He currently serves as the co-chair of the Statements on Standards for Tax Services (SSTSs) Task Force and as a member of the Tax Practice Responsibilities Committee (TPRC). He previously served another term on the TPRC and has served on the IRS Practice and Procedures Committee and the Tax Forms Committee. Ed Karl, VP of Taxation, values Jerry’s service to the profession and when asked about him he said “Whenever I visit New Orleans, Jerry is terrific in leveraging my visits by connecting me to a meeting of local CPAs. He always looks out for them and helps me stay informed as to the issues our members face every day.”
I sat down with Jerry and we discussed his long-time service to the CPA profession and his significant efforts and contributions to disaster relief.
What is your specialty in the tax world and what do you enjoy most?
Ever since Hurricane Katrina, my efforts have centered on individual income tax matters and IRS practice issues. I enjoy helping AICPA members with IRS practice issues and consulting other CPAs on various matters.
What accomplishments are you most proud of from volunteering?
In August 2005, when Hurricane Katrina hit, there was minimum dialogue between the IRS and the CPA community. I worked with Ed, and other AICPA Tax Division staff to foster this relationship and encourage the IRS to provide relief and guidance. We continue to update AICPA practice guides to help members and work with IRS on disaster issues.
Most importantly, the IRS put out FAQs to assist us with important matters necessary to file taxpayers’ returns. This was never done before. We now have FAQs being issued by IRS on all important matters that affect our practices. Katrina was the starting point.
I didn’t plan on disasters defining my career, but I joke and call myself the “CPA Master of Disaster.” I have assisted members and provided CPE on casualty loss matters for every major disaster since 2005.
What is your favorite hobby when not working? What do you do for fun?
I play golf (when there is free time). It gives me a chance to meet some really interesting people.
How would you describe yourself and why?
I’m the CPA Master of Disaster! Someone had to take the lead after Katrina by working with the IRS – and it ended up being me. There were struggles, but it helped everyone involved including the taxpayers as well as members.
What have you enjoyed most about volunteering?
What’s been great about being a volunteer is that I can leave with a sense of contributing something to the profession and knowing that I have helped the many members I have met thru difficult times.
—As told to Heather Murphy-Walker, an AICPA Manager – Taxation based in Durham, NC