Madison Title Agency | Madison 1031 | LeaseProbe/Real Diligence | Madison SPECS

News and Notes talks with Charles Tover, Tax Director, Madison SPECS.

Q.  When did you join Madison?
A.  From 2005 to 2008, I was part of the senior management team of LeaseProbe which abstracted over 5,000 commercial real estate leases while I was there.  Then in 2008 and 2009, I worked on other projects for Madison. From 2009- early 2016, I continued my relationship with Madison by working on an as-need basis for LeaseProbe and Real Diligence.   In 2016, I returned to the Madison team on a full time basis, as Senior Cost Segregation Accountant for Madison SPECS.  The timing could not have been better.  Madison SPECS is growing exponentially and I hope that, through my experience, I can add value in providing the highest level of service to our staff and clients on tax issues related to real estate 

Q.  What was your previous experience that led you to Madison?
A.  I am a Certified Public Accountant with extensive experience in financial matters for the real estate and hospitality industries, and have handled many of the services that Madison provides including real estate taxation, due diligence, and least abstracting.  I worked for Ernst & Whinney (now Ernst & Young a/k/a EY) where I rose to Senior Tax Accountant. I was also the CFO of a boutique real estate development firm in Beverly Hills, CA and later became an independent business consultant specializing in real estate, accounting, taxation and estate planning.  

Q.  How did you meet the team at Madison?
A.  In 2004, I moved to Israel and was networking with a group of other people who had also moved to Israel.  It was there that I met someone at CityBook, Madison’s sister company in Israel.  One thing led to another and I was hired to work at LeaseProbe.  The rest is history.

Q.  How did your job description change with your new position? 
A.  In one sense, my job has always been the same.  I am a subject matter expert.  In that capacity, I have a few specific tasks.  One of my tasks is to train the staff to understand the intricacies of the real estate world.   I also provide quality control on the reports we produce.  Finally, I interface with clients to help them understand the services we offer and discuss the reports with their financial advisors.  I have performed these specific tasks for LeaseProbe / Real Diligence and Madison SPECS.     I have experience in dealing with leases at every level and in all positions, be it Landlord or Tenant.  I’ve helped design the training program for LeaseProbe and have always been involved with quality control and interfacing with clients and staff.  I taught the staff how to approach issues such as income, expenses and cash flow and how to analyze a property.  That really is similar to what I am doing now at Madison SPECS.  I have been involved in real estate taxation, both in tax compliance and tax planning, over the years.  I have always enjoyed the planning aspect of tax consulting.  Depreciation of assets is always a cornerstone issue in real estate, as it is one of the largest expenses and it lasts the longest time.  And now with the passing of the new Tax Act, there is a lot more planning involved in choosing how to depreciate assets.   Over the next several weeks, and probably months, I will be working closely with our production and sales teams, as well as with clients, to understand the Tax Act and how it impacts our clients. 

Q.  To what do you attribute Madison SPECS’ solid growth?
A.  In part it is due to the value of the service.  Depreciation tax planning through cost segregation is one of the last islands of opportunities for real tax shelter.  Since the new tax code has reduced many opportunities, cost segregation is one of the best ways to save taxes through real estate.  CPAs refer their clients to us because of Madison SPECS’ excellent customer service.  They know Madison SPECS is going to work quickly to get the study done and make sure it is thorough and complete.

Q.  How does that apply to the new tax horizon?
A.  There are some key features in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that relate to depreciation.  We now know what the law says and, over the next few months, we will flesh out just how it will affect specific situations.  We now have a very favorable environment for property depreciation, job growth, investment in property and business growth in general.

Q.  What is the most important item on your list of things to do today?
A.  I am further analyzing the Tax Act to understand how it will impact our clients.

Q.  What is your vision for Madison SPECS five years from now?
A.  Madison SPECS will continue to grow the business development team and expand our work with CPAs and their clients.  A lot of our business comes from referrals from satisfied customers.  Madison SPECS is a force to be reckoned with in the area of cost segregation and we look forward to further increasing our national reach.  We want every CPA and investor to have the opportunity to reap the benefits of a well-done cost segregation study.