Neil Johnson (aka The Tax Dude®) has been a tax professional for over fifteen years and has prepared thousands of tax returns for individuals, small businesses, trusts and estates. Neil’s background in taxation coupled with his experience in personal financial planning gives him a base of knowledge truly appreciated by his clients.
Neil, a graduate of Loyola University of Chicago and a certified public accountant since 1988 had been the President of Johnson Financial Services, Ltd. (JFS) Starting with a handful of clients in 1991, he built a diversified tax, accounting and financial consulting practice. His business clients consisted primarily of advertising agencies and other graphic arts related businesses. With JFS, Neil operated one the first non commercial tax preparation practices to file tax returns electronically to the IRS and state taxing authorities. He did this despite needing to buy a slower modem to conform with the long outdated IRS technology.
In 1993, JFS became a Registered Investment Adviser with Securities and Exchange Commission and Neil was also appointed as an arbitrator for Arbitration Forums, Inc. Neil served on the board of directors for David Bruce & Company, a software developer for the financial markets, between 1993 and 1995. During this period, he was instrumental in its successful acquisition by First Options of Chicago.
In 1996, Neil sold his practice to Ostrow, Reisin, Berk and Abrams, Ltd. Prior to selling his practice, he had over 300 business and individual clients with offices on Michigan Avenue and in Mount Prospect, Illinois.
Prior to starting his own practice, Neil has worked in the trust tax department with The Northern Trust Company and as tax manager at CTS Financial Group, Inc. Neil also has experience with one of the former "Big Eight" accounting firms, Coopers & Lybrand. That's if you count that half day in 1988 before he learned he was hired by a botique practice headed by the former managing partner of Oppenheim, Appel, Dixon & Company.
Neil has also served as a management consultant to the food service industry. His clients included Michael Jordan’s the Restaurant and Compass Group USA, Inc.
Over the years, Neil has gained extensive knowledge on what he calls “The Three D’s” (divorce, debt and death). Each of these situations provides unusual and often complicated challenges for many people. Neil remembers his early divorce engagements and how he “followed the money” before the phrase was common place and practicing forensic accounting before it became its own niche.
Neil has helped numerous clients deal with IRS and state taxing authorities. He has successfully negotiated IRS penalty abatements totaling over hundreds of thousands of dollars. Neil has also helped his clients obtain installment plans, offers in compromise and innocent spouse relief. He gets a real chuckle watching former IRS attorneys on television pitching these services as if they are truly advocates for the taxpayer.
In addition to being one of the top tax pros in the U.S., Neil has also been on the forefront of technology use by accountants. He remembers back to the 1980’s when most tax professional were preparing tax returns by hand or using “service bureaus” (the original outsourcing of confidential taxpayer information). Neil was among the first tax practitioners to use in-house tax preparation software and was often humored when other tax pros called it cost prohibitive.
Neil is an associate member of AICPA Tax Section and ABA Sections on Taxation and Family Law. Thanks to BlackBerry® technology, Neil can often be reached by e-mail during non typical business hours.