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Heather McGeorge, JD, LL.M(TAX), CPA, CA, CPA(IL), CFP | McGeorge Tax & Estate Law Professional Corporation | Toronto, Ontario, Canada
MCGEORGE TAX & ESTATE LAW PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION

T: 416.915.4244
heather@mcgeorgetaxlaw.com
www.mcgeorgetaxlaw.com


HEATHER MCGEORGE
JD, LL.M(TAX), CPA, CA, CPA(IL), CFP




"I give clients peace of mind that their affairs are in order."

There are many lawyers and accountants out there, but you offer something quite unique. Care to share?
I am multi-disciplinary, so I can look at things differently from other lawyers or accountants. When I do accounting, I have the advantage of solicitor-client privilege, which protects my communications with clients being shared with anyone else including the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) or a court. In other words, my clients do not need to engage both an accountant and a lawyer. I am also a US Certified Public Accountant and can deal with US income tax filings and cross-border tax issues.

Having US certifications must be useful since there's so much focus on the global economy.
Yes, absolutely. Families now have US connections, where a child who goes to school in the US and stays there, or a family member is transferred to the US for work. There are many complicated tax and estate issues that arise when other jurisdictions are involved.

How does being a woman in your industry work?
I may be more empathetic in dealing with clients and I think outside the box when it comes to possibilities and exploring them. I may also be better than male competitors at speaking with clients and I can soothe them when they are worried. Tax liabilities are very emotional for people and they are often very afraid of the CRA. I also try to be fair when billing and use fixed fees, or I work pro bono when I want to assist someone who doesn't have the resources.

You mentioned earlier that you're multidisciplinary. It seems that skill doesn't end with law and accounting.
[Laughs]. That's right. I'm passionate about fashion and decorating. I recently discovered auctions where dealers buy antiques and vintage clothing for resale, so I'm considering a side business doing that. Eventually, I may design clothing myself, as I draw inspiration from looking at old films and vintage or current fashion photos. We'll see what the future brings!

Is stepping outside of your main career part of a five-year plan?
Five years from now, I would like to have chosen between continuing to practice and doing something in fashion and decorating. Or maybe I could organize myself to do both. I'd like to be travelling with my partner and drawing inspiration from other cultures. I would also like to be assisting him with his charitable foundation, which provides education to underprivileged young people through artistic endeavors.

What is your greatest achievement/accomplishment in business?
Other than just starting and taking the plunge and becoming self-employed, it involves figuring out the steps involved in a tax plan and finding the required contacts in another jurisdiction and putting together a structure. I particularly enjoy coming up with creative solutions and have always been able to eventually find a tax saving solution.


Photographer: John Trigiani