2019 VSCPAs’ Virginia Economic Expectations survey – Northern Virginia
Andrew Youhas, CPA, JD
founder and owner
Youhas and Associates LLC
How is the economy faring in Northern Virginia?
Going great guns. Roads and stores are packed — everybody is buying, working, living. Financial optimism seems to abound — regardless of political persuasion.
What local industry do you think has potential for growth?
Construction. Not sure how much moving is going on. I don’t see as many “For Sale” signs as I used to, but Home Depot is absolutely packed every time I visit. So maybe everyone’s staying in place, putting on additions, whatever. Everyone seems to be spending money.
What’s the biggest challenge to doing business in your area?
Congestion. I usually work from home — so my commute is minimal — but when I go out on the weekends it’s almost as bad as Rush Hour out there.
How has the new tax law affected your clients?
Clients have definitely noticed the extra money in their pocket from the change in withholding tables. The jury’s out on whether those withholdings will affect these clients so much that they end up owing on their 2018 tax returns next April. My advice has been to assume “same tax liability as last year” and to leave their quarterly estimates alone.
What impact do you think U.S. trade policy will have on business?
More limited than you’d think. I personally believe that tariffs — or rather, the threat of tariffs — is being used as a bargaining chip in efforts to get freer trade in the end. There might be pain to affected industries, and it might be substantial, but if all goes according to plan, that pain will be short-lived. Months or a year, not years.