive contingency plan. Anticipate potential challenges, outline strategies for revenue stabilization and cost containment, and maintain open lines of communication with employees and customers.

In times of economic uncertainty, proactive measures can make all the difference between sinking and sailing through the storm. By implementing these strategies and seeking expert guidance from your tax professional or financial planner, you can navigate the choppy waters of economic downturns and emerge stronger on the other side. 

Ready to recession-proof your business and thrive in challenging times? Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to success!

AI(Artificial intelligence) concept.

The IRS Is Tackling Tax Evasion With AI

As the current tax season continues, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has ushered in a new era of tax enforcement thanks to the power of artificial intelligence (AI). AI tools have taken nearly every industry by storm recently, and even federal tax authorities have realized that these resources can be invaluable in catching tax evaders.

Bolstered by funding from the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, the IRS is improving its audit processes, particularly in areas where audit coverage has dwindled. Large partnerships, large corporations, and employment tax returns are all under the microscope as the IRS seeks to crack down on tax avoidance, particularly among wealthy companies and high-net-worth individuals.

AI Audit Concerns

While AI presents opportunities for more efficient tax audits, some industry experts have expressed concerns about privacy, bias, and transparency. In a Thomson Reuters report, James Creech, a senior manager for Baker Tilly’s tax advocacy and controversy team, voiced apprehensions about the potential ramifications of AI-driven audits. He cautioned against the possibility of taxpayers being flagged for returns that deviate slightly from the norm, noting that safeguards will be important in this new era of tax enforcement.

On the flip side, Creech did acknowledge the strides made in AI technology, particularly in targeted audits of partnerships. The AI tools employed by the IRS have already led to better issue selection, expediting the audit process and prompting inquiries regarding specific issues.

Future Outlook and Challenges

The IRS’s Strategic Operating Plan for FY 2023 through 2031 showcases a commitment to bolstering enforcement efforts, especially for large partnerships and corporations. However, the human element remains a critical factor in AI implementation. In the aforementioned Thomson Reuters deep dive, Creech pointed out that IRS “audits have been driven by algorithms for a long time,” noting that a “DIF” (discriminant function) score has been used to drive audit selection. Although Creech believes that new AI technology will make audit selection “better and better” in the long run, he still has concerns about  “what does the human being do with [algorithmic information.”

This is, of course, something that federal tax authorities will have to consider moving forward as AI becomes an increasingly important part of the auditing process.

AI and the ERC

As the IRS becomes increasingly reliant on AI, tax practitioners may find themselves navigating new terrain, including an increased number of Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERC) audits. In September 2023, the agency unexpectedly suspended all ERC applications. Then, in December, IRS officials announced a program that allowed taxpayers to voluntarily admit to “mistakenly claimed” pandemic-era tax credits.

The ERC, in particular, presents AI difficulties due to limited data availability. Creech made the point that AI’s effectiveness hinges on the availability of large data sets, making limited programs like the ERC less amenable to AI-driven scrutiny.

Addressing IRS Audit Red Flags

Wealthy taxpayers should be mindful of IRS audit triggers. According to Kiplinger, these red flags include claiming residence in Puerto Rico without substantiation, engaging in offshore asset movements, and significant cryptocurrency transactions. IRS AI algorithms are poised to detect patterns indicative of tax evasion, highlighting the importance of compliance.

While the IRS’s usage of AI technology promises improved tax enforcement and customer service, major change is never without challenges. Questions surrounding algorithmic bias, human interpretation, and data limitations persist – and likely will until far-reaching results of AI technology and taxes are available for assessment.

As the IRS meets the intersection of emerging technology and tax compliance, the onus remains on taxpayers and tax professionals to operate with diligence and integrity. Compliance with tax laws and regulations is important, as always, particularly with the rise of artificial intelligence.

Matt Day-RBG Post

Meet Our Team – Matt Day

Matt Day, our Client Advisory & Accounting Services Leader, brings a rich history of experience and dedication to the RBG team. Since joining the firm in November 2023, Matt has added immense value to the Client Advisory & Accounting Services department. In his role, Matt spearheads a team dedicated to serving a diverse array of clients, spanning industries such as non-profits, restaurants, and manufacturing.

