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Gleim Instruct Professor Spotlight–Nate Wadlinger

Meet Gleim Video Instructor Nate Wadlinger

Get to know your new EA professor, Nate Wadlinger

We recently upgraded Gleim EA Review to include our SmartAdapt™ technology as well as brand new Gleim Instruct videos, and we are excited to introduce our new Gleim Instruct professor, Nate Wadlinger!

Nate is a CPA, attorney, and Lecturer in Taxation at Florida State University. In the academic realm he specializes in tax and focuses on teaching, research, and service.

With respect to teaching I have taught almost every tax class offered in accounting programs. The classes I feel best teaching are the basic federal income tax courses, business entity taxation courses, and tax research [ … ] I focus my time on legal research of federal income tax issues. Most of this research deals with application of the tax law to various situations [ … ]I am involved with many professional organizations including FL Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Tax Section of the Florida Bar.

Though his academic job is his first passion, Nate also practices as a tax professional. Both a CPA and attorney, he does tax compliance, research, and consulting for a public accounting firm.

I feel that tax is an area that you really need to practice to be an effective teacher. Tax changes so frequently; the law, the technology, common issues raised by taxpayers, and lots of other issues. It is not like an algebra class where the concepts and rules taught have remained pretty much the same for the last few centuries. Just in the last year and a half alone, with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, there have been major changes in the tax law requiring some topics where the material is completely different like certain provisions in the international tax rules or the Section 199A Qualified Business Income deductions. So I decided with my goal of teaching tax it would make me more effective to practice while teaching. That has always been my goal to do both.

Nate is currently working on a few articles related to tax, especially with respect to Section 199A qualified business income deduction and other issues related to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. He has a number of other publications, and enjoys writing and research.

Usually when a tax law is new or uncertain research can help with application of these nuances in the law. There have been times when the Courts have even looked to law review articles like mine that have helped in make judicial decisions and forming the law.

Some of the topics Nate has researched include:

  • The use of shell entities in tax evasion
  • Taxpayers overreporting income for earned income tax credit purposes
  • Domestic asset tracing and fraud
  • Health care fraud
  • How multiple taxpayers can use the head of household status in one residence
  • Cryptocurrency issues in tax

From auditing student to tax guru

Although he’s now a tax professional and teaches tax topics as a college lecturer, Nate didn’t always have tax in mind. In fact, as a junior in college he took an initial interest in auditing.

I was dreading my first tax class! Tax just sounded so boring. However, once I had my first few tax classes I fell in love with material, specifically the way class was taught. There was legal reasoning, lots of colorful tax court examples used to explain, and the professor had us learn the tax law by jumping right into the Internal Revenue Code. When I took that class I knew I wanted to teach tax at some point as I enjoyed the academic setting and really enjoyed the material [ … ] I also wanted to make a seemingly boring topic an interesting one, just like my professor did for me. He used lots of puzzle type analogies to explain the topics. I wanted to show future students that an area many people think is boring is actually very interesting.

Gleim Instruct videos are all about tackling the big topics in detail, but in a way that makes learning easy. As such, our instructors have to have a knack for teaching. When it comes to teaching tax topics, Nate focuses on two things. First, he emphasizes helpful themes.

I stress for students to understand general themes that are important in tax. For example, gross income is defined broadly, but deductions are defined narrowly. Some other examples include time value of money savings when it comes to tax deductions and how Congress favors small business through many tax benefits in the Tax Code. These kinds of themes are prominent throughout the law and can help students remember years later even after they put down the books.

Second, he makes tax an interesting and engaging topic.

My most creative approach involves using costumes and music to teach certain tax themes. Over the last year I have been putting together costumes and music/themes for my tax classes that I teach at FSU. Again, I really enjoy tax, and being able to think of costumes and music related to tax concepts helps students remember concepts. For example, I dress up like Sherlock Holmes when I go over the introduction to the tax research process because tax research involves lots of deduction and induction like Sherlock Holmes. I have a costume for just about every class. Not only do the costumes help students remember certain themes, but they also provide entertainment for the students!

The “highs and lows” of tax

It’s difficult to find someone with as much passion for the subject as Nate Wadlinger, but he remarks that tax doesn’t come without some natural difficulties.

The most challenging part of being a tax professional is being the bearer of bad news. You are applying the tax law as laid down by Congress. There will be times that certain tax provisions are unfair for some parties but not others. And your client may be subject to those rules where they get unfair treatment. To evaluate whether a tax is a good tax, it’s important to consider simplicity (or how simple is it to file and administer), efficiency (does it affect economic transactions negatively), and finally, equity, or fairness. You will come across times when the tax law is unfair to your client’s factual situation, but that is how Congress laid out the law. [ … ] These types of situations result in difficult conversations with the client and they can be extremely challenging.

Despite the challenges, Nate believes being a tax professional is a fantastic opportunity to help others, and well-done tax work is much appreciated!

Taxes are dreaded by the general public, but they also are something that must be completed. If you are effective and efficient with respect to tax preparation, you will have happy clients that have their taxes completed for the year. Further, for some clients a tax preparer might be considered one of [their] most trusted advisors.

According to Nate, tax—whether in theory or practice—rewards those who love puzzles.

I enjoy analyzing the issues like a puzzle. Further, it’s never boring in the tax field with respect to not having new issues. And that’s especially the case today with the recent major changes in tax law due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Right now it’s such an excellent time to be working in the tax industry.

All in all, he sees tax as a fascinating topic because it is so dynamic. Because tax law rarely stays the same, he explains, it’s also a great inspiration for an educator.

I feel that tax is an area that you really need to practice to be an effective teacher. Tax changes so frequently; the law, the technology, common issues raised by taxpayers, and lots of other issues. It is not like an algebra class where the concepts and rules taught have remained pretty much the same for the last few centuries. [ … ] So I decided [ … ] it would make me more effective to practice while teaching. That has always been my goal, to do both. And while I knew I wanted to go into teaching tax, I really enjoy practicing in the tax area as well!

When you get Gleim EA, you learn from the experts

If you’re planning on becoming an EA, you’ll need the best in EA review. With our newest edition, you get full access to Gleim Instruct, featuring in-depth videos led by tax expert Nate Wadlinger.

Highly acclaimed Gleim Instruct videos are led by professional educators who have the unique expertise and years of experience to explain the most important topics on accounting exams. They also provide detailed walkthroughs of exam questions, including explanations of both correct and incorrect answers.

Ready to become an EA? Get Gleim EA Review, get access to all of Nate’s videos, and much, much more. Want a preview of our multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and video walkthroughs? Be sure to check out our new EA MCQ webinar!