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Spotlight on Stefanie M. Wientjes

Stefanie M.Wientjes grew up in Metairie, Louisiana, the very first suburb of New Orleans. And while she has been in Nebraska for over 10 years now, you can still pick up a subtle hint of her sweet southern drawl. Educated in Accounting and Taxation, Stefanie received her Bachelors’ of Science in Accounting at Spring Hill College, Alabama. She later enrolled and graduated from the University of New Orleans receiving a Master’s Degree in Accounting with a concentration in Taxation.

A move to Nebraska with her husband in 2008 brought Stefanie to O’Donnell, Ficenec, Wills & Ferdig, LLP (OFWF). She and her husband were high school sweethearts, and together they live on an acreage between Omaha and Lincoln. She loves living in a rural area and the countryside and yet also loves being close enough to the city of Omaha to take advantage of big city amenities and opportunities including her work.

Although Stefanie does do some auditor work at her position at OFWF, her primary expertise is in tax return filing and it is the tax side of her job that she finds herself being most comfortable. Given that it is no small task as the tax codes are ever-changing, and it takes the right person to keep up with them all, Stefanie’s clients range from small to medium-sized businesses and she takes great pride in assisting them with the business side of tax filing. She also works one on one with each individual and shareholder in completing those tax filings, as needed.

If there is one piece of advice that Stefanie could give a new business owner who is just starting out it would be to consult with an accountant early on. She stresses the importance of getting set up early and properly to avoid any issues of trouble with the Internal Revenue Service. This includes the need for proper knowledge of monthly, quarterly, and annual taxes and filings to avoid penalties and interest.

As far as recent changes to the tax codes, Stefanie points out that business taxes are about the same. The big changes will affect individuals much more, particularly when it comes to Entertainment Expenses, which are no longer deductible. This could in effect fall back on businesses so she suggests discussing these changes with an accountant before you file your next tax return. Another change involves the Qualified Business Income Deduction (QBI), which for most individuals the change results in a 20% deduction of business income reported on an individual return, an increase from 9%. The deduction however is limited to the LESSER OF: 20% of qualified business income, or 50% of the total W-2 wages paid by the business.

Stefanie states “What I do is fun. And I like what I do.” With that in mind she goes on to say that she can take the burden off of those who don’t know or don’t enjoy dealing with tax issues. And with her soothing slight southern accent, you believe this to be true!

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