A proud alumnus of the University of Mississippi, Matt holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Business Management (2005) and recently earned his second BBA in Accounting (2021) from the University of Memphis.

Matt finds solace and joy in his family life. He & his wife, Nicole, are proud parents to their son, Miller, who will be turning two this April! Matt’s greatest pride lies in the gift of fatherhood, cherishing every moment with Miller as they navigate life’s adventures together.

When not immersed in financial strategies or familial bliss, Matt’s playful side emerges. Known for his uncanny impersonations of co-workers and a penchant for tree-climbing expeditions with Miller, Matt finds joy in the simple pleasures of life.


Fun Questions

1. What fictional place would you most like to visit?

Neverland/Get to fly and not age

2. What is a new skill that you would like to master?

A programming language; SQL, Python

3. What do you wish you knew more about?

Different languages and other cultures

4. What’s the farthest you’ve ever been from home?


5. What question would you most like to know the answer to?

Chicken or the egg

6. What is the most impressive thing you know how to do?

I’ve been told that my impersonations of co-workers are simply that, impressive

7. What was the best compliment you’ve ever received?

“WE love having your child in our class” – a teacher told me as my son was being separated from the rest of his peers for pushing

8. What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Even my wife would agree with me: Our son, Miller

9. What is your favorite smell?

New shoes/Leather

11. When was the last time you climbed a tree?

Last week- I tend to do that a lot more with an almost 2 year old

Smart phone, coffee, pen and notepad with text " to do list", retro style

Your February Financial To-do list

January has come and gone. You may or may not have stuck to your resolutions, but the good news is that February is here. Now is the perfect time to hunker down and get your monetary ducks in a row. Here are a few things to put on your agenda to get your financial house in order.

Pay Off Holiday Debt

Yes, it was fun to go shopping for holiday gifts, but those interest rates are high – you’ll want to pay your balances off as quickly as possible. And here’s a tip: you can make more than one payment per billing period. In other words, instead of waiting for your next paycheck, pay some of the balance now and some later. This will reduce the interest you’d pay if you waited two more weeks to pay in full. This way, you can actually pay your credit card bills more frequently and pay less over time. While you’re at it, look for lower interest rates and transfer those balances. All it takes is a google search for “zero balance transfer credit card offers” and you’ll a find what you need in no time.

Start Working on Your Taxes

April will be here before you know it, so getting a jump on taxes is a smart idea. Also, filing early will give you more time to figure out how much you owe, if anything. If you want to take the guesswork out of preparing your taxes, you might consider hiring a tax professional. When you make your selection, ask for a price quote. Some tax preparers often want to see which forms you need before they work on your taxes, but you can still ask for a list of fees for various types of tax help to get a ballpark idea. Here’s a red flag: if someone says they’ll base your fees on a percentage of your refund, run away. This is a violation of IRS rules.

Get a Free Credit Report

All the big reporting companies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – offer a free report one time every 12 months. So why not find out? When you see the truth of your credit report, it can motivate you to change some habits, like paying earlier, more often and on time. No one likes late fees.

Save on a Gym Membership

In January, you probably got pummeled with lots of solicitations for a gym membership at low, low prices; but in February, the prices are even lower. If you don’t want to commit, you can sign up for a trial run. You can even negotiate a deal if you ask to speak to the manager. Finally, some gyms will offer you a deep discount if you agree to use the facilities during off-peak hours or on certain days. Flexibility is the key!

Buy Things on Deep Discount

With high prices and high interest rates, it makes sense to check out all the price cuts on Consumer Reports. On this site, you’ll find all the good stuff: cars, home and garden supplies, appliances, electronics and more.

These are just a few of the items you can put on your financial to-do list. All it takes is carving out some time and getting started. Once you get going, you’ll probably make more progress than you ever dreamed.


Page of newspaper with words municipal bonds. Trading concept.

