Partner

Michael Ozen, CPA

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Bio

Meet Michael

Michael has over 25 years of experience solving complex international tax issues for individuals and businesses. He has worked with organizations of all types in a wide range of industries, from small, privately held firms to Fortune 500 companies.  His clients include C corporations, S corporations and partnerships, other pass-through entities and hybrid entities, as well as their owners and employees. He advises individuals on estate planning, tax strategy and the structuring of inbound and outbound investments.

Michael’s prior experience includes serving as the director of international tax for a Big Four accounting firm and as a tax partner in a national CPA firm. He has also served as chief financial officer of a publicly held high-tech company, a venture capital-backed software company and a national law firm.

Outside of Armanino, he is a former board member of the Club House Museum for Children and a former CFO of the Los Angeles Children’s Museum.

Michael is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the California Society of Certified Public Accountants (CalCPA). He is also a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and serves on the executive committee and programs committee of STEP Los Angeles. He received a B.S. in accounting and an M.B.A. from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, and was on the university faculty in the Department of Business Economics.

Experience

Professional History

Associations

  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
  • California Society of Certified Public Accountants
  • Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) 

Education

  • University of Witwatersrand, South Africa

Experience

  • RBZ LLP
  • J.H. Cohn
  • Moss Adams
  • Coopers & Lybrand LLP

Speaking Engagements

  • CalCPA International Tax and Business conference, December 2014, San Francisco, Foreign Tax Credits for U.S. Persons

Contact Michael Ozen

Q&A
Q. What is it about accounting and consulting that first drew your interest?
After I received my MBA, I wanted a deeper understanding of the workings of businesses, so I became a chartered accountant in South Africa. While doing that, I was exposed to tax work. I’ve always loved puzzles, and I saw tax as one large, often complex, puzzle. Every day there are different issues that need to be solved, and this makes life interesting.
Q. What law or regulation in the accounting industry would you like to see changed?
I really take issue with the reporting and penalty structure surrounding foreign financial accounts, which ties into the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) regulations. I think there should be a practical threshold below which no reporting is required. The rules are making it difficult for U.S. taxpayers to deal with foreign financial institutions.
Q. Describe your work style.
Creative―I try not to be a linear thinker at the start of an assignment. I like to generate multiple ideas first, and then go back and analyze them to find the best solutions for my clients.
Q. What’s your proudest moment?
We have developed an in-depth international tax training program that takes around five years to complete. We teach participants about the tax code, regulations, cases and IRS rulings. One of my proudest moments was looking around our first class and seeing 20 faces, eager to learn.
Q. Who is (or was) the most influential person in your life
My wife. She is a clinical psychologist, and she is extremely insightful.
Q. If you could pass on a nugget of wisdom to aspiring accountants or consultants, what would that be?
Be creative and flexible in your approach, and collaborate. Sometimes the simple act of talking through an issue with someone, even if they are not familiar with the area, sparks ideas.
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Michael's Thought Leadership
Blog articles
Article
It is important to know if you are a "Resident Alien" or "Nonresident Alien" as the manner in which the U.S. taxes thes...
Blog articles
Article
There is one change worth noting: the continuation of a tax deferral on interest, royalties or dividends paid between t...
Blog articles
Article
What are the tax results when two U.S. taxpayers earn the same amount but one works in the U.S. and the other in a fore...