Success story: Brian Guatta to help Marcum with tax season

Most Americans hear the words “tax season” and want to bury their heads under a pillow. Or move to Canada.

Accounting majors hear the same words and envision opportunity.

Brian Guatta (GSB ’15) is making the most of the 2014 tax season, having accepted a tax internship at Marcum for the spring semester. He will start in February, aided not only by his Gabelli School coursework but also by a term preparing tax returns for underprivileged Bronx residents through the VITA program.

Tax might turn out to be Brian’s calling, though for now it remains a tough call against his other interest, audit. The Marcum internship may help him figure out which takes the lead.

“The critical thinking and reasoning aspect of tax is what draws my interest,” Brian explained. “I think an internship will give me the hands-on experience I need to decide if this is the branch of accounting I wish to pursue.”

A member of Beta Alpha Psi and the Economics Society, Brian was an intern this past summer in the internal audit department of Warner Chilcott. He also became certified in the New York City Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program and gave his time to the University Neighborhood Housing Program, completing tax returns for Bronx residents who otherwise could not afford a paid preparer’s help.

“The appreciation people showed toward me for sacrificing time to help them with taxes was immense, and I felt a sense of pride and happiness that I could give back to those people,” Brian recalled. “The most challenging part was cramming and learning tax laws, as I was only a sophomore at the time with no previous experience with tax. It was overall an incredibly rewarding experience to know I made a difference and gave back to the people of the Bronx.”

When it came to internships, the late-September accounting and finance career fair held in McGinley by Fordham Career Services proved helpful to Brian. There, he met reps from Marcum, which led to an interview a few weeks later.

Brian hopes to bring lessons from his Gabelli School taxation course to bear on his Marcum internship, and he cited his current tax professor, Stan Veliotis, as one of the driving forces in his academic life toward tax.

“This class is individual taxation with some references to small businesses, and next semester I hope to take a corporate tax class with Professor Veliotis,” Brian said. “The broader knowledge I have of tax, the better it will be for my internship and career as a whole.”
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