Municipal Bond Outlook for 2024

One of the positive aspects of sustained high interest rates is higher yields on bonds, particularly high-quality municipal bonds. It is possible that 2024 will present a different scenario, as the Federal Reserve begins a schedule of monetary easing by reducing interest rates over time. The potential for this strategy, combined with a slowdown in inflation and economic growth – and exacerbated by the potential volatility of a U.S. presidential election – offer a hazy but ultimately positive outlook for municipal bonds.

For now, investors with a long-term outlook (up to 10 years) can take advantage of current high interest rates before they begin declining. A key recommendation is to focus on the credit quality of muni bond issuers, which is more likely to face adjustments due to lower reserves and unreliable revenue streams during an economic slowdown.

The following are some municipal bond market considerations for long-term investors:

  • While absolute rates are expected to decrease in 2024, muni bonds should continue to offer high yields and strong credit quality.
  • Speaking of credit quality, despite the larger universe of corporate bonds, there are more AAA- and AA-rated munis than corporate bonds. For example, there are only 13 unique issuers of AAA-rated bonds within the Bloomberg U.S. Corporate Bond Index. Of these 13, two comprise the majority of outstanding AAA corporate bonds. This means an investor is better able to diversify assets across a mix of high-quality muni bonds or a municipal bond fund.
  • Remember that munis are generally exempt from federal and state income taxes (when the investor lives in the issuing state) and might therefore provide a higher tax-equivalent yield when compared to yields of other long-term bonds.
  • In order for municipal bond income to be comparable to the after-tax yield of corporate bonds, the investor should be subject to a 45 percent or higher total cumulative tax rate. This is referred to as the “break-even” rate wherein municipal bonds will likely yield more after-tax income.
  • Longer-term, AAA-rated municipal bonds (up to 10 years) are expected to offer greater value compared to shorter-term munis.
  • Credit conditions are expected to continue their upward trend in 2024. As a general rule, municipal bonds are highly rated, but the average credit rating has increased even more since the pandemic. For example, the percentage of AAA- or AA-rated bonds in the Bloomberg U.S. Municipal Bond Index increased from 67 percent (pre-pandemic) to 71.4 percent as of November 2023.
  • Some of the most popular provisions of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act are scheduled to expire in 2025. Demand for muni bonds might soar this year as taxpayers seek more tax-advantaged benefits given the potential loss of itemized deductions and a reduced standard deduction. Look for this sunsetting tax legislation to be a hot issue as this year’s election season gets up and running.

Given the higher yields available for the past 15 years, municipal bond returns are projected to be favorable in the near term. However, be wary of issuers that lack strong reserves and whose revenue streams are linked to economic activity.

Perhaps most importantly, investors should consider their objectives when investing in municipal bonds. If already in or nearing retirement, take into account your current tax bracket, the type of account you plan to invest in (taxable or tax-advantaged), credit quality, and time to maturity to effectively assess the value of municipal bond income in your portfolio.

Copy of RBG New Hire Template- Multiple

RBG Admits James Hunter Stock, III, JD, CPA and Jeree Wheat, CPA as Partners

MEMPHIS, TN —Reynolds, Bone, & Griesbeck, PLC (RBG) admits James “Hunter” Stock, III, JD, CPA and
Jeree Wheat, CPA into the firm partnership effective January 1st, 2024.

Hunter will serve as a Tax Partner in RBG’s Private Client Group, leading the firm’s estate and gift tax
practice. Hunter’s extensive knowledge, strategic insight, and dedication to client success have been
instrumental in shaping RBG’s tax services. When asked what drives his success, Hunter says, “I’m
motivated by knowing that I can help people and make a positive difference in my clients’ lives by serving
them well. I am also motivated by my family – a wonderful wife and three awesome children.”

As Tax Partner, he will continue to drive innovation and excellence in serving our clients’ complex tax
needs. “I enjoy working with clients to plan for their future while navigating an ever-changing tax
landscape, and then seeing their goals being achieved,” Hunter said.

