While studying for his B.B.A. in accounting, Kevin Reddick realized that he found tax inherently fascinating because it was similar to three-dimensional chess, which he describes as "a giant, messy, complex game that involves economics, finance, policy, and law, and its field of battle is often the court of public opinion." He adds, "With that level of challenge, I knew it was the right field for me." And the rest, as they say, is history.
Reddick, now director of state and local tax at The Home Depot, finds the federal and international juxtapositions with state law, especially in the post-tax-reform world, particularly captivating. "It is often the conflict of laws between the states that makes for judicial and legislative developments that are equal parts entertaining and frustrating," he notes.
Regarding tax operations in a publicly traded company, he says, "I love that tax professionals, in order to be effective, have to have broad connections with numerous business partners that represent constituencies throughout the organization in order to understand operations and be better positioned to provide sound tax advice.
"It makes for a superb training ground for developing into a great business person," Reddick explains.
Tax Reform Legislation
What is the most problematic tax law he's encountered since joining The Home Depot? Just a few weeks after he started his current role with the company, the massive federal tax reform bill was enacted into law. "I had barely gotten my feet wet within the organization when suddenly everything I thought I knew about tax law shifted," he says.
"Suddenly," he continues, "I found myself in a world where a SALT professional needs to have significant depth in international tax matters, at least insofar as those matters have state implications. Further, we have had to sit and watch the state legislatures struggle with adapting to the new post-reform regime, registering the hits and misses with both amusement and frustration."
Although Reddick would not go so far as to declare this issue solved on his watch, "my team and I dove headfirst into this new and complex miasma and have been steadily learning. We have road yet to travel in this space, but being inherently intellectually curious people, I am confident that my team and I will become conversant in this space over time."
The Home Depot Experience
What are the best parts of working at The Home Depot? "Two things immediately come to mind. One is that The...