REDW In the News: Albuquerque Business First Interviews 40 Under Forty Honoree James A. Ortiz
Albuquerque Business First recently interviewed “40 Under Forty” honoree James A. Ortiz, REDW’s Tax Senior Manager. Each year, the “40 Under Forty” award recognizes young, top professionals throughout New Mexico, across a wide spectrum of industries, who excel in their fields and impact their communities in positive ways; following a rigorous nomination and evaluation process, 40 winners are chosen on the basis of professional achievement, demonstrated leadership and community involvement. The text of the interview is below.
Albuqueque Business First (ABF): What are you doing personally to make New Mexico a better place?
James Ortiz: I help guide companies and individuals through New Mexico’s complicated taxing system. I make companies aware of their tax obligations in order to avoid surprises by taxes that could cut into the bottom dollar. I also help existing and new companies in New Mexico understand and take advantage of tax credits and incentives so they may hire more New Mexicans.
ABF: What do you consider your greatest professional achievements?
Ortiz: I failed at my first public accounting job. The failure was a turning point in my life. That failure sparked the fire that fuels me today to become the best state and local tax professional in New Mexico. My greatest professional achievement is my current role at REDW LLC.
ABF: Share an act or decision that best illustrates your leadership ability.
Ortiz: Recently there was a significant change in the gross receipt tax that could have had a negative impact on several of my medical clients. After determining the potential impact on my clients, I reached out to each client to let them know of the change. A local attorney and I took it upon ourselves to contact the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department to determine their intent for the change in statute. We offered to draft a bulletin for the department to publish, informing the public of the intentions and interpretation of the new law. I spent 30 to 40 hours on this project. When I started the project I was just looking into a new law change. I had no idea this project would have such a behind-the-scenes impact. Being able to call my clients and let them know they would not have to budget for millions in additional gross receipts tax and possibly lay off New Mexicans was enough payment for me.
James and other “40 Under Forty” recipients will be honored at Albuquerque Business First‘s 40 Under Forty Awards Dinner and Networking Reception on May 5, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Downtown.