How Family Office Manager Julio Gonzalez Is Helping Keep Jobs In The U.S. Using Tax Engineering

Benzinga recently was at the Nasdaq Marketsite and had the chance to chat with Julio Gonzalez, CEO and CIO of the Gonzalez Family Office, CEO of Engineered Tax Services and Official Member of the Forbes Finance Council. Check out how he got rich by helping keep jobs and, ultimately, grow GDP in the United States below.

Meet Julio

Gonzalez basically built his family’s wealth from scratch. About 15 years ago, he started a company, Engineered Tax Services. Over time, ETS became the largest specialty tax firm in the United States, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in tax benefits for clients like Toyota Motor Corp (ADR) TM, Marriott International Inc MAR, Dollar Tree, Inc. DLTR, Costco Wholesale Corporation COST and Honda Motor Co Ltd (ADR) HMC every month.

ETS focuses on the real estate and manufacturing areas, mostly. “In real estate, we use engineers to help assess energy efficient buildings and help with depreciation of buildings. So, a big part of what we do is engineering-based tax work,” Gonzalez voiced.

“Our other big area is in manufacturing. As scientists and engineers, we quantify the labor and supply cost that goes into manufacturing a product in the United States. From that, we generate a calculation for the credits that are refundable to these companies. These are research and development tax credits, which are aimed at incentivizing manufacturing here, in the United States, and to keeping the jobs here, in the United States, versus sending them offshore — where companies have the opportunity to get lower-cost labor and supplies,” he continued.

“These credits are really important to keep the jobs in the US, and we are one of the few firms in the country that quantifies those tax credits, which companies can then use to generate refunds on their labor and supplies. That ultimately keeps jobs here, in the United States.”

Understanding Tax Engineering

Given that we are in the Financial Literacy Month, Benzinga decided to ask Gonzalez to better explain what tax engineering is.

“The U.S. government, the IRS, requires engineering-based studies to grant real estate, and research and development tax credits to companies,” he explicated. “Part of our client base are CPA firms that don’t have an in-house engineering department. So, they call upon us to help them quantify these credits and deductions for their clients. We work directly with several Fortune 500 companies in the country like IKEA, McDonald's Corporation MCD, Johnson & Johnson JNJ, a lot of the big residential real estate markets such as the Hiltons and Marriotts of the world, Costco, and even Google — Alphabet Inc GOOG GOOGL,” he went on. “We work directly with them to help them to be tax-efficient in these areas, but a lot of our work comes directly from CPA firms that don’t have an in-house engineering department.”

“I think we probably come close to generating anywhere between $50 to $100 million per month in tax deductions and tax credits,” he disclosed. “Our company is used to become more tax-efficient and preserve capital to grow jobs in the United States. So, we feel like we play a significant role in educating and then, ultimately, retaining and growing GDP and jobs here in the United States.”

Putting Money To Work

ETS was the source of Julio Gonzalez’s wealth, which he then used to create Calle Gato Ocho, a real-estate holding company that manages primarily multi-family office investments in student housing.

“We ultimately set up our family office [the Gonzalez Family Office] a few years ago so that we could become more passive in investing in real estate and not have to manage it on a day-to-day basis, and continue to focus on what we do well, which is the engineering tax practice,” Gonzalez said.

“Ultimately, the family office has allowed us to invest as a limited partner in different real estate transactions. We also now use the family office to allocate to venture capital and private equity, to run our charitable projects, and also look at opportunities investing in social impact. They all kind of come together now, but it’s been evolution over the last decade,” he concluded. 

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