Jeree will serve as an Assurance Partner primarily practicing in the firm’s Private & Non-profit Group,
continuing to be a technical resource and assurance efficiency leader. When asked what she loves most
about her job, Jeree says, “It’s the people I work with…not just the numbers. Not only do I get to interact
with our staff every day and watch them grow, but we all get to work with a phenomenal group of clients
as well.”

As Assurance Partner, mentoring and developing RBG employees to ensure attention to client needs and
quality service will remain a top priority for Jeree.

“We are proud to have them as partners and are excited about the positive impact they will have on our
clients, our team and the success of the firm,” said Carl “Skeet” J. Haag, CPA, Managing Partner of RBG.
“Their outstanding client service, exceptional dedication, expertise and leadership, exemplify RBG’s WHY
statement to challenge and inspire our people and clients to achieve their goals while creating lasting

RBG is a premier CPA and advisory firm delivering custom tax, accounting, auditing and consulting services to a wide variety of clients. They are building on their 100-year legacy by investing in the next generation of professionals and are passionate about helping their client partners reach their goals. For more information, please visit www.rbgcpa.com

Textured image of the United States Capitol dome on a cloudy day

Congress at Work: Expanding Benefits for Veterans and Extending Government Funding Until January 19, 2024

The Congress at Work series of articles is designed to give you a glimpse of various types of legislation currently under consideration. While either the Senate or the House of Representatives may initiate a bill proposal, be aware that many bills never become law; they may never make it out of committee, be blocked by a Senate filibuster, be delayed, lack enough votes, never be agreed upon by the two houses, or vetoed by the president.

A bill to amend Title 38, United States Code, to extend and modify certain authorities and requirements relating to the Department of Veterans Affairs and for other purposes. (S 2795) – This bill was introduced on September 13 by Senator Don Tester (D-MT). This act extends various Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) programs and benefits, including extending the use of contract healthcare professions for disability exams from three to five years; extending authorization for VA emergency preparedness for public health emergencies through fiscal year 2028; and extending certain fee rates under the VA’s home loan program through November 15, 2031. The bill passed in the Senate on September 13, the House on September 26, and was signed into law by the President on October 6.

Wounded Warrior Access Act (HR 1226) – This bill requires the VA to develop and maintain a secure online website that will allow claimants to request records related to their VA claims and benefits, as well as a process for reporting violations. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA) on February 28. It passed in the House on March 7, the Senate on November 2, and was signed into law on November 13.

Korean American Valor Act (HR 366) – This act amends U.S. Code Title 38 to treat certain members of the armed forces of the Republic of Korea, who served in Vietnam under the Armed Forces of the United States, as veterans for purposes of qualifying for healthcare by the VA. The legislation was introduced on January 13 by Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA), and was passed in the House on May 22 and in the Senate on October 19. The bill was enacted by President Biden on November 13.

A bill to amend Title 38, United States Code, to strengthen benefits for children of Vietnam veterans born with spina bifida, and for other purposes. (S 12) – Introduced by Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) on Jan. 26, this bill requires the VA to provide healthcare, job training and monetary benefits to children of Vietnam veterans who were born with spina bifida – for the duration of the child’s life. The bill also requires the VA to establish an advisory council responsible for the care, coordination and ongoing outreach to assist with any care changes over time. The bill passed in the Senate on July 13, the House on September 19, and was signed into law on October 6.

Further Continuing Appropriations and Other Extensions Act, 2024 (HR 6363) – This continuing resolution (CR) was introduced by Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX) on Nov. 13. It is part of a two-step process to continue funding most government programs and activities at fiscal year 2023 levels for the current fiscal year (2024). The CR expires on January 19, 2024, by which time budget legislation will need to be passed in order to avoid a government shutdown. This CR passed in the House on November 14, the Senate on November 15, and was signed by the President on November 16.


The 2023 Tax Planning Guide

It’s that time of year again: time for year-end tax planning. With the end of 2023 coming fast, the time to act is now. In this article, we’ll look at the moves you can make to optimize your tax situation in 2023 as an individual taxpayer.

