Spotlight on Tax Firm Legal Director Ashley Hogsette

Our Spotlight series sheds light on the careers and lives of tax professionals around the world. This week’s Spotlight on Ashley Hogsette, chief legal officer of Synergi Partners, a tax credits and incentives advisory and processing firm.

Hogsette specializes in federal and state tax credit programs, as well as disaster relief incentives, for employers across the United States, and she helps clients interpret and understand the law so to maximize the benefits of the tax credit. A graduate of Charleston School of Law and New York University School of Law, she served as an outside counsel to Synergi Partners before becoming general counsel in 2020.

When she’s not involved in legal matters, you might find Hogsette enjoying iced coffee and Jolly Ranchers watermelon — but probably not at the same time — or watching “Power Rangers” with her 4-year-old son. year.

What is your official title and what does it mean? I am the legal director of Synergi Partners. As in-house counsel for a growing company, I tend to wear many hats. I not only help negotiate contracts, but also help clients understand and interpret the complexities and intent of tax credit legislation. Additionally, due to the many updates that these types of legislation undergo, I frequently update employees on changes in the laws. In the event of an audit, I work closely with clients to provide audit support. I can be part of our service delivery every step of the way, including seeing and hearing how it helps customers and their employees. There’s nothing like seeing the impact of the work you do.

Free time: book, audiobook or podcast? Podcast. With two young children and a busy job, I don’t have as much time to read as before. So podcasts work well for me.

Taxation is a big topic. What is your particular area of ​​interest? Tax credits and incentives are in my DNA. I grew up with my dad in the tax credit industry. He and his partners have operated several businesses in this space, so I have seen firsthand how tax incentives can help businesses and communities that have faced financial hardship. It is interesting to see how tax credits and incentives can be used not only as a tool to stimulate local economies, but also to help employers during disasters such as Covid-19.

What is the last movie or show you watched and liked (DVD, Netflix or at the cinema)? “Power Rangers”…with my 4 year old son. He’s at such a fun age where so many things are new to him. He takes me on his adventures.

What college did you attend and what did you study? Clemson University, where I studied marketing. After graduation, I went to Charleston School of Law and then to New York University School of Law, where I earned my LL.M. in taxation.

Pick up: Coffee or tea? Coffee, but not just any. There’s an amazing little cafe in downtown Florence, SC that makes the best iced coffee I’ve ever had.

What is the best tax or financial advice someone has ever given you? “Hustle—anyone can be slow” and “Don’t try to boil the ocean.” It is quite easy to get overwhelmed by the intricacies of tax law. It taught me to know the breadth and depth of my material, but to focus on the main issues of each project. It still works with all legislation and all tax credit and incentive programs. I break things down to inspect, analyze and interpret each element.

If you weren’t in the tax field, what would your dream job be? I was accepted into Savannah College of Art and Design at the same time as I was entering law school. At first, I was a bit torn between studying law or pursuing a career in graphic design. But now I couldn’t imagine doing anything other than this job. It’s exciting to work side-by-side with the professionals at Synergi, in an industry that I love, which offers tremendous benefits to businesses and individuals.

If you had the option of making one change in the tax world – an extra credit, a disallowed deduction, whatever – what would it be? It’s a small one but with a huge impact. I would add Q4 2021 of the CARES Act Employee Retention Credit. Many employers were relying on this credit to recover from the negative impacts of Covid-19, and there were major impacts in the fourth quarter.

Favorite food, snack or treat during tax time or another busy time? Watermelon Jolly Ranchers.

What tax news or ruling has had the most impact on your practice or clients in the past year? The CARES Act Employee Retention Tax Credit, which was designed to help employers affected by the pandemic. We receive thank you notes and messages from customers all the time telling us about the impact this credit has had on their business. They are so grateful.

If you got a big tax refund check right now, what would you do with it? It might not be the most exciting answer, but I would add some to my emergency savings account and invest the rest in my kids’ education fund.

You can learn more about Hogsette on LinkedIn.

You can read more about Hogsette’s company, Synergi Partners, on its website.

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