Itemized Deductions

Flexing your timing on itemized deductions is a solid strategic move. It can help you shift to a bigger itemized deduction in 2023 versus 2024 (but not both). This can be advantageous if you expect to be in a higher tax bracket in one year compared to the other. Key itemized deductions to consider are home interest, state and local taxes, charitable deductions and medical expenses.

Electric Vehicles

If you are in the market for a new car, consider buying an electric vehicle (EV) to save some taxes as well. Many new EVs can get you a credit of up to $7,500 and used versions up to $4,000. The credit is limited based on the cost of the vehicle, with more expensive model’s ineligible for the tax credit. Generally, the MSRP of a sedan cannot exceed $55,000, and SUVs, trucks and vans cannot be more than $80,000. 

In addition to the price limit on the EV itself, the credit is limited by taxpayers’ income levels. Married couples modified gross income cannot be more than $300,000 to get the credit on a new EV and $225,000 for a used version. Single taxpayers are capped at $150,000 for a new version or $75,000 for a used EV.

One important distinction here is that if you buy an EV in 2023, you’ll need to claim the credit via your tax return, which means you won’t get the benefit right away. In 2024, however, you can choose to transfer the credit to the car dealer when you buy the vehicle and pay less as a result immediately. So, if you plan to buy it now or in early 2024, it may be better to wait if you have the choice.

Home Improvements

There are two tax credits you can get related to making “green” upgrades to your home. The first is the residential clean energy property credit, which is installing alternative energy systems such as solar, wind, geothermal, etc., giving you a credit of up to 30 percent of the materials and cost of installation. The second is the energy-efficient home improvement credit. This applies to smaller upgrades like boilers, central air-conditioning systems, water heaters, windows, etc., that meet qualifications for specific energy efficiency ratings. The credit is for 30 percent of the cost, with $1,200 yearly maximum (from all upgrades).

Charitable Donations

If you are considering making charitable donations, consider donating appreciated property, like stocks or mutual funds, where you have unrealized gains. This way, you’ll get to deduct the full amount of the fair market value without having to sell and pay taxes on the gains first.

Beware Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) Rules for IRAs

The penalty for failing to take your RMD dropped from 50 percent down to 25 percent with the Secure 2.0 Act in 2023, but it is wise to avoid the still hefty penalty. The general rule is that taxpayers 73 and older must take annual payouts, and there is a specific calculation behind it based on your age and account balance. You can also be subject to RMDs at a much younger age if you inherited an IRA. If you don’t feel comfortable making this determination, it’s best to check with your CPA or financial advisor to ensure you withdraw the right amount.

Max Out Retirement Plans

The deadline to fund workplace 401(k) plans is December 31, 2023, while 2023-year IRA contributions are allowed up until April 15, 2024. Taxpayers can contribute up to $22,500 in a 401(k) ($30,000 if age 50 or older); and $6,500 for IRAs ($7,500 if over 50). 

Capital Gains and Tax Loss Harvesting

The capital markets have seen a volatile year, and interest rates have been at highs not seen in quite some time. This may create situations where tax loss harvesting is advantageous.

Generally, if you have losses in some securities, understand that you can take losses against positions with gains up to the number of gains you realize, plus a maximum of $3,000 against other income. Excess losses are carried forward to future years. So, if you have a combination of winners and losers in your portfolio, consider tax loss harvesting to lower your tax bill.

Beware of the wash-sale rules, however. The wash-sale rules forbid you to sell and then repurchase “substantially identical” securities within 30 days of the sale on loss positions. One nuance here is that cryptocurrencies are not subject to the wash-sale rule as of yet.

Increase Your Withholdings

If you expect to have a hefty tax bill, then it may be wise to have additional amounts withheld from your paycheck or make an estimated payment. This can help you avoid a penalty for underpayment of taxes. As long as you prepay via tax payments or withhold a minimum of 90 percent of your 2023 total tax bill or 100 percent of what you owed for 2022 (110 percent if your 2022 AGI exceeded $150,000), you are clear of the penalty.


As we prepare to enter the final month of 2023, now is the time to take a look at your financial and tax situation to see if there are any moves you can make to minimize your 2023 tax liabilities and maximize your wealth.